NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Systems Engineering Seminar

Case Studies in Software Safety: Accidents and Lessons Learned

Presented by:
Terry Hardy, Director, Safety & Risk Management, Great Circle Analytics, LLC

August 2, 2011, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium


Case Studies in Software Safety: Accidents and Lessons Learned

The complexity of our systems is increasing, especially with the use of software and computing systems. System safety approaches are therefore necessary to help manage risk and prevent accidents in these complex systems. An essential element in preventing accidents in the future is learning from past failures. This lecture will present case studies from many different industries describing accidents and mishaps related to software and computing systems. Such case studies can help us identify what can go wrong in our own systems. The focus of the talk will be on software safety as part of a broader system safety effort, and lessons learned will be discussed related to the system safety process. Recommendations will be provided based on lessons learned from those accidents as well as personal experience.



Photo of Terry Hardy Terry Hardy leads efforts in system safety and software assurance at Great Circle Analytics.  Mr. Hardy has over 25 years of experience and numerous publications in the areas of launch vehicles, space propulsion, cryogenics, software, safety analysis, and risk management. Prior to founding Great Circle Analytics, he led software safety and assurance efforts at Special Aerospace Services and at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; responsibilities included membership on the Constellation Safety Engineering Review Panel.  Mr. Hardy also was the Principal Engineer for Reliability in FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, leading efforts to develop safety, reliability, and risk management regulations, guidance documents, and training.  Mr. Hardy holds a BS degree in chemical engineering, an MS degree in chemical engineering, and an MS degree in civil engineering. He also has been certified as a Reliability Engineer, Quality Engineer, and Software Quality Engineer through the American Society for Quality. 



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