SRE logo Lambda Notes
VOLUME 29, ISSUE NO. 1 April 1996
A Publication of the Society of Reliability Engineers


PRESIDENT: George Chernowitz, Washington Chapter
VICE-PRESIDENT: Hans Reiche, Ottawa Chapter
SECRETARY: Duane Cook, Belvoir Chapter
TREASURER: Lynwood Rabon, Belvoir Chapter
Addresses for the Directors are available on the SRE Homepage.


Yes, this is really an issue of Lambda Notes.

Once again, itís spring. The flowers are blooming. The pollen is blowing. And life is renewing itself in many forms. What better time for Lambda Notes to be reborn.

The Board of Directors has had a struggle to find a volunteer willing to take on the responsibility of editor. As a newcomer to SRE, I bravely volunteered.

My name is Barbara Howard . My experience has been as a logistics engineer with the US Armyís Communication and Electronics Command (CECOM) R&D Center (formerly the Belvoir Research, Development and Engineering Center). I have worked hand-in-hand with reliability, quality, and test professionals for the past ten years to solve many problems directly related to the reliability of Army equipment.

As editor, I have been given several tasks by the Board regarding the newsletter. These include:
a. To get the newsletter out regularly and at least quarterly
b. Solicit and obtain regular input from a cross-section of the Chapters.
c. Provide an open forum for all SRE members to express their opinions about reliability.
d. Improve communication between Chapters through a Chapter News column in Lambda Notes.
e. Place Lambda Notes on the Internet, starting with this issue.
f. Do all of these with little or no funds.

As you can see from this task list, I have a formidable challenge ahead. I recognize that I will need your help to accomplish these tasks and also to make the newsletter something we all can enjoy.

Contributions to the newsletter are encouraged, wanted, needed and desperately sought. The next couple of pages provide some ideas for articles. Any one wishing to submit an article, technical paper or chapter news, can do so my following the instructions on the last page of this newsletter.


The 1996 Executive Board meeting was held on January 22, 1996 in Las Vegas. A quorum was established with 182 votes, 177 represented by members present. This represented seven chapters which had forwarded dues and five At-Large members. Mr. Rabon, 1995 SRE President, presented the results of the 1996 ballot, the new officers are listed above.

Several significant issues were discussed at the Board meeting. Two are critical to the survival of SRE, these are payment of dues and the disappearance of whole chapters. Of nineteen (19) previously recognized chapters, only seven were represented in the election of officers and at the Board meeting. These included: Belvoir, Buffalo, Los Angeles, Montreal, Ottawa, Philadelphia, and St. Louis (Gateway). Several other chapters have been in touch with Board members, but have not submitted dues or membership information. Other Chapters seem to have vanished.

Part of the problem with vanishing chapters has been having only a single point of contact between the Board and the Chapters. A previous effort to establish an SRE database of members has been revived and is discussed in detail later in this newsletter. SRE Secretary Duane Cook is spearheading this effort.

The Board discussed the issue of At-Large members. It was decided that for administrative purposes these members should be affiliated with a local chapter. New members and current at-large members, for whom no local chapter exists, will be given a choice of chapters to be affiliated with.

Other topics addressed at the meeting included the Treasurer's Report, revival of Lambda Notes, reactivation of the Toronto Chapter and formation of several new chapters, improvement of the SRE's Homepage, and the need for chapter budgets. Additional information on some of these topics are included in this newsletter. For further information contact your chapter officers for copies of the meeting minutes.


One major function of Lambda Notes is to provide a forum for all the chapters to share information with each other. To accomplish this, we need input. WE NEED INPUT. WE NEED INPUT. Our goal is to receive and publish input from all of the active chapters in each of the future issues. This input can include: identification of new members, highlights from chapter meetings, topics presented by local speakers, awards or promotions received by chapter members, request for information or contacts from other chapters, and upcoming events. Submission can be send to: Editor, Lambda Notes, Barbara Howard, P.O. Box 367, Ft. Belvoir VA 22060 or emailed to .


In early 1995, efforts started to create a comprehensive Chapter Membership Directory. This directory was seen as a solution to the problem of disappearing members (and whole chapters). It was also seen as a membership benefit. Members would have a directory of other professional working in Reliability and related fields. This would provide points of contacts for problem-solving issues and also for networking employment opportunities.

Early efforts were directed at Chapter representatives compiling all the information for their chapter and forwarding it to the Board of Directors. Some chapters provided the information, while others went "missing." SRE is trying again. Please assist your chapter officers when they request information or provide it directly to Duane Cook (email or forwarded thru the Lambda Notes editor.

Membership Directory information should include as much of the following as possible: Member's name, home address, home telephone number, company name, work address, work telephone number, job title, fax number (if available), email (Internet) address, and chapter affiliation.


The Board of Directors, in an effort to speed communications with chapters, is looking for a point of contact within each chapter with Internet mail access. These individuals will receive the latest Board information, documentation and Lambda Notes for distribution to their chapters. Board Secretary, Duane Cook, is attempting to establish contact with all chapters over the Net. It is requested that interested individuals email Mr. Cook at the address provided in the previous article.


While we're on the subject of the Internet, have you checked out the new look for SRE's Homepage? It can be found at: .

Right now, the home page has information about the society and places for each chapter to have their own page (contact Duane Cook ). In the (we hope) near future, the homepage will include: the latest issue of Lambda Notes, on-line membership registration, on-line Membership Directory registration and access to the directory listing. In addition, various reliability software will be made available. If anyone out there has more ideas, please contact Duane Cook.


Efforts are under way by to update the Operations Manual, but other SRE documentation could also use some updating. The Board of Directors is looking for a couple of chapters to help with this effort. The items needing updating include the SRE Brochure, which dates from the early 70's; the membership application; and some of the correspondence letters found in the operations manual. If anyone would like to volunteer, please contact Duane Cook or forward thru the Lambda Notes editor.


Several new chapters have been formed (or reborn) and several groups have expressed interest in forming more new chapters. A new BELVOIR Chapter has been formed at the CECOM RDEC (South), Ft. Belvoir VA, with members from Ft Belvoir area and Quantico.

In addition, three new locations have expressed interest. First up, Colorado Springs is trying to establish and gain approval for a ROCKY MOUNTAIN Chapter. Not quite as far along, but hoping to start before long is an ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico group. And last, but not least is a group in CUPERTINO CA, who expressed interest around the time of the RAM Symposium but we have not heard back from them lately.


In order to better serve the needs of the At-Large members, the Board of Directors has decided to affiliate these folks with the closest geographical location, for administrative purposes. These individuals will be provided with an opportunity to select either the closest geographical chapter or specify the chapter they wish to be affiliated with.


SRE is involved in the efforts develop commercial standards and specifications. Future issues of LAMBDA Notes will provide more information on these efforts.


Reminder to Chapter Officers, dues for 1995 and 1996 need to be forwarded to the BOD. The BOD is working on the Budget and needs chapter inputs, review your records and let them know as soon as possible.


The deadline for summary to RAMS was 15 April 1996. If anyone in SRE submitted a paper, remember, SRE has some money to award to the best SRE paper. Last year, no one submitted so no one received the money.


In this issue and hopefully future issues we will make job announcements available to our membership. If you are trying to hire someone please contact the editor to submit your announcement. There will be no charge.


Growing manufacturing company in Midwest seeks reliability/testing engineer with a minimum of five years experience in electrical engineering with recent (in last 6 months) exposure in the computer industry. Incumbent will be responsible for component failure analysis and prevention, computer component test equipment selection and methods, systems reliability analysis, and failure rate curve analysis. Salary in the mid-five figures. Interested candidates may contact Andrea Hamilton at 7101 College Boulevard, Suite #550, Overland Park, KS, 66210. Phone 913-451-8866. FAX 913-541-3219.

Download a Microsoft Word file of this issue of Lambda Notes.

Editor, Lambda Notes, Barbara Howard, P.O. Box 367, Ft. Belvoir VA 22060
or emailed to