People working at Causalis

Prof. Peter B. Ladkin PhD

Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin PhD FIET

Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin Ph.D. leads the technical analyses performed by Causalis as well as being the main business developer and administrator. He is inventor and developer of WBA and OHA.

His research has specialised in system safety for two decades. Previously, he worked in constraint satisfaction techniques (being a founder of the algebraic approach), and formal systems and software engineering techniques, especially formal specification and verification, as well as temporal reasoning in artificial-intelligence contexts. He blogs at

In 1997 and 1998 he gave both written and oral evidence to the UK Parliament’s Transport Sub-committee on the deployment delay and problems with the UK’s New En-Route Center for air traffic control being implemented at Swanwick. He was subsequently an advisor to both finalists for the PPP part-purchase of the UK’s National Air Traffic Services organisation.

Jointly with TU Braunschweig IfEV and Siemens Rail Automation R&D group, he founded the Bieleschweig Workshop series on system engineering in 2002. The latest Bieleschweig Workshop was held in August 2011 and focused on the Fukushima nuclear accident. He has recently given Keynote presentations at the 6th IET System Safety Conference in Edinburgh in October 2012, the 20th Safety-Critical Systems Symposium in Bristol in February 2012, and the 16th International Conference on Reliable Software Technologies (Ada-Europe, collocated with the Ada UK conference) in Edinburgh in June 2011, as well as invited presentations at the VDE Conference on Functional Safety and IEC 61508 (in German) in Erfurt, Germany, in March 2013, the 5th Safety in Transpotation Workshop in Braunschweig, Germany, in November 2012, and the VDE Conference on Functional Safety and IEC 61508 (in German) in Fulda, Germany, in March 2011. (IET and VDE are the British, respectively German, professional societies for electrical and electronic engineering).

Peter is a member of the German national standardisation committee DKE GK 914 for functional safety of E/E/PE systems, as well as a member of both international maintenance teams for the E/E/PE system functional safety standard IEC 61508. He also chairs the DKE committee AK 353.0.5 for the risk analysis of recharging systems and procedures for electric road vehicles, as well as an Ad-hoc Committee with members from both the DIN 131 standardisation group for Air Traffic Management and the DKE AK 914.0.3 group for standardisation of software safety tasked with the standardisation of functional safety for ground-based aviation software (such as for ATC and ATM). He has recently been proposed/appointed as the German expert to the ISO committee standardising Root Cause Failure Analysis.

Peter holds a Honors Bachelor degree in Maths and Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and a Master’s degree in Mathematics as well as a Ph.D. in Logic and the Metholodology of Science from the University of California at Berkeley. His Ph.D. dissertation concerned methods and software for temporal reasoning in artificial intelligence contexts. He holds a US Private Pilot single-engined airplane land certificate with Instrument Airplane rating and has about 750 hours total flying time.

Former Associates

Dr.-Ing. Jan Sanders
Dr.-Ing. Bernd Sieker

Dr.-Ing. Jan Sanders

Dr.-Ing. Jan Sanders is the author of the SERAS™ toolset which supports Why-Because Analyses of incidents and accidents, from initial reports in the form of running textual description to the final report, which consists of Why-Because Graph, Timeline, annotated Factor, Actor and Group listings and justification. He is currently the maintainer of the CausalML dialect, devised by the Technical University of Braunschweig IfEV in cooperation with University of Bielefeld RVS group as an XML dialect to support causal analyses of engineered-system failures. He is expert on parsing and analysis techniques for technical natural language.

He has submitted his doctoral thesis which implements a database of causally-analysed incidents in SERAS™, and enables searching and correlation on the basis of a variety of causal patterns. He currently works for the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), the Federal Information-Technology Security Agency, in the area of infrastructure security.

Dr.-Ing. Bernd Sieker

Dr.-Ing. Bernd Sieker is expert in domain-specific analyses of engineered systems, in particular various forms of reverse engineering using causal techniques devised in-house, as well as data preparation, analysis, fusion and presentation techniques, including automatic plotting and graphing, and construction of animated videos. He also produces searchable versions of engineering documentation. He is also tasked with becoming Causalis’s main engineering-domain expert on individual client cases.

Bernd is the inventor of the Causal Control Flow Diagram (CCFD) technique for causal analysis of system and subsystem interactions, and is one of the main developers of Ontological Hazard Analysis (OHA), on which he wrote his doctoral dissertation. He is a registered aircraft-model developer for the X-Plane software for simulation of aircraft flight, responsible for a number of aircraft in the Android version of the simulator.

Bernd holds a doctoral engineering degree from the University of Bielefeld’s Faculty of Technology, with a thesis on OHA, as well as a Diplom degree (roughly equivalent to a thesis-based Master’s degree) with a thesis on WBA of the Concorde accident at Gonesse and SW tools for WBA support. He regularly teaches both the module in computer networking techniques and the module in system safety and failure analysis offered by the University’s Faculty of Technology and supervises student projects concerned with learning and applying OHA and other safety analysis techniques. He implemented the computer-networking teaching laboratory at the University along with Jan Sanders. He holds an EASA private pilot license with a single engine piston (land) airplanes class rating and has about 185 hours total flying time.