Gregory Baecher

Baecher_GregPaper (2): Operational safety analysis for complex technological projects

Abstract: Natural hazards such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes in most cases hold very small probabilities of happening during a project life. Yet, evaluating the effect of such hazards on the systems operation of complex technological projects such as hydropower facilities or chemical processing plants requires prohibitively large numbers of calculations and significant computational resources. In order to effectively address these safety issues, rare event simulation techniques are usually applied. This study reviews past research on safety management for such complex technological projects under the threat of extreme events, and demonstrates the effectiveness of variance reduction in Monte Carlo simulations of project operations. Various approaches to rare event simulation techniques are categorized and compared by their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Paper (5): Risk Analysis and Decision Making in Construction Claims

Abstract: Claims in construction projects are inevitable and can result in costly litigation. Construction contract ambiguity, overtly restrictive terms, and unfairly allocated risks to one party increase the likelihood for disputes. The goal of this study is to develop a model that helps construction parties in their decision making process for claims. This research outlines a comprehensive risk assessment to determine the probability of potential disputes by applying Bayesian Networks. The interaction between parties and their decisions are analyzed by application of Bayesian Games. In case of dispute, each party has private information regarding their liability and damages incurred. The introduced two-sided asymmetric information settlement model can calculate players’ best strategies. The calculations are optimized based on parties’ private information about the specifics of the claim and their beliefs about the other parties’ private information. The result of this study is a model that can be used by construction parties to analyze dispute cases to predict optimal settlement amounts.

Biography:  Professor Baecher is Glenn L Martin Institute Professor of Engineering at the University of Maryland. He holds a BSCE from UC Berkeley, and ScM and PhD Degrees from MIT. Dr. Baecher’s principal area of work addresses the reliability of civil infrastructure and project risk management, especially in geotechnical and water resources engineering. He is co-author with J.T.Christian of, Reliability and statistics in Geotechnical Engineering (Wiley 2003), with D.M.D.Hartford of, Risk and Uncertainty in Dam Safety (Thos. Telford 2004), with K.Frolov of, Protection of Civil Infrastructure from Acts of Terrorism (Springer 2006), and with N.A.Makhutov, of Comparative Analysis of Technological and Intelligent Terrorism Impacts on Complex Technical Systems (IOS Press 2012).