American Society of Civil Engineers

Reliability and Human Factors in Geotechnical Engineering

by Robert Bea, P.E., F.ASCE, (Prof., Dept. of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., 212 McLaughlin Hall, Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-1712)

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 132, No. 5, May 2006, pp. 631-643, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: Reliability methods have been applied successfully to two primary categories of uncertainties encountered in geotechnical engineering: Natural variabilities and modeling uncertainties. There are several additional categories of uncertainties that have not been addressed, primarily those due to human, organizational, and knowledge related factors. This paper proposes reliability based engineering approaches and strategies that can be used to help address these additional sources of uncertainties. The approaches and strategies have proven to provide useful insights regarding the potential effectiveness of proposed programs to improve quality and reliability of geotechnical engineered systems; facilitating development of rational decisions and judgements concerning trade-offs, costs, and benefits.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Geotechnical engineering
Risk management
Human factors