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Failure is due to brittle systems, not human error. Systems operate successfully due to sources of resilience, usually hidden or under-appreciated. Ironically, brittleness plagues systems due to new capabilities that increase and hide interdependencies, and therefore complexity is the source of the threats to safety as well as to long-term financial viability of organizations. This book uncovers the story of complexity, brittleness and resilience in human systems that perform difficult activities under pressure to be highly productive and ultra-safe. Contrasting cases from many industries - health care, defense, transportation and different episodes of change (eg technology for autonomous vehicles) - show: a)
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David Woods, PhD, has led the emergence of the new field of Resilience Engineering in the aftermath of NASAâ€™s response to space exploration accidents circa 2000. The factors leading to the Columbia space shuttle accident reinforced the need to develop means to engineer resilience. In 2004 he, along with Erik Hollnagel, brought together a wide range of safety specialists to consider the prospects for developing Resilience Engineering as a new approach to safety. The workshop resulted in the book Resilience Engineering: Concepts and Precepts (2006) which provided the initial impetus and basic concepts for the new field. He is Professor at The Ohio State University and leads the university wide initiative on Complexity in Natural, Social and Engineered Systems. He is current President of the Resilience Engineering Association and Past-President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Association. He pioneered the field of Cognitive Systems Engineering since its origins in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island accident in nuclear power in the early 1980s. His work on safety includes accident investigations in nuclear power, medicine, and space operations. His other books include Behind Human Error (1994; second edition 2010), A Tale of Two Stories: Contrasting Views of Patient Safety (1998), Joint Cognitive Systems: Foundations of Cognitive Systems Engineering (2005), Joint Cognitive Systems: Patterns in Cognitive Systems Engineering (2006), and Resilience Engineering in Practice (2011). He has won the Ely Award for best paper in the journal Human Factors (1994), a Laurels Award from Aviation Week and Space Technology (1995) for research on the human factors of highly automated cockpits, the Jack Kraft Innovators Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (2002), a Google Faculty Award (2008), an IBM Faculty Award (2005), and the Jimmy Doolittle Fellow Award from the Air Force Association (2012). Dr Woods has served on several US National Academy of Science and other advisory committees including Engineering the Delivery of Health Care (2005), and Dependable Software (2006). He has testified to US Congress on Safety at NASA and on Election Reform. He was a board member of the National Patient Safety Foundation during its startup in the late 1990s, Associate Director of the Midwest Center for Inquiry on Patient Safety of the Veterans Health Administration, and advisor to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. He was a member of the Defense Science Board Task Force on Autonomy, 2011-2012.
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