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Technical Program

Australian System Safety Conference 2020

Adelaide. 26th - 27th May 2020

Conference Theme

"Complex Systems: Can We Keep It Safe Anymore?"


The Australian System Safety Conference (ASSC) is organised by the Australian Safety Critical Systems Association (aSCSa), a Special Interest Group of the Australian Computer Society. ​

The theme for the 2020 conference is “Complex Systems: Can We Keep It Safe Anymore?”. With systems becoming more integrated, networked, and complex – incorporating new/emerging technologies, automation, autonomy, and artificial intelligence – ‘system of systems’ challenges such as emergent behaviour, cybersecurity, and human factors become more prominent.

  • Are traditional Safety by Design programs and system review constructs sufficient?

  • How do we understand and analyse these complex systems and architectures?

  • How do we provide safety assurance for complex, emergent behaviour, and potentially adaptive systems?

  • How do we ensure cybersecurity and human factors issues are adequately assessed and integrated with the safety program?


The 2020 ASSC would like to examine and share the latest thinking on the state of the art and its fitness for purpose.

We invite research papers and project experience to present and engage.

Topics of Interest

The conference invites original and unpublished works that advance the state-of-the-art in safety and security considerations for the development and operation of safety and security critical systems. We are particularly interested in cross-industry and cross-pollenisation, and looking for papers in:

  • Medicine and health (medical devices, e-health systems, etc.)

  • Transport

  • Defence and Aviation

  • Telecommunications

  • Energy

  • Security

  • Resource and process industries

  • Emergency services.

Delegates have the option of submitting two types of papers:

  1. Refereed Papers by the conference program committee

  2. Industry Presentations/Papers (not subject to peer review)

Both types of papers are published on the conference website, and if sufficient papers are submitted, published in the Journal of Safety and Reliability Society.


  • Abstracts should be approximately 250 words.

  • For delegates who optionally submit a full paper - papers should be no more than 10 pages.

  • Paper submissions can be emailed to program "at"

Important Dates

  • Abstract: Fri 17th Jan 2020 (text, rtf, MS-Word or pdf) 

  • Submission: 20th Mar 2020 (rtf, MS-Word or pdf) 

  • Camera-ready copy: 15th May 2020 (pdf only) 


 Submit a Paper 



All fees as listed above are in AUS Dollars and GST inclusive.

For questions about registration, contact George Nikandros at secretary "at"

Conference registration fees (except as noted) includes attendance at all technical sessions on Tuesday & Wednesday, luncheons, special Tuesday evening event and entertainment, and the conference proceedings.




Chris Johnson is Professor and Head of Computing at the University of Glasgow. His work focuses on the cyber security of safety-critical national infrastructures.  This creates unique challenges; you cannot halt all aircraft on approach to hub airports while you conduct a forensic investigation.  He has some 300 peer reviewed publications.

Prof. Johnson was technical lead advising the Department for Transport on the cyber security of aviation infrastructures, assessing supply chain resilience for all UK airlines and airports.

He has held two fellowships from NASA and two fellowships from the US Air Force.  He worked with the US Navy/Federal Aviation Administration on network monitoring for safety and security.  He chaired the US Department of Homeland Security NWO research panel on industrial cyber security.

Johnson’s lab is funded by a number of UK companies/Ministry of Defence and has the ability to replay elements of the cyber-attacks on Ukraine, to assess their impact on UK critical infrastructures.   He worked with the US government’s Pacific North Western Labs under contract to the United Nations supporting the cyber security of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear facilities around the globe.

Professor and Head of Computing Science at Glasgow University

Prof. Chris Johnson

Trish Williams Photo small 500KB.jpg

Professor Trish Williams is a leader in research and innovation in digital health. Trish is Cisco Chair and Professor of Digital Health Systems at Flinders University, co-director of Flinders Digital Health Research Centre, and established the Digital Health IOT Laboratory at Flinders.

Internationally recognised in her field, Trish applies 30 years’ experience in healthcare computing to research and practical outcomes in cybersecurity, health IoT, mobile health, medical devices, governance, patient safety, and health software safety. A passionate contributor and advocate for digital health informatics standards, Trish is co-chair HL7 International Security Workgroup and national expert on health informatics , security and medical device ISO standards. She has authored over 130 medical information security and safety publications.

With a community focus, she contributes to NPS MedicineWise Data Governance Committee, the HISA Board (2014-2020), and devotes time to the practical assessment of boutique gin and full bodied red wine!

Professor of Digital Health Systems College of Science and Engineering

Prof. Trish Williams


Jerry is working with the Office of Commercial Space Transportation on regulatory reform to streamline regulations for commercial space flight. Working with FAA and other agencies on higher fidelity models to allow more effective use of shared airspace between aircraft and space launches.

Vice President, ACTA, Torrance, CA

Jerry Haber


Aaron L. Copeland is Director of Programs and Engineering, and co-leader for Northrop Grumman’s enterprise campaign for business growth in Australia.  He is responsible for leading the enhancement of the company’s capabilities to create integrated competitive solutions in the Australian market in response to customer needs across multiple mission areas - including aircraft systems, undersea systems, space systems, sensor systems, cyber security & intelligence solutions and integrated C4ISR solutions.

Copeland most recently was the Director of Advanced Programs & Engineering Operations at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. 

Prior to that, Copeland served as the Director of Systems Engineering at Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.  In this role, he was responsible for an organization of approximately 2,000 engineers providing systems engineering, product support and field engineering capabilities in support of the company’s ongoing programs.

Copeland also held positions at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, which included Director of a business operating unit for Military Aircraft International Programs - including the U.S. Navy’s E-2 Advanced Hawkeye aircraft system, Director of Program Integration for the Airborne Early Warning aircraft systems portfolio of programs; Chief of Staff to the Vice President of a business division, and Program Manager for a portfolio of programs in Homeland Security.

Prior to joining Northrop Grumman in 2005, Copeland held various engineering, manufacturing and program management positions at The Boeing Company in Los Angeles, CA - including Director of Space Satellite Systems Engineering, Product Development and Systems Engineering Leader for various commercial and national security space satellite programs, and Deputy Program Manager for NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.
Prior to that, Copeland was Program & Business Unit Leader for an aircraft environmental controls systems business unit at United Technologies Corporation in Hartford, CT that included the U. S. Army’s Comanche helicopter program and various other commercial and military helicopter programs.

Director of Programs & Engineering, Northrup Grumman Australia

Aaron L. Copeland


 Technical Program 

Draft technical program will soon available. 



The conference will be held at The Playford Hotel at 120 North Terrace, Adelaide SA. 

Conference Venue

Dinner venue is to be confirmed.

Dinner Venue

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This page was last updated on 27/11/2019.