Professor, University of Strathclyde
Massimiliano Vasile is currently Professor of Space Systems Engineering and director of the Aerospace Centre of Excellence in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. Before starting his academic career he was a member of the ESA Advanced Concepts Team (ACT) and initiator of the ACT research stream on global trajectory optimisation, mission analysis and biomimicry. His research interests include Computational Optimization, and Optimization Under Uncertainty exploring the limits of computer science at solving highly complex problems in science and engineering. He developed Direct Transcription by Finite Elements on Spectral Basis for optimal control, implemented in the ESA software DITAN for low-thrust trajectory design. He has worked on the global optimisation of space trajectories developing innovative single and multi objective optimisation algorithms, and on the combination of optimisation and imprecise probabilities to mitigate the effect of uncertainty in decision making and autonomous planning. His research has been funded by the European Space Agency, the EPSRC, the Planetary Society and the European Commission. Prof Vasile is currently leading UTOPIAE, a EU-funded international research and training network on Uncertainty Treatment and OPtimisation in Aerospace Engineering.
The talk will discuss the concept of Resilience Engineering as an extension of both Robustness and Reliability Based Design Optimisation. It will then introduce a way to model complex engineering systems made of a number of interconnected components whose performance and reliability are affected by some form of epistemic uncertainty. This model, called Evidence Network Model, uses belief functions to quantify the epistemic uncertainty in some of the parameters defining each component. The robustness and reliability of the system are then computed with a decomposition technique that exploits the relationship among uncertain quantities and their relative importance. This approach is applied to an example of space systems engineering as part of a recent project with ESTECO, supported by the European Space Agency.