photo of Stefan Hirschberg

Hirschberg, Stefan Dr.

Head of Laboratory
E-mail: stefan.hirschberg@psi.ch
Telephone: +41 56 310 2956  

Current responsibilities

Since 1992 Stefan Hirschberg is Head of the Systems/Safety Analysis Section in the Paul Scherrer Institut. He coordinates the activities at PSI on “Comprehensive Assessment of Energy Systems” (GaBE), covering environmental, risk-related and economic aspects. As a part of these activities he manages a number of projects for the Swiss energy and environmental authorities, and for the Swiss and foreign utilities as well as other industries. He is also responsible for a variety of PSI’s contributions to international programs addressing the environmental, risk and economic implications of energy systems.

In addition, the Systems/Safety Analysis Section has activities in the area of Risk Assessment, with main emphasis on Human Reliability Analysis (HRA). This includes a long-term research program and on-call tasks for the Swiss nuclear safety authority and plant operators.

Main research interests and engagements

S. Hirschberg’s main research interests currently include: Environmental Impact and External Cost Assessment, Comparative Risk Assessment, Sustainability Assessment and Development of Integrated Tools for Decision Support. S. Hirschberg has about 150 publications in reactor and neutron physics, reliability and risk assessment and comparative assessment of energy systems. He has been a member of numerous advisory, consultant and expert groups supporting national and international organizations, and is since 1990 a member of Principal Working Group No. 5 on Risk Assessment of OECD/NEA. He was member of technical committees of many international conferences and organiser/chairman of numerous technical sessions. He lectures at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) on “Reliability and Risks of Complex Systems” and at ETHZ and EPFL on energy systems analysis. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management.

Education and previous activities

S. Hirschberg obtained M.Sc. degree in engineering physics from the Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden in 1975 and Ph.D. degree in reactor physics from the same University in 1981. Between 1974 and 1982 he worked as a lecturer and researcher in the Department of Reactor Physics at Chalmers.

In 1982 he joined ABB (Västeras, Sweden) where he worked as Senior Engineer (1982 - 1986), Group Leader (1986 - 1987) and Section Manager (1987 - 1990), responsible for the field of reliability and risk assessment. His work included modeling tasks, methods and computer code development for Probabilistic Safety Assessments (PSAs), management of reliability- and safety-related projects within the nuclear and non-nuclear industries, management of a long-term Nordic research project on methods for handling common cause failures, human interactions and uncertainties in PSA, and marketing of the corresponding services.

During a leave of absence from ABB between 1990 and 1992 he served as First Officer in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA; Vienna, Austria), responsible for the IAEA’s activities in the PSA field. This included: International Peer Review Services (IPERS), Guidelines development, Coordinated Research Programs, technical assistance to the Member States, workshops and training courses in the PSA area..