Reliability Society Newsletter


Vol. 59, No. 2. May 2013

President's Message

Reliability Society Members,

Hello, I assume that everyone is having a good year and enjoying their activities and functions. Our AdCom members are and it is very positive with their statements. Being very active with the ExCom members is a real plus as they do very good tasks and activities. Thanks to you all.

In Memory

It is with deepest regret that I inform you that Todd Weatherford's wife, Betty, passed away in late January after a hard-fought battle with breast cancer. For her, the is an excellent source of information. The memorial service for Betty was held on February 5 at Salinas Valley Community Church in Salinas, CA. As a reminder, Todd had been an elected RS AdCom member for many years.

Following this sad news, we have had good contact with Todd and with a number of other people. One very nice contact was with Ken LaSala, a past President of the Reliability Society, and I hope to see him at our June AdCom meeting or dinner in Washington DC. At our April ExCom meeting before the annual IRPS Conference, Todd and his three children (2 sons and a daughter) met with us at our dinner. It was very nice visiting with Todd and meeting / speaking with his children.

Medical Issues

During our April ExCom meeting, Alfred Steven's wife had a medical problem and had to go to a local hospital and ended up having surgery done. While there, Todd visited them at the hospital. Livy is during well and they got to return to their home in Florida. Alfred tells us she is up and around now, so we are quite happy about that.

Another ExCom member had shoulder surgery done after she (Marsha Abramo) returned home, resulting from an auto accident last December. Marsha also did well and is doing Physical Therapy to regain all of her strength. We are very glad that Livy and Marsha are doing well.

Upcoming RS Conferences

SERE Conference — Our 2013 International Conference on Software Security and Reliability ( is sponsored by the IEEE Reliability Society and is technically co-sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and by the Intelligent Information & Communications Research Center at the National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan. The conference will be held at NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland (Washington DC Metro Area) and the conference Registration is now open. SERE 2013 brings together a wide range of researchers and practitioners to present their on-going ideas, experiences, and outcomes of most recent research, and to exchange their best-of-breed practices for developing reliable, secure, and trustworthy software systems in a more effective and efficient way. It not only allows the academic community to gain an increased awareness of the areas that are vital to the software industry, but it also grants practitioners an opportunity to express their needs. The conference attendee hotel is the Hilton Washington, DC North / Gaithersburg. Each room reservation includes a complimentary full breakfast, complimentary parking, complimentary guest room internet access, and shuttle service to and from the NIST Campus. You can reserve your hotel room during your conference registration.

PHM Conference — Our 2013 IEEE International Conference on Prognostics and Health Management; Enhancing Safety, Efficiency, Availability, and Effectiveness of Systems through PHM Technology and Application ( is being held on June 24-27, 2013 and conducted at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland (Washington DC Metro Area). Besides an excellent slate of speakers over a wide range of topics and industries, some additional features include a special session for the IEEE Transportation Electrification Initiative and a face-to-face meeting of the IEEE PHM Standards Working Group. Registration for the Annual PHM Conference is now open. The conference will address the broad range of PHM disciplines and topics including testability, diagnostics, prognostics, and health management across the pertinent disciplines; addressing key technologies at all levels as well as PHM Systems Engineering and Management. The conference attendee hotel is the Hilton Washington, DC North / Gaithersburg. A block of rooms has been set aside for PHM 2013. Each room reservation includes a complimentary full breakfast, complimentary parking, complimentary guest room internet access, and shuttle service to and from the NIST Campus. You can reserve your hotel room during your conference registration. Your conference registration fee includes a daily luncheon at NIST as well as a hosted reception at the Hilton.

RSAMD Conference — The new IEEE IConference on Reliability Science for Advanced Materials and Devices (RSAMD) ( was held at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, on February 24-25, 2013. This RSAMD was initiated by Carole Graas (a Professor at the Colorado School of Mines and a RS AdCom elected member) and focused on reliability failure modes in a wide range of advanced devices, stimulating reflections on convergences between diverse technologies, including photovoltaics, semiconductors, and displays. The innovative program included both educational and in-depth presentations, from academic lectures to focused thematic and research papers. A workshop on statistical techniques for reliability research rounded up the program. Feedback from attendees indicated that this meeting constituted a much needed and valuable addition to the current meeting landscape in the field. Based on the 2013 conference there is a very good pool of enthusiastic committee volunteers for a 2014 edition of the conference. Presently, the target date of the 2014 RSAMD is planned for early September 2014.

Consider being a RS Topic Directors

A number of the RS Topic Area Director positions are still available. The Director is to focus on a specific topic, know a lot of contacts / experts, and help identify / gain involvement with those persons to be active in a technical aspect within the RS. Each Director will help expand specific needed technical aspects (conferences, technical committees, webinars, special sections for T-Rel publication, Standards, etc) by identifying them to the appropriate RS Vice President as requested. Each Director will be approved by the AdCom and appointed by the RS President. Each Director needs to be an IEEE and RS member. Annually, each Director can attend a scheduled joint ExCom and AdCom meeting (as requested by the ExCom) to present their Topic plans / plan status. Their travel expense will be reimbursed at the maximum level as the AdCom defined allowable travel expense amount. I hope that a number of RS members will be interested in being one of the Director positions or can recommend someone to be a Director. Let me know your interest or if want to discuss with me. Email me at


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 can interact with many of the "movers and shakers" in this broad reliability discipline.

Conference proceedings are available for access in the Reliability Digital Library (RDL). As an RS member you get complete and free access to everything in the RDL. The RDL can be accessed at . Sign in with your IEEE user id and password and then click on "What can I access?". Then select the IEEE Reliability Society Conference Digital Library. This will bring up links to all the conference proceedings that are available.

RS members should consider being involved at some level within the Reliability Society. Your involvement can be in your local RS Chapter, in RS Conference Management Committees, within one of the RS Officer Committees, in being a Chair or active member in a Technical Committees, in a Standards development team, etc. It is also very great for our RS members to be an author for our RS publications or LOR (Letter on Reliability). Please consider.

Thanks to each of you for your Reliability Society membership.

Best regards,

Dennis Hoffman
2013 RS President


From the Editor

In this May issue of Reliability Society Newsletter, President Dennis Hoffman begins with sad news of a lost. We are sorry to inform that Todd Weatherford, RS AdCom member, has lost his wife, Betty, in late January. Please accept our sincerest condolence. There are also some medical issues happened to our RS members and families. However, we are glade that Alfred Steven's wife, Livy, and Marsha Abramo are doing well after medical surgery.

There are 3 RS conferences coming up for the 2nd half of 2013 and 2014. They are SERE, PHM, and RSAMD. President Dennis Hoffman gave a brief introduction to those conferences and you are welcome to register if the conference matches your interest. Lastly, the opening positions of RS topic director are still available. President Dennis Hoffman welcomes RS members to participate in one of the opening RS topic director positions.

In addition to the articles that are available in regular RS newsletters, this May issue also features a book where Prof. Way Kuo discusses the issue of nuclear energy. Prof. Kuo is the President of City University of Hong Kong who is also the international expert of nuclear energy reliability. The book features reports of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, and policies of energy and future environment protection are also covered in the book. This book is currently available in Traditional Chinese; however, it will be translated into English, Japanese, and shortened Chinese. The expected English version will be made available in August/September this year.

Two feature articles are available in this May issue. The first article, “Security of Security Tools”, is written by Prof. Fu-Hau Hsu. This article highlights the importance of the security tools that is related to our modern digital life and Prof. Hsu also points out the important issues that are related to the security tools which could be overlooked. The 2nd article, Failure of Successful Reliability Demonstration Tests”, is written by Dr. Guangbin Yang. Dr. Yang points out the pitfalls when correlating the field application to the reliability demonstration test that may lead to unexpected product failure. The author also listed out the actions for correcting reliability demonstration tests when it failed to detect inadequate design or process.

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. 1 (Issue No. 3/2013)
Nov. 1 (Issue No. 4/2013)
Feb. 1 (Issue No. 1/2014)
May. 1 (Issue No. 2/2014)

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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