Risk Management

COURSE NO.: 6000


Managing risk has become an urgent and required effort throughout space and related industries. This course is designed
for personnel from all aspects, all groups in aerospace companies. The course deals with a “systems” approach to controlling
risk. Four sequential efforts regarding risk are addressed in detail: 1) Identification, 2) Assessment and Quantification, 3)
Prioritization, and 4) Mitigation. The first element of risk management lists possible sources/types of risks that must be
evaluated in any program. Then the “how-to” of determining probability of the risk occurring and its consequences are
covered. Following that step, the priorities of risks (i.e., “high”, “medium”, “low”) are explained. The challenging final step
in the “Risk Management Process”, presents various mitigation techniques, “musts” and mitigation planning.


Include extensive notes and reference materials.


All disciplines of an aerospace company are involved in risk management. Addressing risk requires company-wide involvement.
Thus, this course is for “across-the-board” personnel, namely, management, design, systems engineering, test engineering,
launch site operators, quality control, manufacturing and individuals from most program support groups (e.g., planning, cost
estimating). A knowledge of, interest in and/or some experience in aerospace programs will allow attendees to better gasp
the risk management concepts presented – but no specific experience requirements or engineering degrees are required.


This course teaches the very basic understanding of why “risk control” is so important; how one can identify (all) those
(possible) risks that led to a program or mission failure; and then the detail steps to quantify those risks and prioritize them
so as to determine which ones require mitigation. The final step provides, in great detail, some “how-to’s” (ideas, approaches,
plans, cautions) for that risk control.


  1. Background and Introduction.

    Instructor’s special “risk history/current thinking” Introduction; Objectives, timing and overview of the (basic)
    steps of risk management; Organization responsibility; and the need for a Risk Management Board.

  2. The Four Basic Risk Management Steps.

    Risk Identification; Assessment and Quantification; Prioritization; and Mitigation/Plans.

  3. Risk Identification.

    Risks: Design, performance, cost, schedule, management, “other” categories; a “suggestions” list, hints, metrics
    for identifying risks; use of “lessons learned” experiences, FMEAs, Fault Tree Analysis, Common Cause Failures and

  4. Risk Assessment and Quantification.

    Quantification (“scaling”) – a tutorial; methods for estimating failure probabilities; “checks and balances”;
    Consequences – mission/program failure; personnel injury/property damage; “blown” schedules; cost overruns; loss
    of: fee/profit, public/government “image”, future work/contracts; Risk Scoring – use of charts (various types, indices)
    for identifying, categorizing risks as “High”, “Medium” or “Low”.

  5. Risk Prioritization.

    Group “Highs”, “Mediums”, “Lows” for evaluating for Mitigation; use of Prioritization for mitigation decision(s).

  6. Risk Mitigation.

    A special introduction highlights the importance of the final of the four Risk Management Steps; the various “Risk
    Handling” techniques are covered; the Risk Mitigation Plan is detailed; the need for a Risk Management Board; and the
    necessary “Cost/Benefit Analysis” of the planned mitigations.

  7. Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA).

    A brief overview of NASA’s PRA approach for “Risk Management”.

  8. Cautions/ “Words of Wisdom”/References/Wrap-up Discussion.

Instructor: Richard J. Greenspun

Mr. Greenspun’s aerospace activities and experience include engineering for telemetry and instrumentation systems; test engineering
and launch site support at Cape Canaveral; systems engineering (design and management); satellite team design representative, air
traffic control systems integration; and new business proposals.  His management roles, in addition to heading the Systems Engineering
Group, included nine years as Engineering Project Manager for Titan Space Launch Vehicles and seven years at Martin Marietta Corporate
Headquarters, covering the Corporation’s Aerospace and Energy Systems Companies and Divisions as Technical Oversight and Audits
Director and as Director, Engineering.  Mr. Greenspun retired in 1994 after serving 38 years at Martin Marietta, later Lockheed Martin. 
Since his retirement, he has been a consultant to industry, primarily in the area of systems engineering support (for both aerospace
companies and nuclear waste cleanup contractors). Activities have included: launch readiness reviews, preparation of program plans,
proposal writing, costing and reviews, requirements identification and integration for both proposed and new programs, and risk analysis
/mitigation and training.  Mr. Greenspun’s Introduction to Systems Engineering Course is an outgrowth of his class on Systems Engineering
taught at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore; the Risk Management Course resulted, in part, from his aerospace experience and risk
training sessions conducted at the Hanford Nuclear Waste Site at Richland, Washington.  Mr. Greenspun is an Electrical Engineering graduate
from the University of Colorado.


© 2014 Launchspace

Phone: 202 258 6133 | Email:

Home | About Us | Training | News | FAQ | Contact Us | Leadership
International Scope | Course Catalog | Public Courses
Customized Training | Instructor Profiles | Client List

Get Launchspace Updates!