Dr Chris Harper

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About me

I am a Senior Research Fellow in safety engineering of robotics and autonomous systems at Bristol Robotics Laboratory. I have recently been working on the AAIP Assistive Robotics in Healthcare project, the CAV Forth, ROBOPILOT and SafeMRX projects on self-driving vehicles.

Area of expertise

For over 25 years I have been a computer system safety assurance consultant, working in sectors such as civil aerospace, rail, defence systems, nuclear energy, and otthers. I am experienced with many methods of system safety assurance including safety case development, hazard identification, safety requirements analysis management and traceability, causal safety analysis such as fault trees (FTA) and failure modes & effects analysis (FMEA), software hazard/safety analyses, safety directed design, software verification and validation methods, and system/software testing.

I did a PhD at UWE, completed in 2004, titled "A Rational Methodology for Designing Behaviour Based Systems for Safety Related Applications" developing a design and safety analysis methodology for provably stable/safe intelligent control for robotics and autonomous system applications.

Between 2004 and 2014, I was a Visiting Research Fellow at the UWE Intelligent Autonomous Systems Lab, which later became Bristol Robotics Laboratory.

Over the 2007-14 period, I worked with the ISO technical committee for robotics to develop the ISO 13482 standard, the first international standard for safety requirements of mobile service robots.

Over the 2011-14 period I helped to develop the Environmental Survey Hazard Analysis (ESHA) method, a new safety analysis technique dedicated to assessment of autonomous systems.

Since joining BRL full time in 2019, I have been working on methods for safety verification and validation of robotics and autonomous systems, primarily looking at methodologies for system safety testing, the use of simulation-based safety validation using assertion checking techniques, and further development of the ESHA method.


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