Professor Milan Holicky from KI Czech Technical University, Prague visited WIT to present a short course entitled ‘Reliability and Risk Analysis for Engineers’.
Over a period of three days lectures were presented on the following topics:
  • Past development of engineering systems
  • Basic variables for representative design situations
  • Review of the applied theory of probability
  • Theoretical models of basic variables
  • Fundamental cases of system reliability
  • Reliability bases of partial factor methods
  • Calibration of load combinations and resistances
  • Reliability based design
  • Applications of reliability based design – procedures and examples
  • Probabilistic optimisation
  • System reliability
  • Basis of risk assessment
This short course addressed applications related to the reliability theory in analysing engineering systems.  The probabilistic concepts of structural reliability were re-examined and their significance for improving system performance or obtaining design solutions for situations not readily provided for in design standards were discussed.

A review of historical development of system design was supplemented by illustrative examples and a critical assessment. Using basic tools of the theory of probability and mathematical statistics, fundamental methods of the system reliability were developed. General links between the probabilistic concepts and operational procedures of partial factor methods were developed and illustrated, considering different reliability elements. 

The main emphasis of the course was the practical application of the principles of system reliability. It was shown that the probabilistic methods of system reliability can be used indirectly, to derive reliability elements for partial factor design procedures, or directly in reliability analysis. Indirect applications include specification of the theoretical models of basic variables and calibration of partial factors and other reliability elements applied in load combination rules and in the determination of engineering systems. The direct applications of the reliability theory in engineering systems were based on the definition of appropriate performance functions and theoretical models of basic variables. General procedures were illustrated by practical examples using commercially available software products and special-purpose software tools.

Finally the methods of probabilistic optimisation, systems reliability and risk assessment were introduced briefly as the tools for decisions concerning engineering systems and specification of target reliability levels.

Prof. Dr. Milan Holicky obtained his civil engineering degree at the Czech Technical University in Prague, and doctor degree at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He is involved in the research of structural reliability and risk assessment and is employed at the Klokner Institute of CTU in Prague where he lectures at the Faculty of Architecture. He is an author or co-author of more than 300 scientific and technical publications including textbooks and five monographs (three in English, published by Elsevier and Thomas Telford Publications). He is actively participating in international research within CIB (Conseil International du Batiment), JCSS (Joint Committee for Structural Safety), and in international standardisation within ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation). Since 1991 he has also represented the Czech Republic in the European Committee for Standardisation. Since 1990 Prof. Holicky has closely cooperated with BRE Watford, UK where he is a BRE Associate. In 1999 he became responsible for the long-term research project "Reliability and Risk Assessment of Technical Systems" supported by Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic. Recently Prof. M. Holický was a coordinator of the European Project “Development of Skills Facilitating Implementation of Structural Eurocodes”, in which seven partner countries were involved.