Aref Maalej, PhD

Professor, Engineering School of Sfax  (ENIS), TUNISIA

International Expert in Risk Assessment and Process/Product Failure/Accident Investigation

Email: aref.maalej@enis.tn



Biography: Dr Aref Maalej holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Science in Mathematics and a PHD in Mechanical Engineering.  All degrees were obtained from the Ohio State University. He  joined  the Engineering School of Sfax (ENIS) in Tunisia since 1989  as a staff member and he is currently  a full professor in its mechanical engineering Department.  He was an invited lecturer in mathematics in the faculty of Economical Science and Management in Sfax (FSEG)  and in Systems Engineering in the Prestigious Polytechnic Institute of Tunis (EPT). Dr Maalej was a visiting Professor in the University of Saarland, Germany (2006) and at Université Paris 6, France (2009).   Ha was an elected member of the Honor Society of American Engineers and the Honor Society of International Scholars.

Dr Maalej was the director of the laboratory of Electro Mechanical Systems (LASEM)  at the Engineering School of Sfax from 1999 to 2015. He  was the principal advisor of tens of PhD and Master Degree scholars, has published more then sixty publications in scientific referenced journals and has participated in a large number of international conferences.   He  lead a research team which  works  in coherent research areas such as System Dynamics Modeling and Design, Design and Optimization of manufacturing Systems, Robotics and Flexible Cells, Renewable Energy Applications.

Dr  Maalej had chaired  and co-chaired several international conference such as International Conference on Advances in Mechanical Engineering and  Mechanics (ICAMEM) and   International Conference of Mechanics and Energy  (ICME).  He has delivered several keynote addresses in international conferences where the last was at the Second International Conference on Engineering and Technology in Colombo, Sri Lanka in December 2016.  He is a reviewer for several Journals and a member of the Editorial board of GLOBAL ACADEMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE (GARI) Journals. Dr. Maalej  is a recipient of the Highly Commended Award  for Excellence 2009  entitled  by the EmeraldLiteratiNetwork for the outstanding paper published in Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management (2008)

Dr Maalej is an International Expert in Risk Assessment, Damage Estimation and product and process Failure Investigation, a listed member in the International Expert Witness Network. He is a Qualified/Certified Judiciary Expert in Automation and Machinery by the Tunisian legal Authority and a Qualified/Certified Expert by the Tunisian Federation of the insurance companies (FTUSA).  A mandated and trusted expert for international re-insurance companies for technical investigation   in the petrochemical industry.


Abstract : In industry, we usually search for running industrial plant, process or equipment safely and reliably until the scheduled retirement date. Consequently, the use of the fitness-forservice (FFS) standards represents the best way to evaluate and monitor actual and predict future health and state of equipment which can result in significant savings in costs and time. Fitness for Service (FFS) is the best practice and standard used in process industries for in-service equipment to determine its fitness for continued service. FFS serves as a rational basis for defining flaw acceptance limits and allows engineers to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable flaws and damage. In fact, most equipment can continue in service despite small flaws. Furthermore, to repair or replace equipment that can still be used, would be in some cases an unnecessary and costly expense. The FFS of any particular material is determined by performing a fitness-for-service assessment per standardized methods and criteria. Performing accurate FFS evaluations is an integral aspect of fixed equipment asset integrity management as an alternative to using the original construction design code. In general, most FFS assessment standards are broken into multiple levels. Each successive level requires increasing amounts of data, calculations, effort, and cost to arrive at the most accurate outcomes and possible longer equipment remnant life. In addition to calculations, FFS involves the consideration of additional data such as operating conditions and materials properties. Inspection information is often critical Input to a FFS assessment In Fact, Fitness for Service (FFS) assessments is generally correlated to Risk Based Inspection (RBI). This correlation leads to the establishment of guidelines for predicting future risk and implementing efficient inspection strategy. With highly effective inspection techniques, it was possible to mitigate the risk to an acceptable level, and maintain a relatively low rate of increase in risk. The simultaneous practices of FFS and RBI improve the understanding of using risk to direct inspection strategies in order to identify, measure, and manage uncertainty. Even the FFS and RBI are primarily introduced for refining and petrochemical assets, its principles and procedures may be extended to address wide range of industry applications. The Fitness for Service or FSS assessment requires the implementation of pre-defined procedure for each potential risk. This tutorial will present the systematic procedure generally applied in industrial processes for the assessments which leads to information on the current state and health of equipment either subject to actual or expected damage along with providing an estimate for their remaining life.