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Structured Analysis of Complex Decisions in the Face of Uncertainty

Page last modified
November 8 2023

TESLA is a software tool that supports decision makers faced with complex problems drawing on multiple and uncertain sources of qualitative and quantitative evidence. It provides a means to break a decision down into a hierarchical structure, in such a way that information can be easily gathered, and the implications analysed and presented.

The main purposes of TESLA are:

  • To provide a structure for breaking a complex decision down into manageable chunks.
  • To allow decision makers to assess and record not only evidence that supports or refutes a claim, but also any uncertainties that may exist, including those due to uncertainties in evidence, and those due to lack of knowledge.
  • To provide a full audit trail of the information that was used to reach a decision.
  • To provide decision makers with tools to analyse their decision, allowing them to effectively target funds and resources at areas that have the most bearing on the overall decision.


Concise visual presentation of all the elements of a complex decision
Transparent audit trail, including links to evidence sources
Portfolio tool for comparing options
Graphical output summarising levels of confidence and sensitivity to input
Automatic report generation
Specialist software, which operates on Microsoft Windows 10
Requires basic knowledge of evidence support logic (ESL)


Applicability Across various industries, including CCUS, Hydrogen, Oil & Gas, Renewable
Prioritisation Structured approach to making decisions about R&D priorities, site selection, alternative implementation strategies alternative optimisation approaches, and risk reduction, based on the available evidence
Decision-making Deliberative and structured approach to ensure that the rationale and judgment is clear
Conformance Demonstrating regulatory compliance against subjective criteria when judging multiple lines of evidence that are uncertain and/or conflicting
Stakeholder engagement Approach for structuring and recording conversations among stakeholders leading to the development of a consensus about subjective criteria
Portfolio Selection Selection of an optimum set of activities (e.g., geological site selection, environmental monitoring programme, suites of measurements, decommissioning and/or restoration strategies) that together satisfy a range of common requirements.
Options Assessment Support for the development of policies and strategies, including the Best Available Techniques (BAT)
Reporting Producing summaries containing information about all aspects of the decision (as Word or PDF documents)
Training Comprehensive documentation is provided in the TESLA User Guide, but further training can be provided.

Relative Business Impact


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Technology Readiness Level


Development Technology demonstration Mature / Proven
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Our vision is to provide leading-edge scientific, mathematical and strategic consultancy, scientific software development and research to public and private science-based organisations to facilitate a low carbon energy future.

Quintessa was founded in 1999 with the aim of providing an enjoyable and fulfilling working environment in which talented scientists and mathematicians can use their problem solving skills to help clients address key issues. Quintessa operates at the interface between academia and industry, facilitating the application of leading-edge knowledge in a timely and cost-effective manner.

We celebrate the fact that our principal assets are talented individuals with leading edge expertise in their chosen fields and a passion for problem solving. Quintessa is an employee-owned company, and an active member of the Employee Ownership Association, where everyone is empowered to contribute to operational and strategic decisions. We are, and plan to remain, an SME (Small / Medium-sized Enterprise) focussed on providing high quality specialised services.

Our services cover decision support, geosciences, materials modelling, mathematics, risk assessment and software development together with the provision of customised training in all these areas. Currently our projects are primarily focussed on the safety and environmental consequences of nuclear power and carbon-based fuels. However, we are always keen to broaden our horizons to other technical challenges aimed at ensuring the sustainability of planet earth.

We are proud to work for some of the world’s leading science-based organisations and strive to build trusted partnerships with them in order to understand and address their needs. To achieve this, we embrace collaborative working with other organisations and individuals in order to provide the best possible solutions for our clients. To date we have carried out more than 1000 projects for over 150 clients in 35 countries.

Quintessa works to a Quality Management System and an Information Security Management System that have been independently certified to operate in accordance with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 27001:2013, respectively, under the umbrella of the TickIT Plus scheme. Quintessa is also certified to the Cyber Essentials Standard, complying with the security requirements of the Cyber Essentials Plus scheme. Quality, security, and other management processes are incorporated into the web-based Quintessa Information System (QIS) to allow information to be shared, processed and analysed across the Company. Quintessa's operations are carried out with due regard to their potential environmental impact, as described in our Environmental Policy Statement.

Quintessa is registered in England, number 3716623. Its registered address is The Hub, 14 Station Road, Henley-on-Thames, RG9 1AY, United Kingdom.

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