Integrating Evolutionary and Engineering Approaches to Failure Analyses

Integrating Evolutionary and Engineering Approaches to Failure Analyses

(UTC-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada)
  • Joanna Masel
    University of Arizona

    Joanna Masel is an evolutionary theorist at the University of Arizona. Her research interests include the robustness and evolvability of biological systems, the evolution of molecular error rates, the impact of high deleterious mutation rates, the nature of competition, and protein evolution. She also recently worked on risk analysis in the ...

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  • Rita Colwell
    University of Maryland


    Rita R. Colwell is Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and president of CosmosID, Inc. Her interests are global infectious diseases, water, and health. She has authored or coauthored 20 books and more than 800 scientific publications.

    She was ...

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  • Randolph M. Nesse
    Arizona State University

    Randolph M. Nesse is Research Professor of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, where he was the founding director of the Center for Evolution and Medicine in 2014. He was previously professor of psychiatry and of psychology at the University of Michigan, where he led the Evolution and Human Adaptation Program and helped to ...

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  • Joon Yun
    Palo Alto Investors

    Joon Yun is president and managing partner of Palo Alto Investors LP, where he focuses primarily on the evaluation of pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies. Board certified in radiology, he previously served on the clinical faculty in the Department of Radiology at Stanford University (2000–06). He has served on ...

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  • Carl S. Carlson is a consultant and instructor in failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), reliability program planning, and other reliability engineering disciplines. With 40 years of experience in reliability testing, engineering, and management, he supports clients in a variety of industries. He previously worked with ReliaSoft Corporation (as ...

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Explaining system failures is the focus of enormous efforts in engineering. Explaining vulnerability to disease is the focus for parallel efforts in medicine and public health. Methods from engineering have potential important applications in medicine, and evolutionary explanations for vulnerability to disease may prove useful in engineering. This virtual colloquium of the Forum on Complex Unifiable Systems will engage engineers, clinicians, evolutionary biologists, and related scholars and practitioners, to develop the opportunities at this interface. Questions to be addressed include:

  1. How are failure modes in engineered and evolved systems similar and different?
  2. How can engineering approaches to failure analysis assist in understanding disease?
  3. How can evolutionary explanations of disease vulnerability advance the analysis of engineering failures?
  4. What characteristics make some systems intrinsically vulnerable to failure?
  5. What next steps can develop the synergies between evolutionary and engineering explanations approaches to system failures and expand them to social and financial systems?

Meeting Agenda

Please register here to join this forum on December 5-6, 2022.