Episode 27 – Security and Safety

In this episode we talk about Stuxnet, and the relationship between safety and security more generally.
Stuxnet demonstrated that a determined cyber attacker could influence the operation of potentially hazardous industrial machinery.
Just how representative is Stuxnet? It required elite teams from at least one, possibly two countries, and achieved only minor damage.
Are we in danger of non-state actors causing industrial accidents using their home PCs? Maybe we should ask the 14 year old who derailed
trams using a rewired TV remote control …

Transcript is available here.

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Episode 26 – Battery Dangers

If you’ve ever wondered why safety is considered a systems discipline rather than simply a specialisation of chemical, civil, mechanical or electronic engineering, the humble battery is a great example. To a chemical engineer, a battery is an electrolytic process, with ions travelling from cathode to anode or vice versa, depending on what the battery is doing. To a mechanical engineer, a battery is a combined heat source and a container filled with hazardous substances. To an electronic engineer, a battery is a source or sink of electric power. In each role the battery is not a single component but is part of a variety of engineering systems. As a chemical reaction it is part of an atmospheric system. As a hot toxic container it is part of a physical layout. As a source of electricity it is part of a control or power system. For safety, we need to understand the battery as all of these things.

In this episode we’re going to discuss a number of battery hazards, along with some associated accidents.

Transcript is available here.

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