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Department of Mechanical Engineering
Winter term lecture

Introduction to Reliability Engineering

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, system or structure will maintain its functionality given some loading, 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 fundamental basics of risk engineering. This course starts with a general overview of what Risk-based engineering is, and how it complements traditional safety-factor driven design calculations. To complement the remainder of the lecture, the course builds the necessary theoretical foundations of probability theory, which are explained from an engineering perspective with emphasis on mechanical engineering applications. Then, the basics of qualitative risk assessment (FMEA, FMECA, HAZOP) are explained, which form the basis of performing a risk analysis. To make the step towards more complicated systems, Fault Tree and Event Tree Analysis are discussed in detail. Also, the step towards time-dependent reliability analysis and the effects of fatigue on the mechanical reliability are discussed. Finally, to make the students aware of the challenges that are associated with dealing with real-life engineering problems, the effects of including vague, dubious, conflicting or missing information on the analysis of reliability are discussed in detail.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to understand the basic concepts of reliability-oriented design and apply them to a practical engineering case. Students will be able to perform a basic risk analysis of a mechanical component or system (such as a machine) and will be able to discuss the time-dependent reliability of a component under, e.g., fatigue loads.


The course examination consists of an oral examination with written preparation, and includes theoretical and practice questions.

Participation Requirements

It is recommended that the "Statistical Procedures" course be successfully completed, although this course starts from a base that is acceptable to any student who has taken the mathematics courses in previous undergraduate semesters. A good knowledge of calculus and linear algebra is recommended.



Practice sessions





Tuesday 8:00-10:00 hrs Wednesday 16:00 -18:00 hrs


MB I- U25/U26 MB I- U25/U26


Prof. Dr. Matthias Faes

Mauricio Misraji


Link to Moodle





ECTS Credits:



Work Load: 150 h :   40 h (in presence) & 110 h (self study) -