Dr. Faisal Khan
Interdisciplinary research on safety, risk management, asset integrity and sustainable industrial processes and systems in production plants operating in harsh environments.
This research will lead to the development of new technologies for safer and greener design, operation and maintenance of industrial processing facilities operating in challenging conditions and remote locations.
Managing risk and improving safety in harsh environments
The need for natural resources and economical marine transportation has pushed industrial processing operations into deeper waters and harsher offshore environments. Developing natural resources and transporting goods in these environments pose unique challenges – freezing temperatures, extreme winds, long periods of darkness, dense fog, corrosive sea spray, and the remoteness of operations – for the energy, mining and transportation industries.
As the Canada Research Chair in Safety and Risk Engineering, Dr. Faisal Khan and his team are exploring ways to help industry better understand, quantify and manage operational risks to enable safe and sustainable developments.
The team’s research focuses on process safety, risk engineering, logistic management and asset integrity management. Through this research, Dr. Khan has found traditional safety and risk assessment techniques do not adequately capture the hazards and risk factors faced by complex process designs and operations in the variable, dynamic conditions experienced in harsh environments.
An important tool in ensuring the safe operation of remote production and processing facilities is dynamic risk management, which takes into account the real-time frequency and consequences of near-misses and incidents in processing plants.
Dr. Khan’s team is establishing a lab-scale plant to test and evaluate dynamic risk assessment models and to verify which models provide a reliable indication of process safety performance. Their goals are to apply the knowledge gained to real-life industrial applications, such as detection systems; to educate and train highly qualified personnel who will help advance the mission of sustainable, safe and green development of natural resources; and to improve risk management decision-making.