Practical Reliability Engineering

Any business exists to pursue opportunity and mitigate downside risk. Like it or not there is an element of chance in business and we seek to increase the odds in our favour. Most people can see the prize or the consequence, but few people can accurately estimate the probability of the outcome. Reliability engineering is all about estimating and controlling probability.

Technical reliability engineering can be intimidating due to the numerous calculations, tools and techniques available. This course provides an overview of the key concepts, whilst maintaining perspective on the practical outcomes reliability engineering should deliver – what does your facility need to focus on to minimise the risk and maximise the profit?

Target Audience

Who contributes to facility reliability in your organization? Reliability is driven from the top through budgets set for maintenance activities and production targets for facilities, then managed by engineering, reliability, maintenance and operations departments.

This course is aimed at leaders, managers, supervisors and engineers who are involved in the processes that deliver a reliable organization.

Course Topics

This course focuses on the application of the many tools in reliability engineering not math’s for math’s sake: Fault trees, reliability block diagrams, failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), Monte Carlo modelling, Wiebull analysis, reliability centred maintenance, root cause analysis and maintenance strategy development are some of the areas covered.

Each of these tools is useful in developing the right asset management or safety strategy for an asset to minimise the risk and maximise the profit. We emphasise the use of the tools in combination to achieve our goals not the blind obedience to a philosophy such as RCM or Lean, rather the selection of the best from all worlds.

Course Overview

This course considers the application of reliability science to best practice in asset management and process safety.

Risk management often suffers from group think. Being seen to apply the latest techniques is not the same as producing measurable improvements. Reactivity tends to be the norm in industry, and each new initiative promises proactivity.

Digital enterprise, condition monitoring, expert systems, reliability centred maintenance, Kaizen, Lean, Six Sigma and total productive maintenance, can all add value and no plant can afford to be ignorant of the application of the latest approaches. Equally, the blind application of the latest trend and group think will complicate matters and destroy value not generate value.

As well as an overview and practical exercises on reliability and risk, this course provides the knowledge needed to manage assets in a way that minimises risk, both safety and commercial, to maximise profit.

Learning Objectives

This course aims to teach in an interesting and new way, to demystify reliability engineering, because everybody involved in asset management, plant design, safe operation and maintenance needs to understand reliability, not just reliability engineers.

In this course you will learn:

  • Practical understanding of fundamentals of plant reliability
  • Common theory required to determine reliability; failure trees, logic and probability, confidence intervals and failure distributions
  • Reliability modelling: hands on exercises covering how to build reliability block diagrams, populate Monte Carlo models, and run sensitivity cases
  • An overview of the processes used for managing reliability through plant life, from design and construction, through to operations and end of life
  • Risk, and commonalities between the calculation of risk that apply to both reliability and process safety

Overall the objective of this course is to provide an understanding of risk and related tools and methods, to allow attendees to manage their assets in a way that minimises risk, both safety and commercial, to maximise profit


Howard Thomas has advocated practical approaches to handling complexity for over 20 years. He has a unique ability to make the complex clear for his clients and audiences.
He combines an in depth technical background with a wide ranging business experience but is probably best known for his engaging style of presentation.

He is formally technically accredited as a Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Chartered Professional Chemical Engineer and has worked on hydrocarbon installations all over the world, from roles as a technician to executive consultancy.