INCOSE Membership Meeting

Time & Location:

Tuesday, September 21, 2021  6:00 PM – 8:00 PM by WebEx


6:00-6:45 PM: Introductions of Attendees and Chapter Business

6:45-7:30 PM: Invited Speaker

7:30-7:45 PM: Q&A and Open Discussion


Bayesian Techniques Applied to Safety & Reliability Engineering at Pratt & Whitney


During the Product Development Process (PDP), Safety and Reliability Engineers must quantify risks associated with different failures / design errors within the system being designed.  To facilitate such quantitative analyses, numerous uncertain “parameters of interest” (POI) must be estimated.   To maximize impact on the design, these analyses are initiated early in the PDP, long before actual data is available for the new product.  As such, the initial estimates of POI are derived via a combination of data from similar legacy products and from engineering judgment (when legacy data are scarce/non-existent). Later in the PDP, actual data on the new product starts to become available as testing begins.  Such a situation is ideal for employing Bayesian methods to more rapidly reduce uncertainty in POI estimates.

This talk will provide an overview of Bayesian methods and of the mathematical framework behind them, thoughts on how & when such methods can be useful, and some specific examples of how Bayesian techniques are used in key Safety / Reliability Engineering analyses at Pratt & Whitney.  Ultimately, this presentation is intended to make practitioners aware of these methods and their applicability / utility for certain key Safety & Reliability Engineering analyses.



Ward Baun, Fellow – Reliability Engineering

Ward hired into Pratt & Whitney (P&W) in June 2014 as a Fellow in Reliability Engineering. In this role, he is responsible for technical leadership, mentoring, development of tools and methods, and overall discipline health for Reliability Engineering, along with other initiatives and program-specific tasks.  Areas of focus include Design for Reliability methods Reliability Modeling, Flight Safety Part (FSP) process, Failure Mode, Effects & Criticality Analysis (FMECA) process and tools, Design Failure Mode & Effects Analysis (DFMEA). Ward served as P&W’s representative on the Aerospace Engine Supplier Quality (AESQ) committee who wrote the new AS13100 DFMEA standard for the industry.

Prior to his 7 years working at P&W, Ward has been a Reliability Engineer for over 22 years in a variety of different industries and technologies, including UTC Power (fuel cells - 12 years), JDS Uniphase (telecommunications equipment - 2 years), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (satellites - 1 year), and Dow Chemical (chemicals - 7 years).

Ward received a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Engineering Mechanics from Pennsylvania State University in 1992, and a MS in Reliability Engineering from the University of Maryland in 2002. He became an American Society for Quality Certified Reliability Engineer in 1998.


Outside of work, Ward is married and has 3 children with whom he enjoys many outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, and skiing.

Ward Baun Large Bio Photo.jpg

link to meeting recording