Course Descriptions
MECH_ENG 359: Reliability Engineering

Quarter Offered

None : TTh 4:00-5:20pm ; E. Lewis


GEN ENG 205-4


picProbability concepts and random variables. Failure rates and reliability testing. Wear-in, wear-out, random failures. Probabilistic treatment of loads, capacity, safety factors. Reliability of redundant and maintained systems. Fault tree analysis.

Who Takes It

Reliability is a central consideration across the entire spectrum of engineering disciplines, and this course is structured to be accessible to students in all MEAS curricula. Examples come from mechanical, electrical, civil, biomedical, and other areas of engineering. Students are assumed to have no previous course work in probability or statistics since the necessary concepts are explained, and emphasis is placed on application rather than on mathematical underpinnings. Typical enrollment has been about an equal mix of engineering juniors and seniors, plus a few graduate students.

What It's About

ME 359 provides a elementary knowledge reliability engineering methods and in the use of probability and statistics in analyzing product variability, failures, and safety hazards.


  • Probability and sampling
  • Random variables
  • Quality and its measure
  • Data and distributions
  • Reliability and rates of failure
  • Loads, capacity, and reliability
  • Reliability resting
  • Redundancy
  • Safety systems analysis


Typically there are two quizzes, six or seven problem sets, and a final examination.


Introduction to Reliability Engineering, E. E. Lewis, 2nd Ed. , Wiley, NY 1996