Using data analytics for safer design

A joint project as part of the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation combines Gexcon’s expertise in risk management with the Hartree Centre and IBM’s data analysis, simulation and modelling capabilities to improve fire safety and risk analysis with model validation.

A man and a woman in hard hats and high visibility jackets looking at two computer screens with images of computer models on them.
Image credit: Gexcon

The collaboration — an Excelerate project as part of the Hartree National Centre for Digital Innovation, launched in June 2021 with the support of the UK Government — will be a build on previous work and focus on developing a rigorous and efficient validation procedure for the FLACS-CFD modelling software produced by Gexcon. The team will work together to increase the range of experiments the modelling software is validated against, improving how validation is communicated to provide a more reliable and accurate picture of the model precision.

Gexcon operate in the field of safety and risk management specifically looking at advanced dispersion, explosion and fire modelling. The company work to assist their clients in identifying hazards, understanding their risks and improving their safety performance. 

Complex real-world phenomena such as advanced dispersion and explosions have been increasingly modelled by sophisticated computational models. Gexcon use these to estimate the consequences of health and safety events. However, the quality of simulation-based predictions is often influenced by various sources of uncertainty such as variability uncertainty in model inputs, and parameters and data uncertainty due to sparse and imprecise information.     

The STFC Hartree Centre and IBM team will work to develop a better estimation of consequences associated with potential hazards and the resulting vulnerability impacts. By investigating a mathematically rigorous approach for risk assessment, Gexcon will be able to validate the accuracy and trustworthiness of their simulation tool results, while meeting regulatory and consumer demands to offer a more comprehensive understanding of the risk.  

“We hope this project will significantly improve the understanding of uncertainty in our modelling of high hazard events such as fire and explosions. This will allow users of our tools to make better data-driven decisions resulting in safer design. We have worked with the Hartree Centre and IBM for a number of years and have found the interaction invaluable.  It was an easy choice to continue with the team on this upcoming project.”

Chris Coffey, Global FLACS Product & Strategic Business Development Manager, Gexcon UK

Join Newsletter

Provide your details to receive regular updates from the STFC Hartree Centre.