SAFE 2015

6th International Conference on Safety and Security Engineering


6 - 8 May 2015
Opatija, Croatia


SAFE 2015

The sixth International Conference on Safety and Security Engineering took place in Opatija, Croatia, organised by the University of Rome “La Sapienza”; the University of Split and the Wessex Institute. The co-chairmen representing those institutions were, respectively, Professors Fabio Garzia, Dragan Poljak and Carlos A Brebbia.

The meeting followed the success of the other conferences in the series, which started in Rome (2005); followed by Malta (2007); Rome (2009); Antwerp (2011) and Rome (2013).In addition to the above mentioned institutions, the conference was sponsored by the International Journal on Safety and Security Engineering and the International Journal of Energy Production and Management, as well as the WIT Transactions on the Built Environment.

The meeting provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of the most recent developments in the theoretical and practical aspects in the fields of Safety and Security Engineering, which brings together many engineering and scientific disciplines from the traditional to the most technologically advanced.

The diversity of topics is reflected in the contents of the conference volume which cover from technical solutions to human resources, identifying procedures to prevent and mitigate induced or man-made events that can cause damage to people or property.

The conference book is number 151 of the WIT Transactions on the Built Environment. It is being widely distributed throughout the world in paper and digital formats, and the papers are permanently archived in the eLibrary of the Institute (, where they are easily accessible to the international community.

 Opening of the Conference

The conference was opened by Carlos who explained the aims of the Wessex Institute as acting as a centre for transference of technology. This is carried out by a number of activities taking place in the New Forest campus, as well as the conferences themselves. These meetings – Carlos explained – are very important to increase contacts and collaboration amongst participants as well as to give WIT guidelines related to the direction of research and areas which need to be investigated further.

A by-product of the conferences has been the launching of a series of interdisciplinary journals, including the one on Safety and Security Engineering which originated at the first conference in the series, held in Rome in 2005.

Carlos stressed that WIT is also committed to supporting industry through the development of advanced software tools, particularly those based on the boundary element method, a new computational technique by which WIT is renown throughout the world.

Keynote Speakers

Prof Fabio Garzia then explained how the conference started. The first meeting took place in Rome in 2005 and every other two years in other parts of the world. The conference led to the idea of launching a journal which is now the very successful International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering. After that, Prof Dragan Poljak welcomed the delegates to Croatia and described the collaboration of his group with Wessex Institute. He also referred to the many attractions that can be found in Opatija and its surrounding region.

He then proceeded to deliver his keynote address on the sensitivity of the human body to electromagnetic (EM) radiation. He stressed the importance of building computational models to investigate the effects of EM waves on the human body. This work started as a research collaboration project with Wessex Institute using boundary elements. This led to the understanding of how different parts of the human body react to EM radiation and compared the results to the recommended maximum dosimetry. Thereafter computational methods led to better models and the development of realistic mannequins representing the human body, including models of the main internal organs. The research was extended in a Wessex Institute PhD thesis to represent different stages in pregnancy, investigating the exposure of the foetus to EM waves.

Dragan referred to how different organs react to electromagnetic effects, including the eyes which are very sensitive due to their blood supply. Dragan explained that by using BEM and, when needed, a hybrid combination of BEM and FEM, the properties of the different organs can be represented.

The case of the human brain was also studied using boundary elements. This was done to investigate the changes of the brain response to EM waves due to mobile technologies and other devices. The temperature increase caused by these high frequencies should not exceed recommended thresholds.

Nevertheless, the effect of EM stimulation on the brain can also be positive and Dragan referred to a method of nervous excitation which is now being proposed for medical use. Applications are for mapping studies, and in treating mental diseases. Research continues in transcranial magnetic stimulation. The work aims to develop a more detailed geometrical model of the brain, taking into account non homogenous tissues and complex structures.

Dragan concluded that an extension of the work will be carried out to analyse the behaviour of nerves using an Athena type model.

Special Session

In addition, Prof Elena Rada from the University of Trento in Italy organised a Special Session on Safety and Security in Water, Wastewater and Waste Plants, consisting of the following presentations:

“Safety and reliability in biogas plants”, by Vincenzo Torretta, Insubria University of Varese, Italy.

“Reliability analysis and assessment of the explosion risk in a hybrid collector”, by Marco Schiavon University of Trento, Italy.

“Water supply systems security: novel technologies for the online monitoring of unforeseeable events”, by Andrea Capodaglio, University of Pavia, Italy.

 Invited Presentations

The conference programme included some invited presentations by well-known colleagues, as follows:

"Electromagnetic-thermal analysis of human exposure to EM radiation”, by Dragan Poljak, University of Split, Croatia.

"FDS + Evac models and cryogenic and oxygen deficiency emergency management for underground facilities in Gran Sesso National Laboratories”, by Robert Perruzza, Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, Italy

“Early warning system for the prevention and control of unauthorized accesses to air navigation services infrastructures”, by Fabio Garzia, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy.

“An investigation into HSE educational programs in the USA”, by Generik Reniers, University of Antwerp, Belgium.

“Methods of health risk assessment for human exposure to high frequency electromagnetic fields”, by Hrvoje Dodig, University of Split, Croatia.

“Potential improvements for safer fuel tanks: experimental tests”, by Andrea Galbiati, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.

Conference Topics

The papers presented at SAFE 2015 were classified under the following topics::

  • Risk analysis, assessment and management
  • Critical infrastructure protection
  • Emergency response
  • Security surveillance systems
  • Human factors
  • Modelling and experiments
  • Systems safety

Conference Dinner

The conference dinner started with a boat trip around the harbour and coastline of Opatija, showing the delegates what made this one of the most beautiful cities in Dalmatia. Participants were offered a selection of drinks, including some local specialities. Upon disembarkation, they proceeded to the Argonauti Restaurant located on the seafront, in one of the most elegant palaces of Opatija. The hotel, which used to be the holiday residence of a rich family at the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, conserves many of the unique period features, including some frescoes in the room where the banquet took place. The dinner consisted of a series of local specialities accompanied by regional wines, and the occasion was unique in creating a friendly atmosphere.

The International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) of the conference met to discuss how to improve the meeting when it is reconvened in 2017. New topics of research were discussed to be incorporated in the Call for Papers, as well as some of the nominations to the ISAC. The next conference will take place in Rome, as is usually the case in alternate years.

The other topic of discussion was the International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering, now in its fifth year of publication. Carlos reported that the Journal is doing well and has received many excellent contributions. It is hoped that the number of contributions will continue to increase as the Journal becomes better established.

Closing of the Conference

The conference was closed by Carlos who expressed his appreciation for the work done by the two other co-chairs, Dragan and Fabio, and which resulted amongst other in the production of an excellent book.

Conference Proceedings

The proceedings of SAFE 2015 – Safety and Security Engineering VI, 432pp (Print ISBN: 978-1-84564-928-9; eISBN: 978-1-84564-929-6) are available from WIT Press. Orders can be placed on the WIT Press web site at or by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223 or fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853.

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary in Volume 151 of WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1746-4498 Digital ISSN: 1743-3509). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at

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SAFE 2015 - 6 - 8 May, 2015 Photos