System Safety

A satellite image of the Earth.

Deepwater Horizon oil spill as seen from space, captured by NASA Terra satellite on May 24, 2010. (This image is in the public domain, by NASA.)


MIT Course Number

16.863J / IDS.340J / (formerly ESD.863J)

As Taught In

Spring 2016



Cite This Course

Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course covers important concepts and techniques in designing and operating safety-critical systems. Topics 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. Includes a class project involving the high-level system design and analysis of a safety-critical system.

Other Versions

Related Content

Nancy Leveson. 16.863J System Safety. Spring 2016. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

For more information about using these materials and the Creative Commons license, see our Terms of Use.