Knut Robert Fossum

Knut R. Fossum is a Senior Researcher and Research Manager at Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Space (CIRiS) at NTNU Social Research in Norway. His formal education is within biotechnology (MSc) and Production and Quality Engineering (PhD).

Fossum has worked within the European space sector since 1997, mainly related to International Space Station and Human Spaceflight programs. From 2010 to 2017 he served as senior advisor and national delegate to the European Space Agency. With more than 20 years of experience with space project management, both with EU and European Space Agency projects, Fossum is a strong advocate of holistic and systematic approaches towards the increasing complexity of our systems and societies.

Recent work and field of interest emphasize the integral role of human dependability for the safe, reliable and efficient organization and management of complex research and development projects. Specifically, the application of Project Management and System Engineering methodology for development and operation of autonomous systems. While technical advancements and benefits of digitalization in design and development are rapidly improving capabilities of autonomous systems, the complementary research concerning human, organizational and social issues often falls behind. This is a significant problem for safety and resilience, and there is an urgent need to understand the role of human and organizational factors towards safety, resilience and implications for international standards and regulations of autonomous systems.