SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMH323560
Module Leader Babakalli Alkali
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Mechanical Engineering
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

This module aims to provide an understanding of the fundamentals of reliability and decision theory. It will examine these techniques as applied to risk, availability and maintenance management. It will also bridge the gap between theoretical subject of "Reliability Engineering" (RE) and day-to-day equipment maintenance practice. In addition, techniques will be treated to analyse field data to report on business targets. Apart from these quantitative approaches, attention will be paid to a variety of formal, qualitative risk identification and maintenance optimisation methods used in industry.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas: Introduction to the probability concepts and principles of stochastic modelling. Various probability distributions and their characteristics will be discussed. Why systems fail and practical cases of reliability, or lack of it. Reliability/Availability Theory Types of failures (functional, elementary, observable, hidden), and link with engineering principles. Consequences of functional failure (failure mode, effect and criticality analysis, fault trees, quantitative risk assessment, link with hazard and operability studies and Reliability-Centred Maintenance). Reliability data collection and analysis. Statistical analysis, Probability theory and Markov Processes. The effect of redundancy systems and maintenance strategy (including inspection) on functional reliability. Long-term average and non-stationary availability assessment for single elements and complex systems. Maintenance Optimisation Specifying goals from the business plan, identification and ranking of criticality of failure. Cost-benefit analysis of preventive maintenance (age, block, and capital replacement techniques) and inspection techniques. Planning, scheduling and operational aspects. Optimal allocation of manpower (downtime costs, repair cost and spare parts). Scheduling of cost effective maintenance strategy of systems. Risk Analysis and Management Risk management processes. Risk identification and Evaluation in Safety, RMA; check lists, fault tree analysis, HAZOP and QRA pros and cons. Risk in a psycho-social context motivating a safety/goal driven culture. Competing Risk Analysis. Decision Support Tools Commercially available software, modelling and solution techniques, when and where to use basic assumptions involved, demos and test cases. IT systems' engineering aspects.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, the candidate should be able to:1. Use the concepts of probability and stochastic decisions theory to quantitatively analyse complex (production) system w.r.t. the risks of not meeting safety and/or environmental targets.2. Quantitatively assess system availability (probability of meeting demand specifications from business plan) based on capacity of process units, their reliability and maintenance characteristics, process line-up, redundancy and buffering.3. Understand the use modelling approach towards cost effective maintenance optimisation to support decision on operational, age, capital replacement of assets. 4. Using this theoretical insight and engineering views, employ commercially-available software packages to quantify in cost-benefits terms, the effects of various maintenance and inspection strategies, manpower and activity planning/scheduling strategies for spare parts logistics.5. Use field data to analyse the impact of implemented maintenance strategies on the company business plan.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Full-time This module will be taught by lectures, practicals, seminars and software demonstrations, industrial visits and case studies. Lecture materials will be delivered within the first week of the three weeks cycle. Practical work will be undertaken over two weeks and the module content will be implemented by a combination of notes, a study pack, tutorials and case studies. Materials will be available on GCULearn. Part-time In the first week the materials will be delivered by a series of lectures supported by a 3 hour tutorial session which will be used for reliability data analysis. Following the full-time week students are expected to analyse data given, in addition to completing the following tasks which will enhance their understanding: Use appropriate software (ReliaSoft) for reliability and availability data analysis Fit adequate models to data sets to get results to support decision making Tutors will be available for consultation via e-mail, telephone and GCULearn. Distance Learning Students will be provided with study pack which will cover the syllabus materials. The module content will be delivered through the combination of notes, tutorials and practical sessions. Students will be provided with sample data and case studies. Students are expected to carry reliability and availability assessment of the sample data, in addition to completing the tasks which will enhance the students understanding: Use appropriate software for reliability and availability data analysis (student will have access to software) Fit adequate models to data sets to get valuable results to support decision making Tutors will be available for consultation via e-mail, telephone and GCULearn. Case studies and exercise materials will be available on GCULearn.

Indicative Reading

Students will be provided with course notes and directed to appropraite web-sites and technical publications to.relevant topics from the following books: 1. Practical Reliability Engineering, 5th Edition, P O'Connor, and Andrew Kleyner Wiley (2012). 978-0-470-97982-2. 2. Reliability and Risk Assessment, JD Andrews and TR Moss, Professional Engineering Publishing (2002) 3. Case Studies in Reliability and Maintenance WR Blischke and DNP Murthy (2003) 4. The Reliability Data Handbook, TR Moss, (2004). 1860584446, 9781860584442. 5. Reliability Engineering: Elsayed A Elsayed, 2nd Edition, Wiley (2012) ISBN-13: 978-1118137192 ISBN-10: 1118137191. 6. Decision Analysis of Major Disasters: Learning from Disasters, A Labib (2014). Butterworth-Heinemann,ISBN : 9780124167278. 7. Maintenance, Replacement, and Reliability: Theory and Applications, 2nd Edition (Revised) Andrew K. S. Jardine, Albert H. C. Tsang (2013),CRC Press Inc. ISBN 10: 1466554851, ISBN 13: 9781466554856. 8. Repairable System Reliability. Harold Ascher, Harry Feingold (1984). 0824772768, 9780824772765. 9. Statistical Analysis of Reliability Data, (1994) Martin J. Crowder, Alan Kimber, T. Sweeting, and R. Smith. Chapman and Hall/CRC; New Ed edition. ISBN-10: 0412594803, ISBN-13: 978-0412594809.

Transferrable Skills

Critical thinking and problem solving. Critical analysis. Communication skills, written, oral and listening. Numeracy. Effective Information retrieval and research skills. Self confidence, self discipline & self reliance (independent working). Awareness of strengths and weaknesses. Creativity, innovation & independent thinking. Reliability, integrity, honesty and ethical awareness Enterprise/Business Skills Ability to prioritise tasks and time management (organising and planning work). Interpersonal skills, team working and leadership. Presentation skills. Commercial awareness

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (FT) 24.00
Practicals (FT) 16.00
Independent Learning (FT) 78.00
Tutorials (FT) 8.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 45% Exam office
Coursework 1 n/a 50.00 45% Case study Software based exercise (2000 words)