Safety and Reliability

Safety and reliability of the built infrastructure is an essential prerequisite for modern societies to function. To design, plan, dimension and maintain them in a manner that society’s requirements are fulfilled adequately is one of the most important tasks of civil engineers.

The fundamentals for the here for necessary methods typically stem from natural science; however, they need to be transferred to the specific engineering problems. Especially due to the longevity of infrastructural elements such as buildings, bridges, tunnels, water supply mains etc. as well as the great consequences in case of failure, methods must be developed that make the fundamentals applicable in engineering science. Fundamental research must be combined with numerical calculations and experimental research. The theoretical framework that, today, serves as the basis for decision-making in engineering is risk-based decision theory together with probability theory. They are used to connect aspects such as function, economy, aesthetics and sustainability with the demands on safety and reliability in order to make decisions based on quantifiable parameters.