Profiles in Reliability – Robert W. Stoddard II

ASQ Stoddard picture jpg

Tell us your name
Robert W. Stoddard II

Where do you live?
Venetia, PA  (near Pittsburgh, PA)

Tell us about your education background.
BS Finance and Accounting, Univ of Maine at Orono
MS Systems Management, USC
Doctoral Work in Reliability Engineering, Univ of Maryland at College Park
Doctoral Work in Engineering Management, Walden Univ
Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black Belt education and certification by Motorola (193-2003)

Tell us about your professional background.
Served 4 years as a Finance Automation Officer in the U.S. Army, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, KS
Served for 14 years as a Manager of Software Quality Engineering, Texas Instrument Defense Systems & Electronics Group
Served for 7 years as a Director of Quality for Motorola 3G Cell Phones
Currently in my 11th year as a Principal Researcher within the Software Engineering Institute, a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, managed by Carnegie Mellon University
My professional background includes software quality engineering, software test, software reliability, Six Sigma for Business Improvement (DMAIC) and Design for Six Sigma for Product Development, applied statistical, probabilistic and simulation techniques, computer machine learning, traditional and probabilistic Structural Equation Modeling, and most recently, Causal Learning using Statistical Causal algorithms and Causal Estimation techniques based on Directed Acyclic Graphs, Instrumental Variables and Propensity Scoring

How have you given back to the reliability profession?
As a 2016 Recognized ASQ Fellow, I have performed in various Software and Reliability Division and Section leadership roles since 1989.  I initiated the ASQ CSQE exam and continued to promote cross-fertilization between the Software and Reliability divisions.  I have a long standing contribution to the CRE exam workshop series and have authored papers and a chapter for an ASQ/IEEE Design for Reliability book.  Throughout my training and mentoring of approximately 35 Software Engineering Six Sigma Black Belts, I have consistently highlighted and promoted reliability modeling and statistical techniques.  I most recently have employed and promoted Bayesian approaches to reliability analysis and modeling.

What do you enjoy most about reliability?
I most enjoy teaching, mentoring and implementing Design for Reliability practices, especially within software engineering, with the express desire to improve reliability and design it in rather than test and measure reliability after the fact.  For that reason, I seek to employ modern statistical causal learning algorithms and models to go beyond traditional statistical correlation and regression to conclude factors actually causing software reliability.

What do you do for fun and relaxation?
I enjoy long distance bicycling, kayaking, chess and studying history.  I also am an avid reader of technical books on the latest in statistical and probabilistic advancements, techniques and tools.

What is reliability in your own words?
Confidence that a product or service performs under stated conditions for specified time, to include both stated and unstated needs.

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