The 2017 LRF Distinguished Lecture in Safety & Reliability Engineering

The 2017 LRF Distinguished Lecture in Safety & Reliability Engineering

Reliability Issues in Codes and Standards


Safety and reliability issues are treated differently in various fields of engineering. Sometimes the differences concern definitions and formats, in other cases it may be more fundamental. This may lead to confusion between engineers of different disciplines, but even more so in communication with the outside world. Notions of risk and probability are not always understood by the public or authorities in the same way as by technical scientists.

The document ISO2394 aims to set up a common standard for dealing with this subject for the design and assessment of all kinds of structural applications. In the lecture, several items of practical as well as more philosophical nature related to this standard will be discussed. Typical topics are the choice of the Bayesian probability interpretation, criteria for and levels of decision making, the need for physical models as a basis for reliability assessment, the treatment of systems behaviour, time dependency and degradation inspection. Particular attention will be given to reliability modeling for fatigue of structures.


Ton Vrouwenvelder is a retired professor from Delft University, but still active at the Dutch research and development organisation TNO. He is a current member of the Tcbb-committee on the evaluation of damage due to induced seismicity as a result of gas extraction in the northern part of the Netherlands. In the course of his career he has been involved in national and international research and consultancy projects, as well as in the development of standards for the design and assessment of buildings and civil engineering structures (Dutch standards, ISO standards and Eurocodes). In particular he has been involved in the development of Eurocode 1990 Basis of Structural Design and ISO 2394. Together with Professor Joerg Schneider, he was responsible for writing the theoretical background in “Introduction to Safety and Reliability of Structures (IABSE, SED 5, 3rd edition)”. Professor Vrouwenvelder has been a member of the Joint Committee on Structural Safety since 1982 and served as its president in the period from 1999 to 2005. As chairman of the JCSS Working Party 1, he was largely responsible for the development of the JCSS Probabilistic Model Code. He received the C. Allin Cornell CERRA Award in 2011 and presented the Freudenthal Lecture at ICOSSAR 2017.

The lecture will close with a Q&A followed by refreshments in James McKay Hall. 

This event is FREE, But booking is required HERE

Professor Ton Vrouwenvelder
King's Conference Centre
Online booking available