Nexight Group

Deepwater Horizon fire (U.S. Coast Guard Photo)

The recent disaster in the Gulf of Mexico heightened public awareness of the large-scale, complex systems that are vital to the U.S. economy—and the widespread social, economic, and environmental impacts that occur when these systems fail. Successful design and safe operation of complex systems have consequences beyond the businesses that own them to encompass the safety of surrounding communities and economies. As a result, comprehensive system design, failure modeling, and risk assessment require a wealth of knowledge and tools from across industries to assist today’s engineers.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), as the world’s leading professional society for the engineers that design and build many complex systems, established an initiative to make tangible contributions to engineers’ ability to prevent complex systems failures. ASME asked Nexight Group’s expert consulting team, led by Executive Vice President Ross Brindle, to lead two workshops that would identify high priority areas of action where ASME could make the biggest impact.

On Oct. 4-5, Nexight Group facilitated a meeting of experts to explore experiences in managing complex systems across industries and identify areas where future ASME initiatives could play a role—including standards and tools, educational initiatives, and organizational issues affecting safety. ASME’s Industrial Advisory Board met to build on those results on Dec. 2, when Nexight Group successfully worked with participants under a compressed time schedule to determine specific initiatives and detailed action plans for ASME action in the next year and beyond.

Nexight Group’s team of consultants and technical writers are now working closely with ASME to analyze workshop findings and develop a plan that ASME and its partners can pursue to address and prevent complex systems failures.

For more information, please contact Ross Brindle at 240.667.7636.