TPK5170 - RAMS Assessment of Critical Systems


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Assignment 30/100 A
Written examination 70/100 4 hours C

Course content

This course focuses on the application of standards that are framing design, operation, and reliability assessment of critical systems.

The main focus area is standards for technical systems that employ electrical/electronic/programmable electronic technology for the purpose of preventing or acting upon hazardous situations occurring in e.g. process plants, machinery, control of trains, avionic and air traffic management systems, critical infrastructure, and in relation to car driving.

The main idea is to introduce key concepts and methods under the framework of key standards, like IEC 61508 (or standards that are based on this one and used in dedicated industrial sectors). Also some more generic standards on reliability management are introduced, such as e.g. IEC 60300 series and ISO 20815.

Topics include: Purpose of standards, including key concepts used, lifecycle phases and management, and methods advocated for RAMS assessments of critical functions (low-demand, high-demand). Choice of modeling approach and reliability measures in light of operational conditions and requirements are discussed.

The weight put on the various topics may be subject to some adjustments each year.

Learning outcome

Knowledge: The course shall give thorough introduction to key concepts and methods associated safety-standards, and the application of these for different types of safety-critical systems and operating conditions. The students shall become aware of the scope and role of safety standards, and some of the strengths and weaknesses of methods used to determine and demonstrate conformance to RAMS requirements. This type of knowledge would be relevant for those that later will work as safety or RAMS engineer. (RAMS=Reliability, availability, maintenance, and safety)

Skills: Be able to identify situations where safety standards are applicable, and apply associated methods in a design situation or after the systems have been put into operation. The students should also be able to identify how standards are linked to regulatory bodies and sector guidelines.

General competence (attitudes): Understand RAMS as an important cornerstone of industrial and commercial systems and in the public administration.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures: Are used to go through key concepts and methods within the lectured topics. There may also be some group work during the lecture hour, and some time may, if needed, be borrowed from the tutorial hours.

Exercises: Comprises two parts: 1) Problem solving of selected problems in a booklet that has been prepared along with the textbook. To access the exam it is necessary to have delivered sufficient number of mandatory work. 2) Project for which students submit a written report, plus a presentation. The project counts for 30% of the final mark in the course. Schedule for presentations will be discussed in the beginning of the semester.

Self study: This includes to prepare for lectures and to study topics after the lecture. To support both of these, some control questions are published each week.

Other information: The lectures, exercises and exam are in English, but the student can use English or Norwegian in the answer.

Compulsory assignments

  • Exercises

Further on evaluation

Portfolio assessment is the basis for the grade in the course. The portfolio includes a semester paper counting 30 % and a written exam counting 70 %. The results for the parts are given in %-scores, while the entire portfolio is assigned a letter grade according to the grading scale using percentage points.
Mandatory work from previous semester can be accepted by the Department by re-take of an examination if there haven't been any significant changes later.
By a re-take of an examination all assessments during the course, that counts in the final grade, have to be re-taken.
If there is a re-sit examination, the examination form may be changed from written to oral.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge

TPK4120 Safety and reliability analysis or similar knowledge.

Course materials

Theory: Reliability of Safety-Critical Systems: Theory and Applications
Wiley, Marvin Rausand, ISBN: 978-1-118-11272-4, 466 pages, March 2014.

Standards and their application area: The library access to standards will be utilized. Some additional reports and articles will be made available to support application of standards. More information is provided at start of semester and when each topic is introduced.


Detailed timetable


Examination arrangement: Portfolio assessment

Term Statuskode Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 30/100 A
Autumn ORD Written examination 70/100 C 2017-12-14 09:00
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date.
If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.