AAE 59000: System Safety and Reliability Engineering

Syllabus: PDF

Credits: 3

Contact hours: 3

Instructor: Professor Marais

Text: Notes furnished by instructor

Course description: The role of safety and risk in systems engineering. Introduction to risk assessment, safety management systems, and accident analysis for complex engineering systems. The class will be highly interactive and feature a combination of presentations, group work, and extensive class discussions. Grades will be based on class participation, team projects and presentations, and individual assignments and quizzes. No final exam.

Offered: Alternate Falls

Pre-requisite: None

Co-requisite: None 

Student Learning Outcomes:
On completing this course the student shall be able to:

  1. Define safety, risk, and reliability in the context of engineering systems
  2. Discuss the ethical implications of decisions about acceptable risk in the context of engineering systems
  3. Discuss the importance of proper risk communication
  4. Perform a preliminary hazard analysis
  5. Perform a functional hazard analysis
  6. Perform a fault tree analysis
  7. Perform a combinatorial failure probability analysis
  8. Create a safety case
  9. Identify the appropriate risk assessment tools for a specific context
  10. Discuss the limitations of risk assessment tools in different contexts
  11. Solve problems as part of a team
  12. Give oral presentations and write technical reports required of design engineers

Relationship of Course to Program Outcomes:

Program Learning Outcomes Included?
An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering Yes
b An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data Yes
c An ability to design an aerospace system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health, and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability No
d An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams Yes
e An ability to identify, formulate, and solve aerospace engineering problems Yes
f An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility Yes
g An ability to communicate effectively Yes
h An understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context Yes
i A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning Yes
j A knowledge of contemporary issues in aerospace engineering Yes
k An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for aerospace engineering practice Yes












  1. What is risk? Reliability vs. safety.
  2. Responding to Risk
  3. Risk Communication
  4. System Safety and Hazards
  5. Software
  6. Preliminary Hazard Analysis
  7. Functional Hazard Analysis
  8. Fault Tree Analysis
  9. Combinatorial Failure Probability Analysis
  10. Other risk Assessment Techniques
  11. Safety Cases

Revision History:

Prepared by: Karen Marais, Date: 16 August 2016