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If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants, Sir Isaac Newton............. If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? Albert Einstein............A good scientist is a person with original ideas. A good engineer is a person who makes a design that works with as few original ideas as possible, Freeman Dyson............The joy of engineering is to find a straight line on a double logarithmic diagram, Thomas Koenig.............A great bridge is a great monument which should serve to make known the splendour and genius of a nation; one should not occupy oneself with efforts to perfect it architecturally, for taste is always susceptible to change, but to conserve always in its form and decoration the character of solidity which is proper. Jean Peronnet..............A theory may be so rich in descriptive possibilities that it can be made to fit any data. Phillip Johnson-Laird.............We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us. Winston Churchill................
Reliability of Structures


Structural Reliability

This course attempts to answer the following questions:

How can we measure the safety of structures?

Safety can be measured in terms of reliabilityor the probability of uninterrupted operation.

The complementto reliability is the probability of failure.

How safe is safe enough?

As mentioned earlier, it is impossibleto have an absolutely safe structure.

Every structure has a certain nonzero probability of failure.

Conceptually, we can design the structure to reduce the probability of failure, but increasing the safety(or reducing the probability of failure) beyond a certain optimum level is not always economical.

This optimum safety level has to be determined.

How does a designer implement the optimum safety level?

Once the optimum safety level is determined, appropriate design provisions must be established so that structures will be designed accordingly.

Implementation of the target reliability can be accomplished through the development of probability-based design codes.



Ranganathan, R., (1990). Reliability Analysis and Design of Structures, TATA McGrawhill, Delhi.
Melchers, R. E. (1999). Structural reliability analysis and prediction, 2nd Ed., John Wiley, Chichester; New York.
Ditlevsen, O., and Madsen, H. O. (2007). Structural Reliability Methods, Internet Edition 2.3.7, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK.
Madsen, H. O., Krenk, S., and Lind, N. C. (2006). Methods of structural safety, Dover Ed., Dover Publications, Mineola, NY.
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