3. THE PROJECT CONSORTIUM
The A-Team consortium brings together nine institutions from eight countries. The team combines three academic institutions, Lancaster University, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the Technical University of Catalonia with six partners from private industry that are all active in the area of training, multi-media systems, and safety engineering and related training and consultancy. The team will work with a number of public institution and private companies that will server as the test users.
The team combines a considerable range of diverse experience and backgrounds, that is well matched with the work package partner responsibilities:
Description of the participants
Environmental Software & Services GmbH (ESS) was founded in 1995 as a direct continuation of the Advanced Computer Applications (ACA) project of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria. Since 1985, ACA has worked on more than 25 environmental projects in 14 countries. The primary mission of ESS is to bring the best available scientific knowledge to bear on environmental planning and management problems, using state-of-the-art information technology.
ESS designs, develops, and deploys customised environmental information systems, and provides training and continuing support worldwide. The company's include high-performance simulation and optimisation models, GIS, and expert systems integrated in a distributed client- server architecture with a multi-media user interface and Internet/Intranet support are the main products for environmental management applications. This includes project for technological risk management with examples in the Netherlands (in collaboration with RIVM), and Switzerland for the Canton Basel.
In addition to its work for institutional clients world wide, ESS has been participating in a number of research projects in the 4th Framework, notably in the INCO-DC Program with GAIA, an environmental information system based on Agenda 21 for sustainable development (as co- ordinator), in the Environmental Telematics project ECOSIM (as co-ordinator) on Urban Environmental Management, and in the ESPRIT HPCN project SIMTRAP on traffic and air quality management (as partner). ESS is currently participating in the INFO 2000 project AIR-EIA, on multi-media information resources for the domain of air quality management and environmental impact assessment.
ESS is also the co-ordinating and lead partner for systems architecture and integration in HITERM, an Esprit HPCN project that deals with technological risk assessment, in collaboration with SYRECO and ASIT.
Chiron, Sistemas de Informacao Lda is a European SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) committed to the development of information systems. Chiron' s roots originate in the university environment, as the company was created as a spin-off of UNINOVA, one of the Institutes of the School of Sciences and Technology of the New University of Lisbon, back in 1996. Since then the company has experienced healthy growth rates greater than 100% (for more details see www.chiron.pt.
Chiron' s ultimate values established at its inception determine that the company will have a global scope. The fact that NASA was the client number 1 helped to consolidate this goal. Since 1996 has been involved in international projects, both in USA and Europe. Since 1997 Chiron is responsible for one European project, Mutate (see mutate.chiron.pt). Previous projects carried out by the CHIRON team include:
Det Norske Veritas (DNV) is an independent, autonomous foundation with mission to safeguard life, the environment and property. It was initially established in Norway in 1864 while, currently, it operates over 300 offices in 100 countries and has a staff of about 4,400. DNV provides services to the world's process, offshore, maritime and general industries, and to national authorities. The main business areas in DNV worldwide are as follows:
DNV has an exemplary track record in Europe and across the world, as a provider of independent advice and high quality services and it recognised as a leader in the development and application of risk assessment techniques to novel, uncertain and difficult issues. The company full-time staff includes the following:
As an independent foundation DNV invests a substantial proportion of its revenue into R&D within a dedicated division, DNV Research, which works for clients across the world. DNV invests an average of 7% of its total turnover into R&D related to its mission, i.e. around 40 million ECU, while additional funding is provided from individual clients and joint industry projects. DNV Software's main software products PHAST/SAFETI, NEPTUNE, SESAM and NAUTICUS, are used in more than 30 countries world-wide by 1000 organisations in various sectors (Oil and Gas, Petrochemical, Chemical Manufacture, Marine Industry, Governments and Regulators, Local Authorities, Consultancy and Design Services, Insurance Companies). DNV Software aims at being a preferred provider of structural and hydrodynamic analysis and risk management software (for Hazard Identification, Frequency analysis, Consequence Modeling and Quantitative Risk Analysis). DNV software is used to support critical engineering and management decisions, for example: siting of chemical process facilities; reliability and availability of engineering systems; structural integrity of offshore installation designs and oil tanker hulls. All DNV software is therefore developed and tested to the very highest of standards. PHAST and SAFETI Professional are established programs for process consequence analysis (with dispersion, fire and explosion models) and quantified risk assessment. These programs have been developed over the last 10 to 15 years and have been extensively used by the Industry and the Regulators around the world. Nearly 10 million ECU have been invested in the development of SAFETI.
OHRAT is a risk assessment toolkit, including a library of consequence analysis and risk assessment models, using an Oracle database management system and running under the X- windows / SCO UNIX operating system. NEPTUNE, a new toolkit released in 1999, took the best of OHRAT but modified the architecture and converted to the Windows NT operating system. ORBIT combines detailed failure frequency models and consequence analysis models to produce optimum chemical industry inspection schedules.
SMEDIS European project for Model Evaluation (Scientific Model Evaluation of dense gas DISpersion models) 1996-1999. SMEDIS is evaluating the state of the art of the dense gas dispersion models used in Europe. DNV participated with dispersion models used in the programs PHAST/ SAFETI (UDM), OHRAT and WHAZAN. MHA-BE European Project (Major Hazard Analysis Benchmark Exercise) Parts 1 and 2. MHA-BE has been assessing the state of the art of the chemical risk assessment and the associated uncertainties through the use of industrial benchmark problems. SAFECO European project. SAFECO aims to improve the safety of shipping in coastal waters by quantifying the effects of the main design and operating factors on safety levels. DNV is incorporating the results into a comprehensive marine risk software model, based on DNV's MARCS (Marine Accident Risk Calculation System).
Schiphol airport air-crash risk assessment. DNV assessed risks to persons living around Schiphol arising from aircraft crashes. DNV developed a novel method and software and applied it to several other airports during the 1990s.
EMDROPS software development for use by Norwegian offshore operators to assess the level of environmental risk from offshore oil spillages. Finite Elements Analysis (FEA) Software Development. DNV has more than 25 years of experience in the development and use of FEA. The main software products for these applications, SESAM and NAUTICUS, are used by 300 organisations in more than 30 countries world-wide for hydrostatic and hydrodynamic analysis of loads, linear and non-linear, static and dynamic structural analysis of stresses and probabilistic analysis using PROBAN.
The Knowledge Engineering and Machine Learning Group (http://www-lsi.upc.es/~webia/gr- SBC/KEMLG.html) belongs to the Software Department of the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC). The group has been active in the Artificial Intelligence field since 1988. The group has 8 researchers (7 with tenure tracks), 8 Ph.D. students and more than 15 students doing their final projects under our direction. The main fields of interest are the Knowledge Engineering and Management, Machine Learning and Knowledge Representation. The group has made contributions mainly in Case-Based Reasoning, Causal Reasoning using Possibilistic approach, Knowledge Representation and Non-supervised Learning.
In the area of machine learning research is concerned with the development of a Knowledge Acquisition Tool for second-generation Knowledge Based Systems LINNEO+ (Unsupervised learning). With this purpose an automatic rule base generator is being developed using Induction, Conceptual Clustering Algorithms, the definition of Potential Relevance, and automatic expert consensus generation. The studies about Conceptual Clustering algorithms take place in collaboration with the Institut d'Investigacion en Intelligencia Artificial (IIIA) and the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV). Major applications include: Metal Pathologies Classification; Sponge Classification; and Wastewater treatment plant management. The core of these projects was supported by the Spanish research council CICYT. Research in Knowledge-Based Systems is concerned with the development of new techniques for their design, employing new concepts in the field like automatic knowledge acquisition, relevance attribute concepts and distributed systems. Main interests are:
The group has studied the wastewater treatment plant control and management modeled by a knowledge-based control system. It has been developed a software prototype for the water line. Work is continuing on the development of a real-time distributed supervisor system for wastewater treatment plants management as well as the design of a distributed architecture for real-time process control. The work is in collaboration with the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Laboratory (UdG) and the WWTP group of the Chemical Engineering Department (UAB) and Aig\201es de Manresa S.A. Corporation.
Integrated AI architectures is concerned with the development of different AI techniques and methods, such as knowledge acquisition, rule-based knowledge, case-based reasoning, model-based reasoning, and their later integration on a single knowledge-based architecture for complex real-world systems. It has been developed an unsupervised Knowledge Acquisition tool called LINNEO+ using induction processes and conceptual clustering algorithms. Also a second generation Expert System shell and an open Case-Based Reasoning system shell prototypes are being developed. Currently, a Model-Based Reasoning paradigm is being studied: a temporal model of transition networks for real-world systems modeling the predictive knowledge.
This kind of integrated architecture has been addressed to a complex environmental system: Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) supervision and control management. For this domain, a prototype architecture called DAI-DEPUR has been designed. This application is built-up with a strong collaboration with two other research groups: the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Laboratory (UdG) and the WWTP group of the Chemical Engineering Department (UAB) and several industrial partners. UPCs interest to apply AI techniques to the Environmental Sciences led us to organise, within the frame of ECAI98, a workshop on Binding Environmental Sciences and Artificial Intelligence (http://www.lsi.upc.es/~webia/besai/besai98.html). As first result we were able to identify the European groups working this field and we were invited to edit an special issue on Binding Environmental Sciences and Artificial Intelligence with the best papers of this workshop for the Journal of Environmental Modelling & Software edited by Elsevier Science (to appear in the summer of 99).
Also the International Journal on Applied Intelligence, edited by Kluwer Academic Publishers, invited team members to edit a special issue on Artificial Intelligence and Environmental Applications that will appear in 1999. Currently, the group is organising in the frame of AAAI99 the workshop on Environmental Decision Support Systems and Artificial Intelligence (http://www.lsi.upc.es/~webia/besai/edssai99.html).
UPCs major area of expertise is in the development of Environmental Decision Support Systems (EDSS) using Artificial Techniques. In particular, during the last 10 years the group has been working in the area of Urban Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP) and more specifically on those that have as a technological basis the activated sludge. From the point of view of Artificial Intelligence applied to the project needs and specification, UPCs contributes specific expertise in the areas of Expert Systems, Non-Supervised Learning and Cased-Based Reasoning and Learning and its application to intelligent agents. The group has been part of the Human Capital Mobility Virtual Multicomputer Project. (VIM). Contract No: ERBCHRXCT930401,. and also of the project Telematics, Hypermedia and Artificial Intelligence (THAI) is a proposal for a cross- disciplinary Masters level programme within the framework of the SOCRATES programme.
Environment Transport & Planning is a consultancy and engineering organisation 100% focused on the assessment, analysis and solution of environmental issues and problems. Currently the organisation has offices in Madrid (where the Madrid office and the corporate headquarters are), Malaga (Andalucia), Santander (Cantabria) and Lisbon (Portugal).
The organisation was initially established in Madrid in 1990. Environment Transport & Planning is recognised in the Iberian market as a leading organisation. The organisation has grown to comprise at present some 50 full time employees. Of these, today 80% are based in the Madrid office, but there is a tendency for offices outside Madrid to grow faster now and one can expect this share to change in the near future. Almost all employees, except support personnel, have Masters or Ph.D. degrees in engineering, science, economics or law. ETS has made a consistent effort to keep a multi-disciplinary and, when possible, multinational team. ETPS is independent of any industrial or economic interest group. The line of services includes managerial and technological oriented products. On the one hand ETP provide expertise in the area of Environmental Management, including Environmental Management Systems, Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Auditing, Analysis of Environmental Sustainability and others similar tools. On the other hand, the company also provides hard core technical expertise in a number of areas including: site assessment and re-mediation, emission reduction schemes, operation of air quality monitoring systems, design of industrial waste water treatment plants, design of waste management facilities, waste management plants, energy saving programs and the use of a number of computer simulation tools for modeling pollution dispersion and risk assessment. Currently, about one third of the company income comes from export activities (activities outside the Iberian Peninsula). This mainly includes consulting activities in South America, Eastern European Countries and quite notably European Commission funded programs.
Environment Transport & Planning is now part of EuroCord, a Grouping of top environmental, transport and economic consultants in Europe. Julia Perez-Cerezo, Chairwoman of Environment Transport & Planning is also Chairwoman of EuroCord. Environment Transport & Planning is associated to a number of professional local and international associations and we are members of several official working groups at a number of institutions both at European and National levels. ETP client base consists of three main groups: Private clients in Spain, Portugal and abroad. Typically, clients in this group would include major oil, chemical, automobile and utility companies.
Several of ETP's projects have got to do with improving quality of life in urban environments, some have got to do with developing new cleaner production technologies or energy saving strategies, others are background work needed for developing new environmental regulations and policies.
The Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering (LHTEE) belongs to the Energy Section, of the Mechanical Engineering Department of Aristotle University Thessaloniki (AUT), Greece. Having been founded in 1990, the Laboratory has a long record of research and consulting activities, both at national and international level. Most of these activities are related to the protection of the atmospheric environment. Furthermore, LHTEE conducts research and provides consulting services in the areas of environmental management, energy economics and waste management. In all these fields the Laboratory has established bilateral scientific collaborations with several institutions throughout the world and is actively involved in organising scientific events at a national and international scale.
A large part of LHTEE activities is directed towards a better understanding of atmospheric transport phenomena, particularly as regards the description of air pollutant transport and transformation at the local-to-regional scale. Work in this field includes the development and application of air quality models as well as conducting and analysing field experiments. A specific field of activity includes the development of models for the appropriate description and prediction of air pollution dispersion quantities. In this direction and in relation to the project objectives, details regarding models MEMO, MIMO and CFX-TASKFlow are mentioned below.
The mesoscale model MEMO has been developed by AUT/LHTEE in collaboration with the Institute for Technical Thermodynamics of the University of Karlsruhe. MEMO is a prognostic mesoscale model, which allows describing the air motion over complex terrain. MEMO allows performing "telescopic" simulations, via nesting. As one of the core models of the European Zooming Model, MEMO has been successfully applied for various European airsheds including the Upper Rhine Valley and the areas of Heilbronn, Basel, Graz, Barcelona, Lisbon, Madrid, Milano, London, Cologne, Lyon, The Hague and Athens.
MIMO is a prognostic microscale model, which allows describing the air motion near complex building structures and industrial installations. The model is currently used for the simulation of the flow fields and the dispersion and transformation of pollutants around building aggregates and within street canyons and can also be used in the areas of industrial installations. In addition, LHTEE also contributes to formulating systems for integrated quantitative and qualitative analyses of the environment in urban and industrial areas and for retrospective analyses and for environmental planning purposes, in the following thematic categories: Urban air quality studies, prediction of urban air quality trends, air pollution exposure assessments, assessment of environmental policy instruments, smog forecasting, environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies, airport studies and support of air quality legislation.
The Laboratory is closely related to EUROTRAC, the main European research programme dealing with atmospheric sciences. Amongst other activities, the Laboratory co-ordinates SATURN, a EUROTRAC-2 subproject which focuses on atmospheric pollution in urban areas. Since 1994, LHTEE has contributed significantly towards the activities of the European Topic Centre on Air Quality, which is part of the European Environment Agency.
Another area of LHTEE's activities includes Environmental Telematics. Activities in this field aim at the development and application of WWW-based applications for air quality simulation and management. In addition, up-to-date networking (via http, tele-transmission etc.) is combined with contemporary informatics methodologies in the following thematic areas: Urban environmental management, improved reporting of environmental information, air pollution related environmental impact assessment issues and environmental monitoring telemetry systems. LHTEE has been involved up to now in about 40 research programmes (in their majority competitive). This involvement includes major state of the art projects regarding the investigation of urban air pollution and multiple case studies like the AutoOil study, the Heilbronn experiment, the Athens 2004 Air Quality Study and many others. In addition, LHTEE has participated in two Environmental Telematics projects (ECOSIM, past, IRENIE, ongoing), while co- ordinating the INFO 2000 project AIR-EIA, that develops multi-media information resources for the domain of air quality management and environmental impact assessment (details and many more project area descriptions are available at http://aix.meng.auth.gr). Last but not least, LHTEE is responsible for eight pre-graduate courses in the Mechanical Engineering Department, while also supervising about ten doctoral candidates in the frame of their post-graduate studies. In all its fields of research the Laboratory has established bilateral scientific collaborations with several institutions throughout the world and is actively involved in organising scientific events at a national and international scale. Finally, LHTEE also participates in academic exchange programmes with various foreign Universities.
SYRECO s.r.l. is an engineering consultancy firm specialised in the development of industrial risk analyses, environmental impact assessment, emergency planning and management, software development for scientific applications, and problem solving models supporting managerial and decision-making involving the safety, reliability, availability and control of industrial plants. The company ranks among Italy's foremost engineering consultancy firms in its development of original methods and research tools for leading national and international companies and agencies.
SYRECO s.r.l was founded in 1982 with the mission of developing methodology and computer tools for nuclear and industrial risk analysis. As an engineering consulting, the firm specialises in industrial risk analysis, environmental impact assessment, emergency planning and management and software development in support of industrial planning and management for safety, reliability, availability, and control of process plants. SYRECO offers its specialised support to engineering firms, industries, service companies and public control agencies with:
SYRECO's 12-members staff (10 university graduates and 2 technicians) is supported by external specialists for dealing with client's special problems. SYRECO offers a unique know-how in risk analyses, environmental impact assessment, reliability and availability analyses and decision support able to deal with a wide range of design and management problems.
SYRECO will contribute its industrial experience to the definition and design phase of the project in collaboration with the regional end users, both governmental and industrial. SYRECO will support a regional case study for the industrial area of Ponte S.Pietro (Bergamo, Italy) where a number of Seveso-class chemical plants are sited and for which a complete risk assessment was performed by SYRECO from 1987 to 1994.
ASIT (Safety and Information Systems in Transport Ltd.) is an independent company situated in Berne, Switzerland, which is active internationally in the following sectors:
ASIT was founded in 1987 by traffic and information systems engineers and local engineering companies. It is owned by leading employees and the founders. Flexibility, exceptional performance and profound technical knowledge are what set our people apart, along with proven team effort and good ties to competent partners. ASIT also stays in close contact with selected partner firms with which we offer a wide range of solutions. The ASIT team is made up of over twenty experts from the natural and engineering sciences (chemistry, geology, biology, and traffic, mechanical and cultural engineering), economics, computer science and electronics.
In the field of environment, risk, and safety ASIT is primarily active in projects being related to legislation of environmental protection and transport (Ordinance for the protection against major accidents [StFV], ordinance on the handling of hazardous waste materials [VVS], chemical substances [StoV], and the transport of dangerous goods by road [ADR] or by rail [RID]). ASIT works in projects concerning qualitative risk and safety analyses of transport routes, the assessment of risks for the transport of dangerous materials by road or by rail, right through to the planning of safety measures. Projects from the sector of environmental impact studies for new road or rail links including risk assessment, safety planning and also projects in the sector between the transport of dangerous materials and applications in traffic telematics round off our field of activities.
ASIT offers services primarily as consultants, specialists, or experts. In many cases ASIT acts as staff organ for federal and cantonal execution authorities. We are also offering various products to our clients. Our clients include Swiss federal offices, cantonal administrations, local authorities and intervention services (chemical intervention forces, fire fighters and police), as well as industrial companies in Switzerland and Germany. ASIT develops telematics applications by participation in several national and international projects. The specific fields of interest are: electronic road pricing; application of telematics for the safety of dangerous goods transports; acquisition, computing and communication of traffic information
The management of road maintenance is an increasingly important task. ASIT develops and sells systems for acquisition, processing and management of data of accidents and traffic infrastructure. ASIT is also involved in national federal and cantonal projects concerning road databases.
ASIT develops database-related applications and products as support of the other subject areas. In the field of geographic information, which has an increasing importance for the analysis of specific problems, a map-display system (ASIT-view) has been developed. This system has proved to be worthwhile in many customer-specific projects. A further important task of ASIT is consultancy and instruction in the field of informatics and geoinformatics for private and public clients.
Centre for Studies in Advanced Learning Technology, UK
The Center for Studies in Advanced Learning Technology (CSALT) is one of Europes leading centres for the application of technology to learning and training. Its experienced staff have been involved in European Community funded consortial projects for over 10 years. They have a wide range of experience in multi-disciplinary research collaboration with industrial partners. This has been centered around a major interest in applying the latest information and communication technology to learning and training in the work-place whether by individuals, teams, or organisations.; Lancaster University is one of the UK's leading centres for innovative inter-disciplinary research in educational, social and computing sciences and regularly falls within the top ten of UK research universities. CSALT is located within the Educational Research department, a top research graded department within the UK.
Research within CSALT is concerned with instructional design and the support of good practice in the use of artificial intelligence techniques in simulation based training in industry, and the use of technology in continuing professional development and higher education.
This is complemented by the research-led ALT (Advanced Learning Technology) Programme, that provides continuing professional development for training managers and professionals in technology-based learning. The course has been running since the late 1980's and it is continually being updated to incorporate advances in technology and in training practice. It is a distance learning course that makes use of e.g. world wide web, conferencing systems and video-conferencing technology for tutorial support.
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