NASA R&M Engineers Contribute to and Learn From the International R&M Community at RAMS 2014
Every year NASA Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) practitioners attend the Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS) to present papers and learn from the international R&M community. The 60th annual RAMS was held Jan. 27-30 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
“RAMS is really one of the premier conferences where you have a lot of R&M people there, from new people to seasoned practitioners. It’s a good melting pot of what’s going on in the R&M community,” said NASA Safety Center R&M Technical Discipline Lead Richard Stutts.
Several NASA representatives presented papers during the conference. R&M Technical Fellow Dr. Fayssal Safie, co-authors Stutts and R&M Engineer Steven Broussard presented their paper, “Reliability and Maintainability — Key to Launch Vehicle Affordability,” to a large group of conference attendees. Their paper discussed the importance of incorporating R&M into the design phase of a program in order to lower life cycle costs. Other NASA participants included Sean Carter from Johnson Space Center who served as moderator for the “Various Approaches to Designing Effective Test Methods” session, and NASA Safety Center Director Alan Phillips who served as an advisory board panelist and presented on this year’s theme, “Engineering Customer Trust.”
As a leader in the R&M community, NASA has an important presence at RAMS.
“Our NASA community goes to the conference to both contribute and learn. We present what we have done at the agency, and learn what people have done on their side in industry and other agencies. There’s a great technical exchange as a result,” stated R&M Technical Fellow Dr. Fayssal Safie. “There is no better forum than RAMS.”
In addition to presentations and panel discussions, NASA holds its own yearly “splinter” session during the symposium. The session, which is exclusive to NASA employees and contractors, discusses the state of the R&M discipline with representatives from across the agency. It is an opportunity for NASA R&M practitioners to share their progress, discuss challenges and provide feedback.
“The major challenge for the NASA R&M community is to maintain the adequate R&M skills and resources necessary to support the various NASA programs, including the Commercial Crew Program,” stated Safie. “This is going to require creating career opportunities for young engineers to pursue the R&M discipline and providing adequate training and opportunities to fill the gaps being created by staff attrition.”
RAMS also features an exhibition, poster session, and various certification and education opportunities. RAMS 2015 will be held in Palm Harbor, Florida, on Jan. 26-29.
NASA and Contractor Papers at RAMS
NASA: Safie, Fayssal, Steven Broussard, and Richard Stutts. “Reliability and Maintainability — The Key to Affordability for Launch.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne: Huang, Zhaofeng. “De-Rating Design for Safety and Reliability.”
Aerojet Rocketdyne: Huang, Zhaofeng, Robert Aguilar, James Larkin, and Jan Swider. “Reliability-Based Health Monitoring Redline Voting Logic Design.”
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company: Murphy, Kenneth. “Qualitative Reliability Growth? An Affordability Screening Approach.”
United Launch Alliance: Corl, Frank, Phong Do, and Sri V. Iyengar, PE. “Reliability Products for Space Launch Vehicle Safety Assessments.”