This thesis describes the development of a computer-aided fault tree synthesis package
for application in the process industries. It builds on the previous research work carried
out in the Plant Engineering Group at Loughborough University. The emphasis has been
put on describing the underlying methodology as opposed to the actual computer
The methodology described was developed by modelling a number of "real" systems,
which had already been analysed using manual fault tree construction techniques by
British Gas plc. Additionally a number of standard examples from the literature were
utilised, as well as a large number of contrived examples to fully evaluate the package.
The problems encountered and their solution are described.
The culmination of this project was the implementation of the computer package at the
Midlands Research Station of British Gas plc. It is not intended that the package should
replace the fault tree expert. It should rather be viewed as a tool to facilitate the work of
the process engineer, particularly during the design phase. This should enable the
evaluation of many more options, which would otherwise have been proved prohibitive
by the effort required to manually synthesise the fault trees.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.