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A Common Approach to Risk Analysis for Homeland Security Decision-Making

[+] Author Affiliations
J. Robert Sims

Becht Engineering Company, Liberty Corner, NJ

Bilal M. Ayyub

University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Kenneth R. Balkey

Westinghouse Electric Company, Pittsburgh, PA

Richard E. Feigel

Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection & Insurance Company, Hartford, CT

Paper No. IMECE2003-42598, pp. 181-186; 6 pages
  • ASME 2003 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management: Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis, Technology and Society, Engineering Business Management, and Homeland Security
  • Washington, DC, USA, November 15–21, 2003
  • Conference Sponsors: Engineering and Technology Management Group
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3728-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-4663-6, 0-7918-4664-4, 0-7918-4665-2
  • Copyright © 2003 by ASME


For many years, risk analysis has been used extensively to inform decisions by government and industry. Different methodologies have been employed, resulting in differences in terminology and approach that make it difficult to compare the results of analyses in different fields. Dealing with terrorist threats requires prioritizing the allocation of resources across a broad spectrum of possible targets. Therefore, a common approach is needed to allow comparison of risks. This paper provides a brief outline of an approach that will allow the results of risk analyses performed using current methodologies to be expressed in a common format and terminology to facilitate resource allocation decisions. The results of a risk analysis should never be the only basis for decision-making, but a decision made without employing risk analysis will probably not result in the best outcome.

Copyright © 2003 by ASME



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