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Department of Mechanical Engineering
Winter term lecture

Reliability of systems and networks

Reliability Engineering is a field of engineering that deals with designing equipment, components and structures to function without failure. This course specifically deeper into the field of system reliability. 'System' in this context is to be understood in the broadest sense, going from systems of components (a.k.a. machines), over systems of machines (e.g., production lines) to systems of companies (e.g., logistical chains).

Please note that this course is offered starting the winter semester of 2023/2024!


In this lecture series, students are taught how to assess the reliability of systems and networks, as well as to design these assets robustly. Systems in this context mean systems of components, as for instance present in the drivetrain of an automotive vehicle, but also electricity grids or logistic networks. The course starts with a brief description of risk analysis and its aspects in systems engineering. Then, basic concepts such as FMEA, FMECA and HAZOP are discussed. Further, students are taught how to transform a mechanical system or network into a graph representation, and how to interpret several important aspects of this graph. Based on these foundations, we further discuss Fault Trees and Event Trees, and derive quantitative measures for the reliability of the system/network, including survival signature. Finally, also more advanced methods based on Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis will be discussed.


Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to understand the concepts of reliability and robustness in the context of design and interpreting systems and networks. Students will learn the basics of system-based reliability analysis, including powerful tools to analyze the robustness and reliability of the network, as well as to design these.


The course examination consists of (1) an oral examination with written preparation and (2) several small project tasks to be fulfilled by the students in the framework of the practice sessions. Submission of these assignments is a necessary condition to be invited to the examination.

Participation Requirements

It is recommended that "Statistical Procedures" and "Introduction to Reliability Analysis" courses are 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. Further, a solid basis in Calculus and Linear Algebra are recommended prior to taking this course.



Practice sessions





Thursday  14:00-16:00 Friday 9:00-11:00 


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


Dr. Marcos Valdebenito

Nataly Manque Roa


Link to Moodle





ECTS Credits:



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