This article is the first in a series addressing the availability of reliability knowledge, who has it and how you can take advantage of it to improve products and systems. Despite a broad interest in reliability, there is a general lack of coordination of the efforts of many disparate organizations dealing with reliability issues.

In recent years, industry and academia have taken over the leadership role in reliability research from the Department of Defense. Table 1 identifies many of the international organizations that play a role in reliability (our apologies for leaving anyone out).

Table 1-International Organizations Contributing to Reliability

Organization Specialty Areas Web Site
American Society for Quality Reliability Training & Certification
Applied Research Lab (Penn State University) Condition-based Maintenance, Asset Health Management, Prognostics
Army Material Systems Analysis Activity (AMSAA) Reliability Analysis Techniques
Center for Aviation Systems Reliability (Iowa State University) Aviation Systems Reliability
Center for Reliability and Risk Analysis (Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory) Fault Tree Analysis
Center for Reliable Computing Computer Reliability
Center for Risk and Reliability (CRR) (University of Maryland) System Reliability, Human Reliability, Software Reliability, Risk Management, CALCE
Center for Semiconductor Device Reliability Research (CSDRR) Semiconductor Reliability
Center for System Reliability (Sandia Laboratories) Radiation Hardening, MEMS Reliability, and Dormant Reliability
Centre for Software Reliability (City University of London) Software Reliability
Centre for Software Reliability (Newcastle University) Software Reliability
Cyber Security and Information Systems Information Analysis Center (CSIAC) Software Quality and Reliability
FAA Center for Aviation Systems Reliability (Iowa State University) Aviation Reliability
Government-Industry Data Exchange Program (GIDEP) Component Reliability
International Alliance for Interoperability Interoperability
Jet Propulsion Lab Spacecraft Reliability
Joint Interoperability Test Command Interoperability
Machinery Information Management Open Systems Alliance (MIMOSA) Training, Standards and Guides
Reliability and Maintainability Center (RMC) (University of Tennessee Knoxville) Maintenance Planning
Reliability Engineering and Asset Management (University of Manchester) European Maintenance Planning
Mathematics Imagination Reliability Cost Engineering (MIRCE) Academy European Reliability Practices
Monash University Australian Reliability Centered Maintenance
Network Reliability and Interoperability Council Network Reliability
North America Electric Reliability Council Electrical Reliability
Defense Systems Information Analysis Center (DSIAC) Failure rate modeling, system reliability
Reliability Center (IMEC Research Center) European Reliability Practices
RMQSI Knowledge Center RMQ Prediction, Modeling, Analysis
Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization Interoperability
SINTEF Industrial Management, Safety and Reliability European Reliability Practices
Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) Training, Standards and Guides
Society for Machinery Failure Prevention Technology Condition-based Maintenance
Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Reliability Division Training, Standards and Guides
Society of Logistics Engineers (SOLE) Training, Standards and Guides
Society of Reliability Engineers (SRE) Training, Standards and Guides
University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab Interoperability


Another area of reliability knowledge is training. The University of Maryland Center for Reliability Engineering is the international leader in formal R&M education and now offers all of its R&M courses on-line. For those interested in “short term” training there are a number of sources such as those indicated in Table 2.

Table 2-Sources of Short Term R&M Training

Training Source Web Site
Quanterion Solutions Incorporated
RMQSI Knowledge Center
Defense Systems Information Analysis Center (DSIAC)
ABS Consulting
Reliability Center, Inc.
Equipment Reliability Institute


If you need reliability training but can’t schedule the time to attend a short-term course, on-line asynchronous (

training at the times that are convenient to you) is for you. Quanterion has just released the first on-line training courses of a five part series in all the topics of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) Certified Reliability Engineer (CRE) Body of Knowledge. It’s called “REPERTOIRE.” You need not be preparing to take the CRE exam to benefit from the courses; the ASQ structure just provides a convenient way the organize the reliability content. What makes these on-line courses more effective is that they’re interactive with frequent quizzes that are scored, and they also have selectable audio to accompany the presentations. Click here to take the demo course.

How about tools for reliability? There are lots of quality suppliers of reliability tools and we’re not going to recommend one over the others, but we will list a few that are “significant” in the marketplace.

Table 3-Significant Reliability Software Vendors

Reliability Software Tool Vendor Web Site
Item Software
Isograph Software


As long as we’re talking tools, Quanterion just released its new version of QuART(Quanterion Automated Reliability Toolkit), called QuART ER. It doubles the number of tools previously available in QuART and includes the first in the REPERTOIRE training course series mentioned above.

How about an entire “environment” of reliability data, information, advisors, and tools? Well, we’re working on it for the Army. We’re developing a “Product Reliability On-line Tools Collection (PROTOCOL)” environment that will be a web-based environment of all kinds of reliability knowledge that will help you design and build reliable products, and to also track their reliability after release. It will look something like Figure 1. Details will follow in a future edition of Reliability Ques.

Figure 1-PROTOCOL Reliability Environment