ULC Course Description

Control Number: 349
Course Number: 35RAW01A
CEUs: 3.1     PDHs: 0.0     LUs: 0.0     PDUs: 0.0     CMs: 0.0     ACE: 0.0     CEHs: 0.0
This course introduces concepts and tools of risk analysis into Corps of Engineers planning studies and extends these concepts to studies for structural rehabilitation and for management and operations of existing projects. Risk analysis is a decision-making framework that explicitly evaluates the level of risk if no action is taken and recognizes the monetary and non-monetary costs and benefits of reducing risks when making decisions. Risk analysis also deals with uncertainties in models, parameters, and assumptions and acknowledges them in decision making. Risk analysis comprises three tasks: risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication. Many risk assessment techniques are already in use by Corps analysts, but are not applied in systematic and uniform manner. New methods and analytical models have been developed, along with a body of information on risk perception and communication that will also be transferred to practice. Risk analysis is an integral component of Corps of Engineers decision making in all business lines. It affects all technical analysis throughout each step of planning process. For example, risk perception and communication is an important element of the scoping process. Environmental analysis, hydrologic analysis, and benefit-cost analysis all require aspects of risk analysis. In addition, risk concepts and risk informed decision making are being extended to aid decisions in all phases of project life. Major aspects of risk analysis included in this course are (a) definitions and concepts, (b) probability and statistics; (c) models for risk analysis; (d) non-quantitative methods; (e) event trees and decision trees; (f) Monte carol simulation; (g) using scenarios; (h) benefit-cost uncertainty; (i) risk informed planning; and (j) case studies from various applications to civil works. The course includes extensive use of computer exercises as aids to learning including hands-on risk modeling and assessment tools.

After completing this course the student should be able to: 1. Discuss the major causes of uncertainty in the Corps’ Civil Works Program; 2. List the elements of integrated risk management; 3. Describe the differences between uncertainty and variability; 4. Use scenarios to deal with uncertainties; 5. Apply one or more qualitative risk assessment techniques; 6. List the Corps’ software tools that support risk-informed planning; 7. Build a simple probabilistic scenario analysis in a spreadsheet environment; 8. Apply the addition, multiplication, and complimentarily rules for probability in simple problems; 9. Use the binomial distribution for simple probability calculations; 10. List the most useful distributions used in quantitative risk assessment; 11. Develop a distribution given some data; 12. Describe the two steps of the Monte Carlo process; 13. Run a simulation that uses the Monte Carlo process; 14. Conduct basic sensitivity and importance analysis; 15. Understand the issues of communicating technical and non-technical risk information to decision makers and stakeholders.

Nominees must be assigned (a) Occupational Series: 0020, 0340, 0110, 0801, 1300; (b) Grade: GS-07 through GS-13. This course is designed for planners and engineers. However, other personnel (project managers, operations, regulatory, recreation, etc.) will find it useful in terms of broadly applicable principles, concepts, and analytical tools.


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