Faculty Profile

Zahra Mohaghegh

Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering
Zahra Mohaghegh
Zahra Mohaghegh
Assistant Professor
111 G Talbot Laboratory MC 234
104 S. Wright Street
Urbana Illinois 61801
(217) 300-5076

Primary Research Area

  • Nuclear Power

Education

  • PhD, Reliability Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, USA, 2007

Biography

Zahra Mohaghegh, an assistant professor of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering (NPRE) and a faculty affiliate of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, is dedicated to positioning the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a global leader in socio-technical risk analysis. To meet this goal, Mohaghegh, the director of the Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) research laboratory (http://soteria.npre.illinois.edu) in NPRE, is advancing Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA).

After completing her postdoctoral research appointment in 2011 at the Center for Risk and Reliability at the University of Maryland, Mohaghegh created a risk management consulting company in Boston. She made a move to academia in 2013 to fulfill her desire to teach and to interact with students through research. Zahra has diligently worked toward this goal; establishing the SoTeRiA Laboratory, where a multidisciplinary team of students, researchers, and industry professionals are advancing PRA through scientific innovation in two key areas: (i) spatio-temporal causal simulation of social and physical failure mechanisms, and (ii) the fusion of big data analytics with PRA.

When Mohaghegh joined the NPRE faculty, she transferred a large-scale industry research project sponsored by the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company to the university. The project involved developing an integrated risk methodology for the resolution of a 20-year, long-standing safety issue in the nuclear industry, Generic Safety Issue 191, which was related to the performance of the emergency core cooling system following a loss of coolant accident. For the last four years, Mohaghegh and her graduate students have been involved in the risk-informed GSI-191 project, which recently gained NRC approval.

In 2015, Mohaghegh became the principal investigator (PI) of a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to quantify organizational factors using big data analytics in PRA. In 2017, she became the PI for a three-year DOE grant for enterprise risk management to promote the sustainability of the U.S. nuclear fleet. She is the recipient of the 2016 American Nuclear Society Mary Jane Oestmann Award for her innovation in risk analysis, the 2016 Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, the 2015 Dean's Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Engineering, and the George Apostolakis Award in risk assessment. She served as the Technical Chair for the 2013 American Nuclear Society Risk Management topical meeting and as the Academic Chair for the 2017 International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017) Conference.

Academic Positions

  • Faculty Affiliate, Computational Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (April 2016 - present)
  • Part-time Faculty, Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (April 2015 - present)
  • Faculty Affiliate, Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (October 2014 - April 2015)
  • Faculty Affiliate, Illinois Informatics Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (September 2014 - present)
  • Faculty Affiliate, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (July 2014 - present)
  • Faculty Affiliate, Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (October 2013 - present)
  • Assistant Professor, Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL (January 2013- present)

For more information

Major Consulting Activities

  • Founder & Principal Research Scientist, Soteria Consultants, LLC, Boston, MA (March 2010 - August 2013)

Resident Instruction

  • NPRE 461: Probabilistic Risk Assessment, Fall Semesters
  • NPRE 498/598: Advanced Risk Analysis, Spring Semesters

Research Interests

  • Theoretical & Methodological Areas: Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA); System Reliability; Human Reliability Analysis; Uncertainty Quantification; Probabilistic Physics of Failure; Big Data Analytics for Risk Assessment; Spatio-Temporal Causal Modeling of Failure Mechanisms; Monetary Value of Risk Analysis
  • Application Areas: Fire PRA; Location-specific Loss-Of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) Frequency Estimations; Risk-Informed Resolution of Generic Safety Issue 191; Human and Organizational Influences on System Risk; Risk-Informed Regulation; Risk-Informed Emergency Preparedness, Planning and Response, Enterprise Risk Management

Research Areas

  • Nuclear Power
  • Reactor Transient and Accident Analysis
  • Reliability and Risk
  • Training and Education, Human Factors

Selected Articles in Journals

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Sakurahara T, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E, editors. Modeling the Interface of Manual Fire Protection Actions with Fire Progression in Fire Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Nuclear Power Plants. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017); 2017; Pittsburgh, PA: American Nuclear Society (ANS).
  • Bui H, Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E, editors. Spatio-Temporal Socio-Technical Risk Analysis Methodology: An Application in Emergency Response. American Nuclear Society (ANS) International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA); 2017; Pittsburgh, PA: American Nuclear Society.
  • Cheng W-C, Ding C, O'Shea N, Sakurahara T, Schumock G, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E, editors. Global Sensitivity Analysis to Rank Parameters of Stress Corrosion Cracking in the Spatio-Temporal Probabilistic Model of Loss of Coolant Accident Frequencies. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017); Pittsburgh, PA: American Nuclear Society.
  • Sakurahara T, Schumock G, Murase T, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E, editors. Spatio-Temporal Probabilistic Methodology and Computational platform for Common Cause Failure Modeling in Risk Analysis. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017); 2017; Pittsburgh, PA: American Nuclear Society.
  • Sakurahara T, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E, editors. Global Importance Measure Methodology for Integrated Probabilistic Risk Assessment. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017); 2017; Pittsburgh, PA: American Nuclear Society.
  • Pence J, Sun Y, Mohaghegh Z, Zhu X, Kee E, Ostroff C, editors. Data-Theoretic Methodology and Computational Platform for the Quantification of Organizational Failure Mechanisms in Probabilistic Risk Assessment. 2017 International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017); 2017; Pittsburgh, PA: American Nuclear Society.
  • Bui H, Sakurahara T, Pence J, Gu Z, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Wortman M, Kee E, Moiseytseva V, Johnson D, editors. Protective Systems: Definitions and Terms in the Regulated Risk Assessment Setting. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017); 2017; Pittsburgh, PA: American Nuclear Society.
  • Bui H, Sakurahara T, Cheng W-C, Crook T, Vaghetto R, Wortman M, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E, Munoz D, Johnson D, Schulz W, Yilmaz F, Moiseytseva V, editors. Protective Systems: An Application of Regulatory Guidance for ECCS Sump Performance. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2017); 2017; Pittsburgh, PA: American Nuclear Society.
  • Sakurahara T, Ha B, Pence J, Cheng W, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E, Reihani S, Wortman M, Moiseytseva V, Yilmaz F, Johnson D, editors. Protective Systems: Possible Extensions to the RoverD Method. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis; 2017; Pittsburgh, PA: American Nuclear Society.
  • Bui H, Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E, editors. Spatio-Temporal Socio-Technical Risk Analysis Methodology for Emergency Response. 13th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM 13); 2016; Seoul, Korea: International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management.
  • O'Shea N, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E, editors. Estimating Loss-of-Coolant Accident (LOCA) Frequencies via Spatio-Temporal Methodology. 13th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM 13); 2016; Seoul, Korea: International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management.
  • O'Shea N, Mohaghegh Z, editors. Spatio-Temporal Methodology for Estimating Loss-of-Coolant Accident Frequencies in the Risk-Informed Resolution of Generic Safety Issue 191. 2016 American Nuclear Society Student Conference; 2016; University of Wisconsin-Madison: American Nuclear Society.
  • Sakurahara T, Reihani SA, Mohaghegh Z, Brandyberry M, Kee E, Rodgers S, Billings MA, Johnson D. Integrated PRA methodology to advance fire risk modeling for nuclear power plants. European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL); Zurich, Switzerland: CRC Press; 2015.
  • Miller I, Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, Whitacre J, Kee E, editors. Using GIS to integrate social factors with level 3 PRA for emergency response. European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL); 2015; Zurich, Switzerland: CRC Press.
  • Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E, editors. Risk-informed emergency response via spatio-temporal socio-technical risk analysis. European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL); 2015; Zurich, Switzerland: CRC Press.
  • O'Shea N, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E, Fleming K, Lydell B. Analyzing Non-Piping Location-Specific LOCA Frequency for Risk-Informed Resolution of Generic Safety Issue 191. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA); Sun Valley, ID: American Nuclear Society; 2015. p. 499-508.
  • Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, Dang V, Ostroff C, Kee E, Hubenak R, Billings MA, editors. Quantifying Organizational Factors in Human Reliability Analysis Using Big Data-Theoretic Algorithm. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA); 2015; Sun Valley, ID: American Nuclear Society.
  • Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, editors. On the Incorporation of Spatio-Temporal Dimensions into Socio-Technical Risk Analysis. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2015); 2015; Sun Valley, ID: American Nuclear Society.
  • O'Shea N, Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E. Physics of Failure, Predictive Modeling & Data Analytics for LOCA Frequency. Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS); Palm Harbor, Florida: IEEE; 2015.
  • Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E, Yilmaz F, Grantom R, Johnson D, editors. Toward Monitoring Organizational Safety Indicators by Integrating Probabilistic Risk Assessment, Socio-Technical Systems Theory, and Big Data Analytics. 12th International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM12); 2014; Honolulu, HI: International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management.
  • Pence, J. and Mohaghegh, Z., Methodological Foundations for Integrating Socio-Technical Risk Analysis with Big Data Analytics, Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, December 2014
  • Abolhelm M, Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E, Yilmaz F, Johnson D, editors. Toward Demonstrating the Monetary Value of Probabilistic Risk Assessment for Nuclear Power Plants. 12th International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM12); 2014; Honolulu, HI: International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management.
  • Sakurahara T, Reihani SA, Mohaghegh Z, Brandyberry M, Kee E, Johnson D, Rodgers S, Billings MA, editors. Developing a New Fire PRA Framework by Integrating Probabilistic Risk Assessment with a Fire Simulation Module. 12th International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM12); 2014; Honolulu, HI: International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management.
  • Sakurahara T, Reihani S, Ertem M, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E, Johnson D. Analyzing Importance Measure Methodologies for Integrated Probabilistic Risk Assessment. 12th International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM12); Honolulu, HI: International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management; 2014.
  • Sakurahara T, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E, Rodgers S, Brandyberry M, Kazemi R, Reihani SA, editors. A New Integrated Framework to Advance Fire Probabilistic Risk Analysis of Nuclear Power Plants. 2013 Winter Meeting and Embedded Topical Meeting: Risk Management for Complex Socio-Technical Systems; 2013; Washington D.C.: American Nuclear Society.
  • Kee E, Mohaghegh Z, Kazemi R, Reihani S, Letellier B, Grantom R, editors. Risk-Informed Decision Making: Application in Nuclear Power Plant Design & Operation. 2013 Winter Meeting on Transactions and Embedded Topical Meetings: Risk Management for Complex Socio-Technical Systems; 2013; Washington, DC: Transactions of the American Nuclear Society.
  • Elbanna A, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E, Reihani SA, Kazemi R, Rodgers S, editors. Towards Physics-Based Seismic PRA. 2013 Winter Meeting on Transactions and Embedded Topical Meetings: Risk Management for Complex Socio-Technical Systems; 2013; Washington, DC: Transactions of the American Nuclear Society.
  • Mohaghegh Z, Kee E, Reihani SA, Kazemi R, Johnson D, Grantom R, Fleming K, Sande T, Letellier B, Zigler G, Morton D, Tejada J, Howe K, Leavitt J, Hassan YA, Vaghetto R, Lee S, Blossom S, editors. Risk-informed Resolution of Generic Safety Issue 191. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2013); 2013; Columbia, SC: American Nuclear Society.
  • Sande TD, Zigler GL, Kee EJ, Letellier BC, Grantom CR, Mohaghegh Z, editors. The Benefits of Using a Risk-Informed Approach to Resolving GSI-191. 2012 20th International Conference on Nuclear Engineering and the ASME 2012 Power Conference; 2012; Anaheim, CA: American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
  • Mohaghegh Z, Mosleh A, Modarres M. Hybrid Incorporation of Physical & Social Failure Mechanisms into Probabilistic Risk Analysis. 11th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (PSAM-11); Helsinki, Finland: International Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management; 2012.
  • Mohaghegh Z, Modarres M, editors. A Probabilistic Physics-Of-Failure Approach to Common Cause Failures in Reliability Assessment of Structures and Components. 2011 ANS Annual Winter Meeting and Embedded Topical Meetings: 1st ANS SMR 2011 Conference and Young Professionals Congress 2011; 2011; Washington, DC: Transactions of the American Nuclear Society.
  • Mohaghegh, Z. and Modarres, M., Common Cause Failure Modeling Using Probabilistic Physics-Of-Failure (POF) Analysis: A Mechanistic Approach, International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSA 2011), March 2011
  • Mohaghegh Z, Modarres M, Christou A, editors. Physics-Based Common Cause Failure Modeling in Probabilistic Risk Analysis: A Mechanistic Perspective. ASME 2011 Power Conference; 2011; Denver, CO: ASME.
  • Mohaghegh Z, editor. Development of an Aviation Safety Causal Model Using Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA). 10th International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis (PSAM10); 2010 June 6 - June 11; Seattle, WA: International Probabilistic Safety Assessment & Management.
  • Mohaghegh Z, editor. Combining System Dynamics and Bayesian Belief Networks for Socio-Technical Risk Analysis. 2010 IEEE International Conference on Intelligence and Security Informatics; 2010 23-26 May 2010; Vancouver, BC, Canada: IEEE.
  • Mohaghegh Z, editor. Modeling emergent behavior for socio-technical probabilistic risk assessment. Nuclear Plant Instrumentation, Control, and Human-Machine Interface Technologies (NPIC&HMIT 2009); 2009; Knoxville, TN: American Nuclear Society.
  • Mohaghegh Z, Mosleh A, editors. Modeling Organizational Influences for New-Generation Probabilistic Risk Analysis of Technical Systems. Proceedings of Risk Management - For Tomorrow's Challenges; 2009; Washington, DC: American Nuclear Society.
  • Mohaghegh, Z. and Mosleh, A., Socio-Technical Risk Analysis Methodology for Aviation Safety, Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting, December 2009
  • Mohaghegh Z, Mosleh A, editors. Theoretical Foundations for Building Organizational Safety Models for PRA Applications. International Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Analysis, PSA; 2008; Knoxville, TN: American Nuclear Society.
  • Mohaghegh Z, Kazemi R, Mosleh A, editors. A hybrid technique for organizational safety risk analysis. 9th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management, PSAM; 2008; Hong Kong, China: International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management, PSAM.
  • Mohaghegh Z, Mosleh A, editors. Multi-dimensional measurement perspective in modeling organizational safety risk. Proceedings of the European Safety and Reliability Conference 2007, ESREL 2007 - Risk, Reliability and Societal Safety; 2007; Stavanger; Norway.
  • Mohaghegh, Z., Kazemi, R., and Mosleh, A., Incorporating Organizational Dynamic Behavior into System Risk Model, Society for Risk Analysis Annual Meeting, 2006
  • Mohaghegh Z, Mosleh A, editors. A causal modeling framework for assessing organizational factors and their impacts on safety performance. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management, PSAM; 2006; New Orleans, Louisiana: International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management, PSAM.

Pending Articles

  • Bui H, Sakurahara T, Pence J, Reihani S. , Kee E, Mohaghegh Z. Spatio-Temporal Socio-Technical Risk Analysis for Modeling First Responders to Fire in Nuclear Power Plants. Nuclear Technology. (Manuscript Under Journal Review)
  • Pence J, Miller I, Bui H, Whitacre J, Reihani S, Kee E, Zhang S, Mohaghegh Z. Integrating Geographic Information Systems with Level 3 Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Nuclear Power Plants to Advance Modeling of Socio-Technical Systems in Emergency Response Applications. Risk Analysis. (Manuscript Under Journal Review )
  • Bui H, Sakurahara T, Pence J, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E. Integrating Spatio-Temporal Simulations with Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Nuclear Power Plants to Resolve Emergent Regulatory Standards. Reliability Engineering and System Safety. (Manuscript Under Journal Review)
  • Sakurahara T, Schumock G, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E. Spatio-Temporal Probabilistic Methodology for Common Cause Failure Modeling in Integrated Probabilistic Risk Assessment. Reliability Engineering & System Safety. (Manuscript Under Journal Review)
  • Pence J, Farshadmanesh P, Mohaghegh Z, Kee E. Theoretical and Empirical Reasons for Incorporating Organizational Factors into Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Nuclear Power Plants. Risk Analysis. (Manuscript Under Journal Review)
  • Sakurahara T, O'Shea N, Cheng W-C, Zhang S, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E. Spatio-Temporal Probabilistic Methodology to Estimate Location-Specific Loss-of-Coolant Accident Frequencies for Risk-Informed Analysis of Nuclear Power Plants. Reliability Engineering and System Safety. (Manuscript Under Journal Review)
  • Farshadmanesh P, Sakurahara T, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani, S, Kee E. SHAKE-RoverD Framework for Nuclear Power Plants: The Streamlined Approach for Seismic Risk Assessment. Nuclear Technology. (Manuscript Under Journal Review)
  • Pence J, Sakurahara T, Zhu X, Mohaghegh Z, Ertem M, Ostroff C, Kee E. Data-Theoretic Methodology and Computational Platform to Quantify Organizational Factors in Socio-Technical Risk Analysis. Reliability Engineering and System Safety. (Manuscript Under Journal Review)
  • Sakurahara T, Mohaghegh Z, Reihani S, Kee E. Global Importance Measure Methodology for Integrated Probabilistic Risk Assessment Frameworks. Nuclear Engineering and Design (Manuscript Under Journal Review).

Professional Societies

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Member (2007 - Present)
  • American Nuclear Society, Member (2009 - Present)
  • Society for Risk Analysis, Member (2007 - Present)

Teaching Honors

  • Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2016)

Research Honors

  • Dean￿s Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2015)
  • The George Apostolakis Fellowship in Risk Assessment (2012)
  • Zonta International Amelia Earhart Award (2007)

Public Service Honors

  • Recognition for Excellence as Technical Chair of Risk Management Topical Meeting from the American Nuclear Society (2013)

Other Honors

  • Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women's Achievement Award from the American Nuclear Society (2016)