Reliability Society Newsletter


Vol. 58, No. 2. May 2012

President's Message

Reliability Society Members,

Hi. 2012 is well underway. I hope that you had a happy Mother's Day with your mother and please enjoy the upcoming Father's Day with your dad and family.

Our Reliability Society

As you are well aware, the Reliability Society (RS) is a technical Society within the IEEE, the world's leading association for the advancement of technology. The RS is a volunteer group of professionals engaged in assuring reliability in the engineering disciplines of hardware, software, and human factors. The RS is focused on the broad aspects of reliability and trustworthiness, allowing the RS to be seen as the IEEE Specialty Engineering organization. The RS drives the abilities for attaining and sustaining these broad reliability-oriented design attributes across the product's total life cycle. The RS has the management, resources, and administrative and technical structures to develop and to provide technical information via publications, training, conferences, and technical library (IEEE Xplore) data. The Reliability Society has 23 Chapters and has members in 60 countries worldwide.

In its role of providing broad reliability aspects of Specialty Engineering resources, the RS disciplines span design engineering fields, providing knowledge and expertise to incorporate reliability-specific attributes into the design of systems / products / devices / processes. The RS wants to assure that a system will perform its intended function for the required duration within a given environment, plus the security / privacy aspects and the ability to test and support it throughout its total life cycle. This is accomplished concurrently with other design disciplines by contributing to the planning and the selection of the system architecture, HW & SW design implementation, materials, processes, and components; followed by verifying thorough analysis and test and then by sustainment. Reliability and trustworthiness are product design attributes that cannot be ignored. Every design has these characteristics. They are critical ingredients of all designs created within all industries. It is far better to explicitly consider reliability and trustworthiness, than to ignore them and hope for the best.

The Reliability Society provides a professional home for Specialty Engineering disciplines covering not only Reliability Engineering, but also Integrity, Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) / Testability, Maintainability, Human System Interface (HSI) / Human Factors (HF), System Safety, Supportability Engineering, and Software Engineering with discipline / focus on SW Reliability, PHM SW, Trust, System Security, Privacy, and Cyber-Security.

Visit our RS web site ( often. It is the gateway to the many resources that the RS makes available in the broad aspects of reliability. The Reliability Society can and does help create a win-win situation for you and the RS in this current dynamic, world-wide technology environment. By being active within the RS, you receive access to the Society's many resources along with opportunities for professional growth by interacting with many of the "movers and shakers" in this broad reliability discipline. The Reliability Society provides its members with networking opportunities for technical exchange with leading experts around the world. Involvement and participation within local chapters or national technical committees is encouraged. All reliability and trustworthiness professionals can benefit from membership in the Reliability Society.

Chicago RS Chapter Re-activation

Thanks to Zhaojun (Steven) Li for becoming the Chicago RS Chapter Chair and reactivating the Chicago RS Chapter. Steven Li has a PhD, has done research in Reliability and Physics-of-Failure Analysis, and is a Reliability Engineer at Electro-Motive Diesel, a subsidiary of Progress Rail and Caterpillar.

The volunteer officers for the IEEE Chicago Reliability Society Chapter are:
   Steven Li, PhD, ASQ CRE, Chapter Chair
   Khalid Mekki, PhD, Chapter Vice-Chair
   Subhash Gedam, PhD, ASQ CRE, Chapter Secretary - Treasurer
   David He, PhD, Board Advisor

Their first 2012 RS Chapter meeting was held on April 13 at the Engineering Research Facility (ERF) at the University of Illinois at Chicago with good attendance. Their meeting agenda consisted of a pre-meeting social, Introduction to the RS Chapter, Diagnostic and Prognostics Presentation, and then an after meeting social. Ref their website (

Thanks to Professor David He, University of Illinois at Chicago, for recommending Steven Li to become our Chapter Chair. Also thanks to Dr. He for giving the presentation at their first meeting. The presentation was titled "Recent Development of Diagnostic and Prognostic Tools for Rotating Machines". The presentation Abstract: In this presentation, recent development of diagnostic and prognostic tools using new emerging signal processing techniques and sensing technologies for newly designed rotating systems and components of new application materials will be discussed. In particular, the presentation will be divided into two parts. The first part of the presentation will focus on fault diagnostics and the second part on health prognostics. Real case studies on split torque gearbox, full ceramic and plastic bearings, lubrication oil health monitoring, diagnostics and prognostics will be presented to demonstrate the application of the developed diagnostic and prognostic tools.

UTD CS Colloquium / IEEE RS Outreach

Thanks to Professor Eric Wong for holding and involving us with the UTD Computer Science Colloquium / IEEE RS Student-Industry Outreach, held on May 4. The topic was "RanTGen: A Tool for Random Generation of Valid Object Configurations for Testing Object-Oriented Programs" presented by Sudipto Ghosh, an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Colorado State University. Thanks to Sudipto Ghosh for his nice presentation. His presentation Abstract: Developing effective test cases for large-scale object-oriented software is challenging. In spite of decades of research on software testing, industrial-strength test generation approaches are hard to find. A scalable approach to test input generation is required to support systematic software testing on a large scale and at various levels (unit, integration, and system). While random test generation approaches can be fast and scalable, they are generally not as effective as systematic test generation approaches, which achieve higher code coverage. We present a scalable and effective test generation approach for object-oriented programs. This approach leverages aspects of both random and systematic test generation approaches. The approach uses guided random generation of valid test inputs that cover diverse object configurations. Given a program-under-test and a structural design specification, the approach produces object configurations that conform to the design specification. A specification is a class model that includes, for example, multiplicity constraints on associations. The test cases are generated in the form of JUnit tests, which are widely used in the software industry.

Near Team RS Sponsored Conference

The RS will be holding the following annual conferences this summer:

  • Our third annual RS Conference on Prognostics and Health Management (PHM) ( being held on June 18-21 at the Omni Interlocken Resort Hotel in Denver, Colorado.
  • The sixth annual Conference on Software Security and Reliability (SERE) ( being held on June 20-22 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology located in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

  • In addition, the RS has organized two new conferences which will be held on university campuses this summer:

  • The Reliability Science for Advanced Materials and Devices (RSAMD) ( being held on September 10-11 in Petroleum Hall in the Green Center at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado
  • The Hackademic conference ( being held on June 29 — July 1 in the Clayton Hall at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware.

  • Review those conferences applicable to you and plan to attendee.

    Thanks to each of you for your Reliability Society membership.

    Best regards,

    Dennis Hoffman
    2012 RS President


    From the Editor

    In this 2012 May issue of Reliability Society Newsletter, President Dennis Hoffman begins with a brief introduction to Reliability Society (RS). In this introduction, Dennis highlights the disciplines and the achievements of RS. Furthermore, he briefly described the RS resources that are available to the newsletter readers. We also would like to take this opportunity to thank Zhaojun (Steven) Li for becoming the Chicago RS Chapter Chair and the volunteer officers in Chicago RS Chapter for their dedication to RS. It is wonderful to have the Chicago RS Chapter re-activated. This issue also would like to call for participation in SERE2012, and call for submissions to two T-Rel special sections on "Battery Reliability and Safety" and "Information, System, and Software Assurance: Research & Practice", respectively.

    This issue contains "Condition Based Management Augmenting Software and System Reliability" by Dr. Samuel J Keene of FIEEE. In this article, Dr. Samuel J Keene uses Prof. Jeffery Voas's pictorial representation of "nesting and interaction of software and system components" to explain the relationships of software and system on reliability issues. The article further explains that the source of a software failure may be the system that the software runs on, and introduces the concept of "software rejuvenation" to enhance overall reliability. The 2nd article "Human Reliability" by Dr. Irving Engelson of LFIEEE highlights a problem that we all take for granted in our daily life. The problem involves with expectation of a human being, and this expectation helps us to judges the reliability of a human being. Thus, this leads to Dr. Irving's topic, "Human Reliability", where he is requesting general comments on the proposed topic.

    The Newsletter has been the society's primary media for sharing thoughts on reliability related issues and announcements of events of interest to our members. This newsletter will publish content deemed appropriate for and of interest to members of the IEEE Reliability Society and members of the reliability profession in general. Accepted content includes announcements and reports of activities sponsored by the Reliability Society including chapter meetings, workshops and conferences. Technical papers including reviews, opinions, case studies or new ideas for the reliability professional are welcomed and accepted without external review. Authors are solely responsible for the correctness of results presented and proper citation of work by others. For submissions to Prognostic Health Management (PHM) section, please contact Dr. Pradeep Lall who is the editor handling the PHM section. For further information please contact Dr. Lall.

    Deadlines for submission of content:

    Aug. 10 (Issue No. 3/2012)
    Nov. 10 (Issue No. 4/2012)
    Feb. 10 (Issue No. 1/2013)
    May 10 (Issue No. 2/2013)

    I would like to thank the RS Officers, AdCom members, Chapter chairs and members at large who have contributed to this issue. I sincerely hope our members can continue sharing your thoughts through our newsletter.

    If you have any suggestions or comments on the newsletter, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.


    Shiuhpyng Winston Shieh, PhD
    Newsletter Editor-in-Chief

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