PK8201 - Safety-Critical System


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2023/2024

Course content

The subject is given every second year. The next time is autumn 2024. The main focus is on reliability assessments of safety-critical systems that employ some electrical/electronic/programmable electronic technology. The main idea is to become familiar with recent research status on key topics such as: - Framing conditions - application of standards in various sectors - Choice of reliability measure for high-demand and low-demand systems - Implications of demands on the quantification of reliability measures - Allocation of reliability requirements from system level to sub-system level - Quantification of reliability, considering the effects of different influencing factors such as CCFs, partial/imperfect testing etc - Treatment of human and organizational factors in reliability assessments. A literature list covering scientific papers on the above topics are distributed at start-up of semester, and they form the basis of the lectures for which the students will be involved. The weight given on the different topics may vary from year to year, depending on status of new research and background of students taking the course.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: In this course, the students will get a thorough insight on the research status of reliability assessment of safety-critical systems on the topics listed above. The students should also learn who are contributing into the research field (research groups, research institutes) and what are the key scientific journals and other targets for publication. Skills: The students shall be able to utlize knowledge from this course into his/her own research. General competence: The students shall be able to understand how reliability assessments are influencing decisions in design and operation of safety-critical systems. The students should also learn how to identify key literature in the lectured topics, and to how write a draft for a scientific paper.

Learning methods and activities

The course is conducted as a series of 1-day seminars. The first one is lectured primarily by the course responsible and invited lecturers., while the other seminars include topics that are presented by the participants. The participants are also writing a course research paper related to a topic associated with IEC 61508 and which is linked to the participants research project.

Further on evaluation

Assessment is a paper. The paper is presented at the last seminar, and the participants will afterwards deliver the final paper for assessment according to the agreed deadline.

Required previous knowledge

All students taking this course must be enrolled in a PhD program at NTNU or a different university.

Course materials

Selected research report and papers in journals and conferences (will be announced at the start of the course).

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
PK8201 7.5
More on the course



Version: 2
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level



Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Technological subjects
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering


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