By Bill Kisliuk

Distinguished Professor Ali Mosleh, the Evalyn Knight Chair in Engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been named the first director of the B. John Garrick Institute for the Risk Sciences at UCLA.

Mosleh, Ph.D. ’81, who is a professor in Materials Science and Engineering Department, and holds joint appointments with Electrical Engineering and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering departments, has been a leading figure in risk and reliability engineering for decades.  He conducts research on methods for probabilistic risk analysis and reliability of complex systems and has made many contributions in diverse fields of theory and application. In 2010 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest honor for U.S. engineers.

Mosleh is also a Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis, and the American Nuclear Society, recipient of several scientific achievement awards, and consultant and technical advisor to numerous national and international organizations. In 2004 he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. He continued to serve on the board under President Obama until 2012.

UCLA Engineering launched the Garrick Institute in October 2014 with a $9 million gift from alumnus B. John Garrick, M.S. 62, Ph.D. ’68, and his wife Amelia Garrick. The institute is focused on reliability engineering, preventing failures of complex systems, and managing disruptions to society and the environment caused by threats including major industrial accidents, natural disasters and climate change.

The risk sciences are an integration of several disciplines rooted in logic and plausible reasoning that have emerged for the purpose of quantifying and managing the risks of complex natural and engineered systems and processes. Risk analysis provides the overarching conceptual framework for related disciplines including reliability and resilience engineering and system safety, with applications to various technology sectors, civil infrastructure, and healthcare, among other fields.

The Garrick Institute will serve as a national resource in risk sciences education and research, drawing faculty from across disciplines and University of California campuses.

The institute is positioned to:

•    Conduct seminal research in the risk sciences

•    Collaborate on research projects with federal agencies, industry partners, and researchers at UCLA and other U.S. and international universities

•    Be a resource for independent technical review and assessment of the performance of complex systems

•    Provide a world-class repository of risk sciences information

•    Promote, distribute and when possible commercialize methods and technologies developed by institute researchers

•    Organize or co-sponsor workshops and conferences, and publish fundamental research on theoretical foundations and applications of risk management

•    Develop student fellowship programs through industrial affiliates and government agencies

•    Offer awards, including the institute’s highest prize in the name of the founder, recognizing excellence in risk research

•    Offer a master’s degree and graduate certificate in risk analysis and reliability engineering

•    Provide continuing education classes and training workshops for working professionals

UCLA Engineering Dean Vijay K. Dhir appointed Mosleh to lead the institute, which will be headquartered in Engineering VI, the state-of-the-art education and research building now under construction on the UCLA campus.

Before returning to UCLA in March 2014, Mosleh spent more than 20 years on the University of Maryland faculty. From 2004 until 2014 he was Nicole J. Kim Eminent Professor of Engineering and director of the Center for Risk and Reliability at the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering, and previously directed the school’s reliability engineering and nuclear engineering programs. He has advised more than 40 Ph.D. graduates and authored more than 450 technical publications.