Reliability Engineering is a field of engineering that deals with designing equipment, components and strucutres to function without failure. Opposed to classical safety-factor based approaches, the goal is here to quantify the probability that a component or structure will maintain its functionality given some loads, while accounting for the fact that we might not exactly know all variables in the equations exactly.
In this lecture series, students are taught the fundamentals of "reliability-oriented design". First, the theoretical foundations of probability theory are explained from an engineering perspective, with emphasis on mechanical engineering applications. In a second step, the concepts of mechanical reliability are explained and (semi-)analytical methods are discussed to calculate the mechanical reliability of a component under mild assumptions. Since these (semi-)analytical approaches are not always tractable, advanced numerical calculation schemes are discussed in detail, including Monte Carlo simulation, Importance Sampling, Line Sampling and Subset Simulation. Finally, specialized topics such as surrogate modelling, sensitivity analysis and reliability-based design optimization are covered. The course provides students with important concepts and unique tools for designing and optimizing mechanical components with a quantified reliability.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to understand the concepts of reliability-oriented design and apply them to a practical engineering case. Students will be able to implement, apply and analyze the results of advanced numerical methods for reliability-oriented design optimization and will also be able to make educated and quantified estimates of the reliability level of a designed component.
The course examination consists of (1) a presentation of the project work and (2) an oral defense of the project results in which the student's knowledge of the course content is evaluated.