Professor in Engineering wins Prestige Award for risk reduction in mechanical engineering

Friday, 09 February 2018

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An Oxford Brookes professor has been recognised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for his significant contributions in mechanical engineering.

Professor Michael Todinov, from the University’s School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics was recently awarded the Prestige Award for Risk Reduction in Mechanical Engineering.

 The news follows January’s launch of the Year of Engineering – a year-long national campaign that will see government and industry join forces to inspire the next generation of engineers.

Commenting on his award win, Professor Todinov said: “I am thrilled to receive this prize. 

“It is not only a recognition of decades long efforts in reliability improvement and risk reduction but also a great inspiration to strengthen my research in this area.”

It is not only a recognition of decades long efforts in reliability improvement and risk reduction but also a great inspiration to strengthen my research in this area.

Professor Michael Todinov, School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, Oxford Brookes University

Professor Todinov specialises in generic methods and principles for reliability improvement and risk reduction in operation and design. His research has yielded new methods for reliability improvement and risk reduction. These are methods that do not depend on the specific application domain, on the availability of past failure data or detailed knowledge of the failure mechanisms.

Professor Todinov explains: “The common approach to risk reduction relies exclusively on a detailed knowledge from the specific application domain. The over-reliance on such “domain-specific” methods deprived many industries from effective risk reducing strategy and solutions.

“The same mistakes in design are made again and again, for example, components with uniform properties where the application requires  different properties from the different parts of the component; vulnerable systems where a single failure caused the collapse of the entire system; opportunities are constantly missed to improve reliability and reduce risk at no extra cost; and insufficient reliability is built in  products with a very high cost of failure.”

The weaknesses of the existing methods for reducing risk were exposed by a string of costly failures and disasters for example, oil spills, financial crises, serious industrial accidents, transport accidents and blackouts.

The new generic risk reducing methods proposed by Professor Todinov, radically change the existing paradigm in reducing risk and provide a powerful foundation necessary for solving risk management problems in virtually any area of human activity. For example, in civil engineering, electronics, software engineering, chemical engineering, financial control, management, environmental sciences, logistics supply and economics.

Professor Todinov has published many papers and his research has been funded by safety-critical industries including the automotive, nuclear and oil and gas industries.

Oxford Brookes has a long history and tradition of providing high-quality, accredited engineering courses, as well as strong industry links and a location in the heart of the Motorsport Valley.

More information about studying Engineering courses at Oxford Brookes can be found on the School of Engineering webpages.