Third International Conference on Safety and Security Engineering

pcr2.jpg1 - 3 July 2009
Rome, Italy

 Overview & Opening Address

safe09.jpgThe 3rd International Conference on Safety and Security Engineering (SAFE/09) was recently held at the University of Rome La Sapienza, organised by that Institution and the Wessex Institute of Technology of the UK.

The Co-Chairman and Co-Editors of the conference book were Professors Massimo Guarascio and Fabio Garzia from the University of Rome and Professor Carlos Brebbia, Director of the Wessex Institute.

Safety and Security Engineering, due to its interdisciplinary area of research and applications that bring together, in a systematic way, many disciplines of engineering, from the most traditional to the most advanced and novel.

Safety and Security Engineering presents a totally new approach since it first analyses the hazard control, not only by means of traditional tools but also by using risk analysis techniques.  It then manages, by means of technical solutions, installations, systems, human resources and procedures to prevent and face incidental events, both natural and man-made.

This means that Safety and Security Engineering uses a systematic and multidisciplinary approach to the problems needing to be solved, decomposing them into elementary parts, studying their relationships and interactions and finding a final optimal solution that takes into account all the multiple aspects of the complex system.

Nowadays, most processes must integrate safety and security aspects from the outset to ensure that the required standards are reached.

Patrizio Vestroni, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, University of Rome La Sapienza, opened the conference in the name of his School.  He stressed the importance of Safety and Security, and in particular, the new Course coordinated by Prof Massimo Guarascio.  Patrizio also hoped that the delegates would have time to see some of Rome and the many sites the city has to offer.

safe_pcr2.jpgMassimo Guarascio then welcomed the delegates to the Conference, explaining the work done at his Department regarding training and research activities, in particular the new course on Safety and Security Engineering which has proved highly successful in terms of the number and quality of students.

Following these addresses, Carlos Brebbia spoke to the delegates about the work carried out at the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT), referring in particular to the objectives of WIT to act as a bridge between academia, research organisations and industry.  Furthermore, Carlos explained, in the last few years WIT has tried to reach other fields, including the humanities.  This has been a direct consequence of the importance attached to finding practical solutions to the many problems facing society today.

Carlos also referred to the excellent relations that WIT has enjoyed for many years with the University of Rome, with which several projects have been carried out, as well as the organisation of courses and conferences.  More recently, WIT has collaborated with Massimo Guarascio’s research group and that led to the first Safety and Security Conference in 2005, also held in Rome.

 Eminent Scientist Award

At the end of his introductory remarks, Carlos expressed his appreciation to Massimo Guarascio as follows:

“I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words in honour of the main Co-Chairman of this Conference, our friend and colleague, Professor Massimo Guarascio.

“Massimo is a Full Professor Safety Engineering at this prestigious University of Rome “La Sapienza”.  He is also Head of the Safety and Security Engineering Degree, which he was instrumental in launching.

“Massimo graduated as a Mining Engineer at the University of La Sapienza before completing a PhD at the equally prestigious Ecole des Mines in Paris.

“He is renowned throughout the world for his work on Occupational Safety, Risk Analysis in Mines and  Building Sites, Railway Safety and other topics closely related to that of our Conference.

“He has served and continues to serve on important national and international committees, including representing the University in the Mediterranean Association of Engineering Schools, National Consortium for Transport and Logistics, the World Research Association, Italian Ministerial committees and in meetings with many industrial partners.

safe_pcr4.jpg“Massimo combines the qualities of an outstanding researcher with those of a practical engineer.  He is also a teacher who has helped to initiate a new discipline and in particular has helped to emerge a modern generation of engineers in the area of safety and security.

“In view of these achievements, I would like to take this opportunity, in the name of this Conference and our Institute, to present Massimo with the Eminent Scientist Medal that WIT awards each year to some of the best researchers and teachers in the world.

“In Italy this Medal has been awarded to such distinguished Italian colleagues as Prof P. Santini, Professor of Acoustics at this University; Professor Luigia Binda of the University of Milano; Professor Daniele de Wrachien from the University of Milano; Professor Enzo Tiezzi of the University of Siena; and other figures of such international standard.

“Massimo, please accept this Medal as a symbol of our esteem and recognition of your pioneering work in the field of Safety and Security Engineering.”

Massimo received the Medal and diploma corresponding to the Eminent Scientist Award.  Carlos then declared the technical sessions of the Conference open.

 Conference Sessions

SAFE continued to act as a forum for the presentation and discussion of the most recent developments in the theoretical and practical aspects of Safety and Security Engineering.  The Conference papers were classified under the following topics:
  • safe_pcr1.jpgInfrastructure protection
  • Risk analysis, assessment and management
  • Public safety and security
  • Homeland security
  • Surveillance systems
  • Engineering practice
  • Safety culture
  • Emergency and disaster management
  • Modelling and theoretical studies
  • Earthquakes
  • Transportation problems
  • Geotechnical problems
  • Railway safety

 Invited Presentations

There was a series of invited presentations, ie:
  • “Forensic study of structures for durability” by M. Holicky, Czech Technical University, Prague
  • “Next generation of supervision systems for public security” by F.X. Josset, Thales Research and Technology, France
  • “How to increase multi-plant collaboration within a chemical cluster and its impact on external domino effect cooperation initiatives” by G.L.L. Reniers, Antwerp University, Belgium
  • “Integrated access control system for ports” by F. Garzia, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy
  • “On the ideal concept of police for Mexico City” by D. Santos Reyes, University of Mixteca, Mexico
  • “Roundabouts for safer roads” by E. de Winne, Ghent University, Belgium
  • “Modelling physical injury to vehicle inhabitants – blast, fragment and acceleration environments resulting from the detonation of IEDs” by F.A. Maestas, Applied Research Associates Inc,USA
  • “Geostatics / reliability based risk analysis of the Vajont landslide” by M. Guarascio, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy
  • “Impact response and ballistic performances of graphitic foams” by G. Janszen, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
  • “Charring rate determination of wood pine profiles submitted to high temperatures” by E.M.M. Fonseca, Instituto Politecnico di Braganca, Portugal
Another highlight of the Conference was an extra keynote address given by Fabio Dattillo, Director of the Advanced Institute for Fire Fighting and Civil Defence who spoke about “Emergency response to L’Aquila earthquake and other defence scenarios”.  He also talked about the increasingly sophisticated services offered by the fire brigade and the importance of international cooperation.

 Social Activities

safe_pcr3.jpgThere were many opportunities for interaction between the delegates.  The coffee breaks took place in the Cloister of the University which were originally those of the famous St. Peter in Vincolo Church next door until the state took the cloisters and attached convent over at the end of the XIXth Century.  Delegates were also offered complimentary buffet lunches in the same beautiful environment.

During the second day of the conference, the participants were invited to visit the Church of S. Pietro where the famous statue of Moses by Michelangelo is kept.  The Dean of Engineering, Prof Vestroni gave a most interesting talk regarding the history behind the famous statue and the relationship between Michelangelo and his partner Pope John II who commissioned the work.  This was followed by a concert given by the Renaissance Mediterranean Group.  The Group played some ancient music pieces in the classical Arabic ud and other old instruments, whose significance was explained by a musicologist.

The Conference dinner took place in a trattoria renowned for its cuisine.  The meal was accompanied by excellent Frascati and Chianti wines.  The food confirmed the culinary standards for which Rome is famous.

 Publication of Papers

safe_book.jpgThe proceedings of Safety and Security Engineering III,704pp (Print ISBN: 1-84564-193-1; On-line ISBN: 1-84564-371-3; Print ISSN: 1746-4498) are available from WIT Press priced at £268/US$482/€348.  Orders can be placed by telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223, fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the WIT Press web site at

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 108 of WIT Transactions on The Built Environment (On-line ISSN: 1743-3509). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at