Risk Analysis is an important part of the Risk Assessment process used in specific projects to combine the probability that an accidental (even dangerous) event may occur with its possible consequences. Risk Analysis aims to quantify the effects of a remote/dangerous event either with precisely known or stochastically defined initial and boundary conditions. From a structural safety engineering point of view, risk analysis tries to predict the effects of rare physical phenomena which would normally be difficult to evaluate in a deterministic fashion.

The knowledge of the underlying physics, a broad understanding of the stochastic nature of the simulated processes and the availability of significant computational (both hardware and software) resources are all key ingredients for a successful risk assessment.

Risk assessment

Virtual Prototyping in Risk Analysis

From a design standpoint it is important to approach risk assessment from a multi-disciplinary perspective to make a best effort to avoid the occurrence of a critical event or at least to limit its consequences should one occur.

Accurate and reliable data form the basis to support decisions in safety related engineering applications. This explains why virtual prototyping solutions and CAE technologies are increasingly being used to assess system performances and engineering solutions.

Using virtual prototyping engineers are now able to simulate even the most complex nonlinear and multi-physics phenomena. Confidence and experience in specific numerical simulation techniques and related software packages are allowing engineers to efficiently and accurately predict the effects of accidental or potentially dangerous scenarios. Numerical simulation thus results in significant improvements of safety levels.

The Importance of Engineering Simulation in Risk Analysis

Some of the difficulties normally faced in risk analysis include:

  • the complex underlying physical phenomena
  • the required accuracy levels for "virtual assessments"
  • the number of different tools and technologies needed
  • the lack of a complete deterministic definition of all variables involved

Validation is hence a very important activity requiring a precise knowledge and confidence in the analytical, numerical and experimental results for a number of test cases.

Prohibitive or significantly high costs are normally associated with the physical tests of hazardous events even on relatively small scales. On large scales, such as events with consequences for cities or regions, physical testing is simply not an option. The consequences of a possible hazard can also have a very high cost for the community; reducing that cost is indeed the ultimate goal of Risk Assessment. This is why virtual prototyping in risk analysis offers unparalleled cost benefits.

The EnginSoft Factor

EnginSoft has acquired significant experience in Risk Analysis Simulations through procedures and methodologies implemented for a wide variety of applications. EnginSoft is an ideal partner for increasing safety levels in the following application fields:

  • structural safety assessment
  • fire analysis
  • impact analysis of civil structures and mechanical components
  • road safety and impact scenarios
  • seismic analysis
  • impact and blast analysis
  • sloshing analysis and fluid-structure interaction
  • analysis of critical events such as underground/train derailment scenarios


Case Study

  • FEA of a Reinforced Concrete Tunnel under Fire Conditions

    Fire performance evaluation is fast becoming an important part of the overall structural performance assessment and is assuming an increasing role within international standards. Simple approaches, based on single section performance, often fail to give a realistic description of the phenomenon. This is especially so in the case of statically indeterminate structures, where thermo-mechanical coupling and nonlinear dependency of stress, moduli and expansion need to be accounted for.

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  • Woodrail Road Barrier Impact Analysis

    The Woodrail® road barrier is designed to improve vehicle safety blending in with the surrounding environment. The barrier has been thoroughly tested and certified against car and bus impact conditions. Since road barriers are built to improve safety of larger road vehicles, they are potentially very dangerous for motorcyclists. For this reason, Woodrail designed a protection system to explicitly account for impact of a human sliding on the road surface and hitting the road barrier

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