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 Expert  721962

Expert in Field Reliability, Statistics, and Applications to Service, Forecasting, Warranty, and Diagnostics

Available for your Consulting and Expert Witness Needs

California (CA)
Education Work History Career AccomplishmentsPublicationsConsulting Services Expert Witness Market Research

Summary of Expertise:

Listed with other top experts in: 

Expert notes that reliability is the probability of survival (according to customers) to specified ages (e.g., birth, warranty, PM, retirement) under specified conditions (in the hands of customers, in the field, not in a laboratory). Expert derived and programmed nonparametric reliability and failure rate function estimators that use ships and returns counts. Such data are required by generally accepted accounting principles. They are population data. Therefore, the field reliability and failure rate of every product and service part can be known, and used. He estimates age-specific field reliability, diagnoses problems, and recommends spares for all service parts. Expert also makes age-specific reliability predictions for new products and configurations for client's customers. Field reliability has applications throughout product life cycles: from design, test, burn-in, warranty, early warning, diagnostics, forecasts, service, inspection, spares, life cycle cost, and eventual retirement. Full application of field reliability should cut service costs in half.

Expert's specialty, field reliability, is application of statistics mathematically equivalent to life statistics. He has applied statistics to other problems such as: 1. origin-destination surveys and travel time; 2. white blood cell discrimination and analysis for automated hemoanalyzers; 3. optimal dilution for cell counters; 4. fault tree diagnostics and optimal test sequence for the NASA Space Station; 5. optimal opportunistic maintenance for gas turbine engines and fusion power systems; 6. Forecasting service requirements for gas turbine engines, cars, and power plants; 7. inventory management for computer parts, automotive parts, and network switches; 8. optimal price and stock level for spares (automotive parts); 9. reliability centered maintenance (engines and fracture critical aircraft parts); 10. multivariate risk analysis for nuclear power plants; 11. expert opinion for multivariate distributions; and, 12. Markov process maintenance analysis.

Expert states that discrete failure rate functions, also known as actuarial rates (just like in life insurance), contain the same information as reliability functions. Expert learned actuarial methods applied to high cost repairable systems like jet engines while working for the Air Force Logistics Command. Expert has derived statistics to estimate and use actuarial rates, for all parts, not just high cost parts tracked by serial numbers. These statistics require only ships (sales, installations, etc.) and returns (complaints, failures, spares sales, etc.) counts required by generally accepted accounting principles. Because ships and returns are counted by accounting interval, reliability and failure rate statistics are discrete statistics.

Expert notes that failure rates are usually age-dependent. Fortunately, the wiggles and shape of failure rates observed as functions of age indicate problem causes, sizes of problems, and potential cost savings. Expert estimates nonparametric failure rate functions to avoid assumptions and preserve all information in available data. Failure rate functions contain the same information as reliability functions, and their shapes indicate: 1. DoA; 2. infant mortality and process defects; 3. warranty expiration anticipation; 4. effects of preventive maintenance; 5. premature wear-out and design defects; and, 6. retirement.




product reliability


applied statistics


discrete distribution function


failure rate

Expert uses reliability for service planning and spares inventory management. For example, Expert wrote and distributed a computer program that forecast repairs and recommended spare parts inventory for a major computer company. He also made actuarial forecasts of auto parts requirements and stock level recommendations. If your local aftermarket parts dealer doesn't have the part you need, it could be Expert's fault. He learned actuarial methods for managing inventories of high-cost, repairable systems, and then developed the statistics to apply actuarial methods to inventories of all repairable systems. Mechanics already know about dependence of time-between-failures and subsequent repair times. That dependence reduces the variance of availability and consequent risk. Did you know that dependence of production-line workstation processing times increases throughput as well as reducing its variance? Both forms of dependence reduce the time to steady state production!

Expert developed optimal opportunistic maintenance after seeing potential improvements in current practices. For example, aircraft engines are often rebuilt so that they require no maintenance for a specified number of hours. Expert developed methods to optimize the discounted present value of future maintenance costs, including labor and parts. Expert derived the optimal test sequence to repair intermittent faults, using age-specific parts reliabilities, the optimal "shotgun" test sequence. Expert worked with NASA on Fault Tree Diagnostics and Optimal Test Sequence, used on the Space Station. For setting life limits, Reliability Centered Maintenance requires reliability estimates, now available for all service parts using Expert's statistics.

Expert notes that Markov processes are convenient models for repairable or complex system models such as for RAID storage devices, parallel processor computers, and server farms. Expert uses these models to compute age-specific availabilities throughout useful system lives as functions of redundancy, inspection, maintenance, and component reliabilities. He also uses them to help recommend optimal inspection, maintenance, and design.

Expert uses nonparametric statistics to avoid assumptions and to preserve all information in data. He notes that nonparametric reliability and survival analysis statistics may be estimated from ships and returns counts, you don't have to have ages at failures and survivors' ages. The latter kind of data requires much more work and storage, and incurs far more errors than ships and returns counts. Furthermore, ships and returns counts or birth and death counts preserve privacy, because individuals aren't recorded by name or other identification.

Expert's training and interests have been in operations research, the application of mathematics to solve real problems, throughout his career. Although his specialty is in reliability, he is familiar with and has worked in other operations research specialties such as: 1. nonlinear and integer programming; 2. logistics, transportation, and inventory; 3. queuing with applications to computer sizing; 4. network reliability; and, 5. maintenance problems.

Expert notes that a fault tree is a description of the "top event" (usually a system failure) and its probability in terms of "basic events" (part failures) and their probabilities. He uses this information to review designs for single point and common cause failure potential and to determine if risk is acceptable. Expert has extended fault tree analysis for diagnostics, currently in use in the NASA Space Station. If it had been in use on the shuttle Columbia, we might know why it was destroyed.


inventory management


maintenance management


Markov process


nonparametric statistics


operations research


fault tree


fault tree analysis

Show Secondary and Basic Areas of Expertise
Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: San Jose, California;  San Francisco, California;  Sacramento, California;  Oakland, California;  Stockton, California;  Fremont, California;  Modesto, California;  Salinas, California;  Santa Rosa, California;  and Hayward, California.

Year   Degree   Subject   Institution   Honors
1973   Ph.D.   Operations Research and Industrial Engineering   UC Berkeley  
1964   M.B.A.   Production and Operations Management   UCLA   Beta Gamma Sigma
1961   B.S.   Chemical and Mechanical Engineering   UCLA  

Work History:
Years   Employer   Department   Title   Responsibilities

1991 to





Sole Proprietor


Expert is the sole proprietor of a consulting and contracting company. Recent clients include Chatsworth Products, AREVA, FPHCare, Violin Memory, Mercury Marine, Marvin Windows, SCP Global, Agilent, PacketMotion, DigiDesign, Ultraviolet Devices, Brocade Communications, Schweitzer Engineering, Applied Materials, and General Monitors. He also worked on Firestone tire and Ford Explorer reliability.

1994 to 1997


Triad Systems Corporation


New Product Development


Staff Statistician


He applied his trade secret reliability statistics to estimate the field reliability of auto parts, forecast store-specific parts demands, and recommend stock levels. His work included programming, statistics, and geocoding applications.

1992 to 1994


Abbott Laboratories, Diagnostics Division


Hemoanalysis (Sequoia Turner)


Principal Reliability Engineer


Expert led reliability prediction and testing for new, automated hemoanalyzer products. He derived statistical algorithms for cell counting, cell identification, and optimal dilution. He also estimated field reliabilities of all Abbott Diagnostic Division service parts.

1989 to 1991


Apple Computer


Apple USA (Service)


Reliability Statistician


He developed and tested alternative field repairs. He derived field reliability estimates and used them for service and spares forecasting. He also wrote spares inventory software distributed to 4,000 service providers.

1979 to 1989


Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Mechanical Engineering




Expert developed the seismic risk analysis method for nuclear power plants (multivariate stress-strength interference) and programmed it. He predicted and monitored test reliability, analyzed air base logistics for potential microwave damage effects, and analyzed small nuclear torpedo effects.

Career Accomplishments:

Expert is a member of INFORMS (International Federation of Operations Research and Management Science), ASA (American Statistical Association), and ASQ (American Society for Quality)


He is a Certified Reliability Engineer by the American Society for Quality.

Professional Appointments

Expert was the newsletter editor for an SAE chapter and the IIE QC & RE division; Associate Editor of the ASQ Reliability Review; secretary of the ASQ Reliability Division; and board member of Chamber Musicians of Northern California


He received the Allen Chop Award from the Reliability Division of ASQ, and is an ASQ Fellow.

Publications and Patents Summary

His ASQ monograph, "Credible Reliability Prediction," is now available. Expert has published 60 articles in refereed journals and proceedings. Additionally he has over 50 other publications, dozens of meeting presentations. He has also copyrighted several trade secret statistical estimation methods and computer programs. Provisional patent is pending for a reliability estimation method.

Selected Publications and Publishers  
 - ASQ Reliability Review  
 - ASQ Reliability Division  
 - ASA, Section for Physical and Engineering Sciences  
 - International Symposium on Forecasting  

Government Experience:
Years   Agency   Role   Description
2001 to 2001   National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration   Contributor   Expert contributed statistical analyses of the NHTSA complaints database. He specifically estimated the age-specific field reliability of recalled Firestone tires by year of production. This showed the problem became severe in 1996, not 1991.
1996 to 1996   Federal Aviation Administration   Contributor to GAIN program   He contributed to the GAIN program (Global Analysis and Information Network). He proposed to estimate actuarial rates for all aircraft service parts, not just fracture-critical parts, from data required by generally accepted accounting principles. These estimates would have prevented the jackscrew failure on Alaska Airline's DC9.
1979 to 1989   Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory   Employee   Expert provided statistical analyses of reliability, risk, maintenance, and logistics of nuclear and military operations.
1974 to 1977   Air Force Logistics Command   Contractor   He analyzed actuarial methods, spare parts, and maintenance of engines and other high cost service equipment. He also developed optimal opportunistic replacement and build policies for gas turbine overhaul.

Consulting Services:
Selected Consulting Examples:
  • A client's EEPROMS seemed to be losing their memories. The problem had started nine months earlier. Over one long weekend, Expert estimated field reliability by quarter of production, and isolated the problem to premature wearout of EEPROMS produced from January to April of 1999. When confronted, the supplier admitted changing die size and verified the failures. The client obtained a different supplier.
  • He estimated age-specific field reliability, combined it with test data using metareliability, and recommended optimal burn-in for two PC boards of new products and functional testing of an entire CAT scanner.
  • Multivariate seismic risk analysis of nuclear power plants: Zion, Illinois and Indian Point, New York. Derived fragility parameters and correlations from earthquake damaged data.
  • He worked for a client that had disposed of much of its spares inventory to save costs. The client incurred serious stockouts. Expert used age-specific field reliability and installed base to recommend spare parts stock levels to achieve specified fill rates.
  • He used field reliability to forecast demands and recommend stock levels for the automotive aftermarket. He apologizes if your local auto parts store doesn't have the part you need.
Recent Client Requests:
  • Reliability expert for consulting on consumer product life expectancy.
  • Reliability statistics expert for consulting on warranty return predictions.
  • Expert in Thermal aging for consulting on ALT relation to MTBF.
Click the green button above to contact Expert for a free initial screening call regarding your expert consulting needs.  Expert is available for consulting to corporate, legal and government clients.  Remember, your initial screening call to speak with Expert is free.

Expert Witness:
Expert Witness Experience Summary:
Expert was an expert witness in the defense of the use of ships and returns counts to quantify age-specific reliability. The plaintiff claimed this was impossible. The case was settled out of court when the plaintiff withdrew the claim.
Click the green button above to contact Expert for a free initial screening call regarding expert testimony, litigation consulting and support, forensic services, or any related expert witness services.  A few litigation needs include product liability, personal injury, economic loss, intellectual property (patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright), and insurance matters.  Remember, your initial screening call to speak with Expert is free.

Language Skills:
Foreign Language   Description
French   Expert learned to read French mathematics and statistics as a graduate school requirement.
Norwegian   His wife is Norwegian, so he tried to learn. His level of speaking, reading, and writing is adequate to converse with small children. Fortunately, most Norwegians speak English.

Market Research:
Production line dependence increases throughput and reduces variance! Extended actuarial methods from expensive equipment such as gas turbines to all service parts. Survival analysis of AIDS, SARS, avian and H1N1 influenza requires only case and death counts. At least three Oracle service databases tell when system failure occurred and what part caused it, by part name, but they don't tell which one of multiple identical parts caused the failure=>age at renewals are unknown. Derived reliability estimator anyway.

Click the green button above to contact Expert for a free initial screening call regarding your marketing research, industry research, and company research needs.  For research needs involving multiple experts or secondary research, a Research Director can be assigned to coordinate the work into a custom report for you as a potentially quicker and more cost effective alternative to doing this work yourself or hiring a boutique consultancy.  Remember, your initial screening call to speak with Expert is free.

Additional Skills and Services:

1. "Field Reliability and its Applications." The course uses clients' data and problems. The training is computer-based using spreadsheets. 2. "Fault Tree Analysis and Software" and extensions 3. "Credible Reliability Prediction," not just MTBF prediction 4. "Increase Production Throughput with Dependence"

Supplier and Vendor Location and Selection

Is your experience with a vendor's product the same as its other clients' experience? Estimate vendors' field reliability from vendors' own field data. This has led to some very interesting comparisons of vendor field reliability and established some long term, productive, and constructive vendor-client relations.

Other Skills and Services

Reliability and survival analyses and their applications have led to many interesting examples from all over the world and a large reliability database. Expert was told never to give an estimate without quantifying its uncertainty. This helps quantify risk and quantify reliability and statistics in financial terms. Work in progress.


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