It’s all about Reliability

If you consider yourself an engineer, think about what you do in a very broad sense. Engineering is all about applying scientific discovery and making it practical, useful, and widely used.

If you are an Electrical Engineer, for example, then you are at some level of the electronics systems hierarchy building off of scientific discovery by making systems that address needs, solve problems, etc. If all we had to work with was the first version of every scientific bench experiment, we would not be able to build the systems we do today. The performance would not be sufficient for most problems, the costs would be huge, and certainly the reliability would be very poor. But focusing on making things cheaper is not enough, as it may still not perform well enough to be useful. And improve performance all you want, and it still won’t be of use if it continues to fail frequently, cannot be easily repaired, or does not meet mission needs, cannot be maintained, does not survive operation, etc.

Think about what you do as a professional, and I’ll bet you can generalize at least part of what you do as assuring the reliability of something. Even the scientists worry about reliability, as their experiments have to be repeatable for confirmation, and that is just a concern of reliability. Even the teacher is focused on improving the reliability of the students.

So if you are an engineer of any sort, even a scientist, a teacher, or a professional filling most any role for that matter, consider yourself to be a professional focused on reliability.  And if you feel the need to improve on your own reliability, consider attending the 2014 RAMS® conference, the annual reliability and maintainability symposium, to be held in Colorado Springs in just a few months.

About Rupe

Dr. Jason Rupe wants to make the world more reliable, even though he likes to break things. He received his BS (1989), and MS (1991) degrees in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University; and his Ph.D. (1995) from Texas A&M University. He worked on research contracts at Iowa State University for CECOM on the Command & Control Communication and Information Network Analysis Tool, and conducted research on large scale systems and network modeling for Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, and Survivability (RAMS) at Texas A&M University. He has taught quality and reliability at these universities, published several papers in respected technical journals, reviewed books, and refereed publications and conference proceedings. He is a Senior Member of IEEE and of IIE. He has served as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Reliability, and currently works as its Managing Editor. He has served as Vice-Chair'n for RAMS, on the program committee for DRCN, and on the committees of several other reliability conferences because free labor is always welcome. He has also served on the advisory board for IIE Solutions magazine, as an officer for IIE Quality and Reliability division, and various local chapter positions for IEEE and IIE. Jason has worked at USWEST Advanced Technologies, and has held various titles at Qwest Communications Intl., Inc, most recently as Director of the Technology Modeling Team, Qwest's Network Modeling and Operations Research group for the CTO. He has always been those companies' reliability lead. Occasionally, he can be found teaching as an Adjunct Professor at Metro State College of Denver. Jason is the Director of Operational Modeling (DOM) at Polar Star Consulting where he helps government and private industry to plan and build highly performing and reliable networks and services. He holds two patents. If you read this far, congratulations for making it to the end!
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