Designing for the life cycle of engineered artefacts: A Decision Analysis approach

Paul N. Christensen,

B.A., M.A. (econ), Ph.D. (civil eng)

University of Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK


The design of even the most simple engineered artefact rests on a surprisingly complex body of science and corresponding uncertainties. Yet the level of complexity and uncertainty increases by orders of magnitude where design decisions attempt to explicitly consider the possible use, behaviour and deterioration of the artefact over many years or decades. How are we to make reasonable account of this to facilitate rational decision-making for the purpose of design? In this presentation, the case of a simple beam is used to illustrate a method of integrating civil engineering design principles, deterioration modeling, structural reliability assessment and economics intended to encourage rational "life cycle" design decisions. The method exploits the Decision Analysis process to cope efficiently with the uncertainty intrinsic to the challenge. The results demonstrate not only the benefits of directly addressing the complexity and uncertainty of the engineering design exercise, but the important implications of life cycle considerations for the practice of engineering as a whole.

Dec. 6, 2006

Park Town Hotel

Cocktails 5:30, Dinner 6:00, Presentation 7:00

Tickets $20

For more information contact:

Kent Kostuk 244-3295

Winfried Grassmann 966-4898