School of Civil Engineering

Mr Jaime Cadena

Research Scholar
Office: 49-421:19
Phone: +61 7 3365 3568

Jaime obtained his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering majoring in chemical process safety in 2009 in Colombia. In 2011, Jaime began his Masters degree in Chemical Engineering with Universidad de los Andes, where he had the opportunity to work in fire dynamics and fire safety engineering. Before joining UQ, Jaime was working in process risk management for the Colombian oil and gas and chemical sectors.

From: Bogotá, Colombia

Commenced studies: July 2017 (PhD)

Supervisors: Andres Osorio, Prof. Jose Torero, Dr Juan Hidalgo and Dr Cristian Maluk


  • BSc – Chemical Engineering – Universidad de los Andes, (Colombia 2009)
  • MSc – Chemical Engineering - Universidad de los Andes, (Colombia 2013)

Teaching and Learning

  • Instructor – Process safety and mechanical integrity management – Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (UPTC), 2013-2015
  • Instructor – Risk based inspection methodology – Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia (UPTC), 2013-2015
  • Instructor – Hazardous areas classification – Universidad de los Andes (UPTC), 2016


Quantitative risk assessment (QRA) methodology based on the Maximum Allowable Damage concept to support process risk management

QRA quantifies risk in industrial processes that use hazardous chemical by estimating probability and consequence of a given accidental scenario based on probabilities, failure frequencies and expected damage values in order to obtain a risk index that can be evaluated against a reference criteria, e.g. F-N curves. Despite their growing use, there are many doubts about the pertinence and adequacy of QRAs, with the main concern being the uncertainty generated by the lack of background knowledge on which the data used in these studies relies, such as risk management factors or mechanical integrity information. These issues can lead to highly uncertain results that could deprive an organization of adequate information to support the decision-making processes regarding risk treatment. This research project seeks constructing an alternative QRA methodology and apply it to a case study of interest, using the concept maximum allowable damage in order to produce a simplified alternative for QRA and remove typical elements of the methodology that constitute major sources of uncertainty.


  • Scholarship for MSc degree (07/2011, 01/2012, 07/2012, 01/2013): Studentship for the MSc in Chemical Engineering for four semesters between July 2011 and July 2013, given by the Chemical Engineering Department and the School of Engineering of Universidad de los Andes.
  • Visiting Scholar (05/2012): Summer internship at the BRE Fire Safety Engineering Centre (School of Engineering at the University of Edinburgh) to support the thesis research entitled Uncertainty analysisin FDS simulations".

Key Publications

  • G. Gómez, S. Rodríguez, J. Cadena, F. Muñoz, Kletz's legacy for developing countries: Simple systems based on inherently safer design, Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, Volume 25, Issue 5, September 2012, Pages 843-847, ISSN 0950-4230,
  • A.H. Majdalani, J.E. Cadena, A. Cowlard, F. Munoz, J.L. Torero, Experimental characterisation of two fully-developed enclosure _re regimes, Fire Safety Journal, Volumen 79, January 2016, Pages 10-19, ISSN 0379-7112,