On Thursday, November 29th, the Denver Section of the IEEE Reliability Society enjoyed an evening of professional discussions and networking, with a very interesting technical talk from Dr. Rui Liu, a drawing for a book by Gregg Hobbs, and pizza and subs for the attendees.
We started at 6pm at the Senate Chambers in the Tivoli Building at the University of Colorado-Denver with informal discussions about engineering and reliability, future meeting ideas, and other business. In attendance were at least four IEEE members, and eleven non-IEEE members, many of them students, a few of which decided they would join the IEEE that evening. CU Denver’s Department of Electrical Engineering sponsored us for the cost of the facility, and everyone enjoyed pizza and subs provided by the IEEE Reliability Society’s Denver Section. This event, which was free to attendees and open to the public, was held at a time and location convenient for the attendees who expressed interest in attending, as well as the speaker. One discussion some of us had may lead to a January joint meeting with student engineering groups at Denver University.
At 6:30pm, Dr. Liu started his talk by describing how organizations like the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers assesses the condition of water transportation infrastructures (such as steel sheet pile structures, miter gates, and sector gates used in water transportation systems), through various measurements of deviation, visual inspection of degradation features, and subjective measurements of condition and degradation as well. Dr. Liu has contributed to this work by developing several models of various degradation features, including statistical variability of materials and measurement error as well as mechanical engineering models, then combining these into reliability measurement assessments through a reliability index. By developing these models, engineers are now able to assess the various maintenance options, in combinations and comparatively, to optimize the maintenance of infrastructures. The U. S. Government is responsible for the maintenance of infrastructures, and has estimates of the cost of correcting the degradation of critical infrastructures in trillions of dollars. Dr. Liu’s research works can help us potentially reduce these costs, and at least prioritize the maintenance of a good portion of these systems so we can be much more effective with our Government’s maintenance dollars. The attendees were very interested in the work, asking multiple questions and offering suggestions for where to develop the work’s benefits even further.
Then we held a drawing for a free book: “Accelerated Reliability Engineering: HALT and HASS” by Gregg Hobbs. Virginia Hobbs, the owner and operator of Hobbs Engineering, provided the book, and told us a bit about the history of Highly Accelerated Life Testing and Stress Screening. One fortunate attendee was able to take the book home, and already had plans for reading it and sharing the information.
In closing the evening, we thanked Dr. Liu and Virginia Hobbs for their contributions, mentioned our tentative plans for a January or February meeting next, and completed many of the discussions and ideas from the evening.
Be sure to watch our website for updates on our next and future meetings, and to contact us for information, or suggestions on future meetings you would prefer to attend or perhaps contribute to. We hope to see you there!