KIVI-Jaarcongres 2020 - programma

27 november 2020 14:45 t/m 17:00

Safe by Design in Engineering: illustrations from biotechnology and nanomaterials

TU Delft Safety & Security Institute Session

Introduction SbD

dr. ir. Behnam Taebi, Associate Professor/Director TU Delft Safety & Security Institute, TU Delft

Applications of SbD in biotechnology
Dr. Lotte Asveld, Assistant Professor Biotechnology & Society, TU Delft Ruud van Ommen, Professor in Chemical Engineering, TU Delft

Attention to safety in engineering disciplines goes back to the early days of construction engineering and designing bridges. Reducing the uncertainties associated with the produced risks was always a major challenge. Different methods have been developed for dealing with this challenge, varying from adding a deterministic safety factor (as an acknowledgement of uncertainties) to using probabilistic approaches, which presuppose that engineers have knowledge about the nature of risk and that they can calculate its probability of occurrence. However, things get more complicated when there is no knowledge about the nature of the risk. This presents a dilemma of control, also referred to as the Collingridge dilemma: the further the development of new technology, the more will be known about its associated risks but the less those risks can be controlled (Collingridge 1980). This led to a call in both scholarly literature and policy documents to consider precaution in innovation, or to follow the Precautionary Principle (PP). An extreme (and utterly wrong) interpretation of the PP is to halt all technological development that could produce unanticipated risks.

Ideally, researchers want to enable innovation as much as possible, while ensuring that innovations do not carry risks and impose undesired impacts. The notion of Safe-by-Design could offer a solution. Safe-by-Design is a broad concept that covers a plethora of practices aimed at making safety a core value in research, innovation, and technology development. In these sessions, we present an overview of the Safe-by-Design notion – or how (realizing) safety has been interpreted and operationalized – in different fields of engineering. We argue that Safe-by-Design could offer important insights for emphasizing the role of designing for the value of safety from the outset while also considering other important values in engineering, including well-being, sustainability, and equity. 

Conclusions and future prospects
dr. ir. Behnam Taebi, Associate Professor/Director TU Delft Safety & Security Institute, TU Delft