This is an archived course. A more recent version may be available at

Archived Versions

System Safety

As taught in: Spring 2005

Photo of space shuttle cockpit showing computerized display panels.

Simulator of the new cockpit displays being developed for the Space Shuttle. (Image courtesy of NASA.)


Prof. Nancy Leveson

MIT Course Number:

16.358J / 16.863J



Course Features

Course Description

This course covers important concepts and techniques in designing and operating safety-critical systems. Topics covered include: the nature of risk, formal accident and human error models, causes of accidents, fundamental concepts of system safety engineering, system and software hazard analysis, designing for safety, fault tolerance, safety issues in the design of human-machine interaction, verification of safety, creating a safety culture, and management of safety-critical projects. It also includes a class project involving the high-level system design and analysis of a safety-critical system.