ISA recently published Safety Instrumented System Design: Techniques and Design Verification by William M. Goble, Ph.D., PE, CFSE, and Iwan van Beurden, MSc, CFSE. In this Q&A feature, Goble highlights the focus, importance, and differentiating qualities of the book.

William M. Goble

Q. Why were you inspired/motivated to write this book?

A. Previous books on the subject were written many years ago. Much research has been conducted on probabilistic analysis and instrumentation failure rates, but no books—until now with this one—have covered all the latest advanced and information.

Q. What challenge or set of challenges is the book trying to address or solve? What practical knowledge and applications can be gained by reading it?

There are many ways to meet the requirements of international safety standards. Our book is different because it describes some of the most effective methods as well as the reasoning behind many of the requirements.

Q. What makes this book different than other books on the subject? What differentiates it?

Besides being far more up to date than other publications on the subject, this book breaks new ground, and explains equipment selection and the impact of operations and maintenance in practical detail.

Q. Are there any specific sections/aspects of the book do you feel are the most compelling to highlight in the press release?

It’s important to note that the book doesn’t include theoretical background as other books have covered that extensively. That left us with greater room to include design examples and explain some of the reasoning behind the design rules.

Q. Do you have any other comments to make about the book that can help highlight its value, benefits, advantages?

Many experts and members of functional safety committees believe that cost-effective safety improvements can be achieved using the Safety Lifecycle (SLC) engineering methods described in our functional safety standards. This book provides details that can help companies implement a SLC process that works well, saves project time, and improves safety (cheaper, faster, and better).


Obtain your copy of Safety Instrumented System Design: Techniques and Design Verification today.
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Meet the Authors

William M. Goble
William M. Goble, Ph.D., PE, CFSE, serves as Principal Partner and Managing Director at exida, a global leader in research, training, product certification, and system consulting for safety-critical and high-availability systems.

A co-founder of exida, Dr. Goble has developed probabilistic analysis methods for functional safety that are widely used today. He possesses more than 40 years of experience in control systems, including product development, marketing, training, and functional safety certification.

He received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Penn State University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University, and a doctorate degree in reliability engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology. He is a registered professional engineer (PE) in the state of Pennsylvania and a Certified Functional Safety Expert (CFSE). An ISA Fellow, Dr. Goble has written hundreds of technical articles and several best-selling books on functional safety.

Iwan van Beurden
Iwan van Beurden, MSc, CFSE, serves as Chief Technology Officer and Director of Product Development at exida, a global leader in research, training, product certification, and system consulting for safety-critical and high-availability systems.

With more than 20 years of professional experience in the functional safety field, van Beurden is responsible for the development, maintenance, and certification of the exSILentia® integrated safety life cycle tool and associated products at exida.

He performs IEC 61508 development support, IEC 61511 life cycle services, functional safety assessments, and a variety of reliability analyses. He is an ISA Fellow and a member of the ISA S84 committee, and teaches exida and ISA training classes.

van Beurden is a Certified Functional Safety Expert (CFSE). He has published dozens of papers and magazine articles. He holds a master of science degree from Eindhoven University of Technology in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, where he majored in reliability engineering and graduated cum laude.