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IEEE Reliability Society UK & Ireland, Reliability OutReach 2018 – 22nd May 2018

Day 1 – Lectures by speakers accomplished in delivering solutions on ‘Reliability Challenges for Medical Devices’
Day 2 – Instructive Tutorials by experts on ‘Reliability Issues and Solutions in Engineering’

A nominal fee of £35 will secure your place to attend. Our aim is to provide useful information to those seeking to learn about Reliability solutions on the specific topic of Day 1 and to be tutored on Day 2 on the issues dealt with by the experts. Preliminary contact: Nihal Sinnadurai.

The event will be hosted by the University of Greenwich and will be held at the Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LS. We will set up registration using the University of Greenwich admin and update the website

22nd May 2018, Programme: ‘Reliability Challenges for Medical Devices’ Morning Lectures, commencing 11.00.

Medical Devices, the Need for Biosensors and Bio-tools by Richard Doyle, SMIEEE, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. Created and led the Biotechnology Council comprising IEEE, ASME, AIChE, BMES and HIMSS. The Council had included medical organisations AMA, RSNA, AMIA, SCAR, SFB.

Describing reliability analyses in identifying and using biochemical (predictive and diagnostic), biomechanical, sensor information and imaging data for patient care – including molecular pathology, laboratory diagnostics and medical diagnostic imaging.


Reliability & Test Engineering in MEMS Enabled Systems by Nihal Sinnadurai, CEO ATTAC, Fellow IEEE, Fellow Inst.P, CEng, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer

Describing trends in MEMS, core components of Reliability Engineering within MEMS enabled systems, applicable standards, use of FMEA, design-for integrated MEMS and bio-Fluidics


Afternoon Lectures, commencing 14.00


Prognostics and Health Management for Medical Devices by Chris Bailey, Senior Member IEEE. Director of Computational Mechanics and Reliability Group, Director of Enterprise, University of Greenwich London

Describing Applications with Sensors, Data Analysis, Remaining-Life Predictions, implementation in industry


Hermeticity and Corrosion in Active Implantable Medical Devices by Anne Vanhoestenberghe, Implanted Devices Group, UCL Dept of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

The environment in which implants operate can be hostile to electronics – the device is in continued immersion in ionic body fluids over an expected device life exceeding 50 years. The device’s reliability therefore relies on protecting the electronics parts, which can be achieved by maintaining a very dry environment inside a cavity housing the active circuits. Implants are in contact with fragile yet crucial parts of the human body which limits even the range of biocompatible materials that can be used. Hitherto solutions have used sealed titanium packages, which constrain miniaturisation and multiple feed-throughs. Also, traditional (old) hermeticity test methods have significant inadequacies. A solution is to use conformal encapsulation. Described are new materials to prolong the corrosion free life of a device and methods to estimate this lifetime and their likely translation to clinical devices.


How to protect an endoscopic capsule by Marc Desmulliez, FRSE, FIET, FInstP, SMIEEE. Deputy Head of Research Institute of Signals, Sensors and Systems (ISSS), Director/Founder of MicroSense Technologies Ltd (MTL) and the Nature Inspired Manufacturing Centre (NIMC), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh,

Ultrasound capsule endoscopy (USCE) overcomes surface-only imaging and provides transmural scans of the Gastro-Intestinal (GI) tract. As the capsule is swallowed by the patient, it must withstand the harsh environment of the gut for several hours. Protection of the capsule is therefore essential. Described are the various measures taken to guarantee safe passage of the capsule as well as optimum operation of the medical digestible device.
23rd May 2018, Programme: ‘Reliability Issues and Solutions in Engineering’, morning 10.00-13.00, Tutorials (parallel sessions)


Large and Small Companies Make Reliability, Quality and Safety Choices (They Choose to go out of Business or Not) by Richard Doyle, SMIEEE, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer. Created and led the Biotechnology Council comprising IEEE, ASME, AIChE, BMES and HIMSS. The Council initially included five medical organisations AMA, RSNA, AMIA, SCAR and SFB.

Case Studies of manufacturers who made good or bad decisions: Japanese Airbag manufacturer – chose to file for bankruptcy; paid class action suit for poor quality laptop and desk top computers – no longer in the laptop or desk top computer business; Nuclear Generation plant – their upgraded steam generators never worked and were shut down (utility customers stuck with the billions of dollars for the shutdown and removal of the plant); Space Shuttle O-ring failure on the flight of a Space Shuttle was common; it was just not addressed until after the disaster. Contrast with companies that made proactive best practice decisions.


MEMS Failure Modes and Reliability Modelling by Marc Desmulliez, Deputy Head of Research Institute of Signals, Sensors and Systems (ISSS)
Director/Founder of MicroSense Technologies Ltd (MTL), Director/Founder of Nature Inspired Manufacturing Centre (NIMC), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, CEng, CPhys, FIET, FInstP, SMIEEE

Reliability is the greatest challenge and has been a critical barrier to successful commercialization and wide acceptance of MEMS technology. At Heriot-Watt a taxonomy targeted at practitioners has been set up to classify the various MEMS failure modes, their mechanisms, acceleration factors and possible mitigation techniques. This serves as a first-hand knowledge base for designers to develop efficient and reliable MEMS and for end-users to understand possible modes of failure. Best practise FMEA methodology is proposed to determine MEMS failures. A case study illustration is of a micro-motor and MEMS thermal actuator. Failure analysis of MEMS thermal actuators data is shown.