|About the Book|
Contemporary infrastructure, the systems necessary to provide sustainable services within the nations power, transportation, waste management, water, and telecommunication sectors, has become very complex- that is adaptive, interdependent,MoreContemporary infrastructure, the systems necessary to provide sustainable services within the nations power, transportation, waste management, water, and telecommunication sectors, has become very complex- that is adaptive, interdependent, unpredictable, nonlinear, and dynamic. Moreover, over eighty percent of catastrophic engineering system failures can be attributed to human and organizational shortcomings- however traditional infrastructure reliability assessments tend not to explicitly capture this element of complexity. And while power grids provide the sole means of transporting the electricity the nation depends so heavily on, little is understood about how the system is affected by the human beings who manage it.-This dissertation augments the standard model of risk to effectively understand the reliability associated with complex infrastructure systems as a consequence of human and organizational factors. This was done by reviewing the bodies of knowledge available in the engineering, physical science, and social science literatures and performing forensic reliability evaluations. This resulted with a four step reliability evaluation process: (1) system definition, (2) process assessment, (3) influence assessment, and (4) synthesis and evaluation.-To test the suitability and validity of the proposed methodology, the new approach was applied to evaluate the qualities of adaptation and self-healing for the electric power grid in the state of Texas by varying a control rooms tolerance for emotional stress and a repair crews effectiveness in restoring damaged transmission lines, respectively. This was done by enhancing the Power System Analyzer tool developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory and measuring the grids vulnerability and resilience.-Through this work, it was determined that more effective repair crews reduced system vulnerability to rare events while increasing vulnerability to frequent events of smaller magnitude. Moreover, resiliency was greatly enhanced as a result of enhanced healing in the system. Lastly, modest improvements in reliability and resilience were seen for both large and small blackout events when the control room was better able to cope with stress resulting from damage to the grid. The methods and results contained in this dissertation were internally validated for content, construct, and face through a combination of established theory, empirical research, case study, and expert opinion.