To develop fundamental understanding of the principles of
reliability engineering and also analytical ability in the
application of statistical techniques and probabilistic methods
for the solution of engineering problems involving the reliable
performance of engineering systems. On successful completion, students
will be able to read, understand and benefit from the
reliability engineering literature, actively contribute to
the quantitative analysis of reliability problems and also interact
effectively with reliability experts in their organizations
and thus participate in the growth of reliability within the enterprise.
A comprehensive introduction to reliability engineering concepts
and techniques with emphasis on the use of computer assisted
methods of reliability analyis and simulation modeling.
The course begins by introducing the statistical functions
useful in reliability work, including the reliability and failure
distribution functions as well as the failure density function and
the hazard or force of mortality functions.
Qualitative analysis methods (Failure Mode Effect and Criticality
Analysis (FMECA), Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), and Reliability Block
Diagrams are presented and discussed. Next, there will be a
description of reliability apportionment in series, parallel,
redundant, standby and more complex systems as well as a discussion of
various component importance metrics and issues encountered when
failures are interdependent. Reliability modeling methods,
including counting, Markov processes and Monte Carlo simulation are
also explored. The course concludes with an exploration of the
reliability of maitained systems and a selected specialized topic,
chosen to cater the interests of the class and to be
announced later. Throughout, theory is illutrated using examples
from mechanical and materials engineering systems.
The format of the class consists of professor's presentations,
in-class, professor supervised student exercises, class discussion,
reading and homework assignments and a final exam.
Homework and Reading Assignments
Students will supplement and reinforce the class experience with graded
homework assignments designed to test grasp of the topics covered in class.
These will be assigned regularly during the semester and will be due as indicated
in class and on the class web page. Grades for answers to homework assignments
will be assigned as follows: Completely correct homework answers submitted by the
indicated deadline will receive 12 points per homework; completely correct
answers submitted late will receive 6 points.
Statistical analysis will be done using mostly Excel and MINITAB. Symbolic
manipulation will be carried out with Maple. Students are expected to quickly
familiarize themselves with the basic operation of the above programs.
NOTE: Excel, MINITAB and MAPLE are REQUIRED in this course!
As a student in this class, you can dowload the MAPLE software for $25 by
visiting the Maplesoft Webstore.,
identifying yourself as a student in the class and entering the adoption code
S-GF071408-EGM. (If you are at P&W and are using a company-provided laptop
for this class, please follow the
instructions provided by
Additional required reliability modeling software (i.e Raptor) will be provided as needed.
The textbook for this class is "System Reliability Theory", 2nd ed.
by M. Rausand and A. Hoyland, Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2004.
Make sure to also bookmark and regularly visit the
Companion Web Page for additional
useful materials, some of which I will use in class.
Reading and studying of the first nine chapters of the text is mandatory
in this class and should be done according to the schedule described
on the class web page and assigned in class.
Additional, supplementary reading materials may be assigned throughout the semester to
supplement the material in the text. Students may be asked to
provide short written commentaries on these readings to demonstrate
their grasp of the key points contained therein, as part of their
Typical assignments will require answers to quantitative problems
as well as short written essays demonstrating understanding as well as
analytical and critical thinking of selected assigned readings.
All homeworks will be produced and assembled in the form of a portfolio
consisting mostly of pdf files
and posted on the students's internet page at RPI (no paper submissions
will be accepted). Portfolios are meant to showcase the student's ability
to produce high quality, professional work.
The quality and reliability of the posted portfolios
are the student's responsibility. The instructor will provide feedback
and constructive criticism on the portfolios only on student request.
Students will also work on a small term project consisting in the
application/implementation of one or more of the reliability engineering
methods learned in class to a problem or system of their choice.
Students must present and post on their portfolio a brief project proposal
on request of the instructor, approximately half way
thorugh the semester and a final report by the last day of class.
Final reports must not exceed 10 pages including text, tables and figures.
Grading will be assigned according to the following scheme:
* Answers to Homeworks (Posted on the Student Web Portfolio): 48 points,
* Term Project (Posted on the Student Web Portfolio): 22 points,
* Comprehensive Final Exam: 30 points.
The following conversion to letter grades will be used:
* A (Outstanding): At least 90 points
* B (Good): At least 75 points
* C (Sufficient): At least 60 points
I will have office hours in Hartford on
Mondays and Thursdays from 4-5:30 PM on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Other times can also be arranged by appointment.
Code of Ethics
Ethical and professional conduct is expected from everyone. Violations
of this code such as academic dishonesty, misrepresentation and plagiarism
will not be tolerated. Failing grades will be assigned to any student
who is found to engage or participate in unethical behavior.
Given the research orientation of this class you must be particularly
wary of avoiding charges of plagiarism.