Society is demanding ever more complex and integrated systems. Beyond technical design, as engineers, we also have a professional, ethical, and legal responsibility to ensure that the operations and maintenance of these systems includes risk management (broadly defined) that protects people and the environment. Since most losses are caused by human (individual and organizational) failures, if we focus exclusively on technical design, we cannot foresee, know and understand, or prevent these failures. This motivates my multidisciplinary research: How can risk management systems be enhanced so that organizations are better equipped to recognize, adapt to and absorb unforeseen events and manage the resulting risks?

Areas of Research

Hazard Identification

There were 919 occupational fatalities in Canada for 2014… Even with sophisticated risk-informed approaches, many hazards are overlooked.

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Risk Management

80-90% of losses are caused by human (individual and organizational) failures… Yet systems approaches focus on technology and processes.

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Risk Evaluation

Technological risks are being challenged on moral and emotional bases… Risk decision makers struggle with these dynamic, interactive, and expanding debates.

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Technology Adoption

The adoption of technologies and new processes is often opposed. Overcoming this requires building: awareness of problem, interest for solutions, evaluation of benefits, solution trailing, and lastly adoption

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Enhancing Regulation

Organizations can be regulated at various levels, on various activities, by various actors, and through various modes. Yet, what is the interactivity between these?  What are the most effective enhancements?


Dr. Lianne Lefsrud, Ph.D, P.Eng.

Engineering Safety and Risk Management, Faculty of Engineering
12-287 Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering 9211 116 Street, Edmonton, T6G 1H9

Phone: 780.492.8351 (office) | 780.951.3455 (mobile)  |  LinkedIn |  Twitter


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