EWU’s Christian Hansen Delivers Keynote Address in China

November 1, 2023

Earlier this month EWU’s Christian Hansen, a professor of statistics and chair of Eastern’s Department of Mathematics, traveled to Hangzhou, China to deliver a keynote message at the 2023 Global Reliability and PHM Conference. A globally recognized expert in mechanical systems reliability, Hansen spoke to an international audience of researchers and engineers at the Oct. 12-15 meeting. 

The focus of the conference, and Hansen’s work, is prognostics and health management (PHM) which evaluates the reliability of mechanical systems. 

“PHM plays a major role in almost anything we see from cable TV to internet and electricity. It’s important to know how reliable these systems will be,” says Hansen. “PHM is something that works in the background. People really think about it when it’s not there.” 

Hansen, who also serves as a leader in the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Reliability Society, collaborated with researchers to share his knowledge of reliability and PHM. His live keynote address was translated from English to Chinese, acting as a multicultural endeavor to share research and improve reliability. 

His address focused on future challenges for the field, as well as areas of interest. One such area of interest is AI and autonomous systems. “For today’s advanced cars, for example, especially in autonomous driving, it is important to predict failures before they occur,” Hansen explains. “This was a general theme for the conference.” Conference attendees discussed a broad range of strategies to predict such failures. 

Beginning as an electrical engineer, Hansen’s career shifted focus towards statistics in his doctoral work. He ultimately landed on reliability modeling, which “overlaps with almost every field of engineering.” Because every area of engineering has a reliability component, this field is especially pertinent to ongoing technological advances, he says. “Reliability is the backbone of everything I’ve done.” 

“I’m fortunate to get these invitations,” Hansen adds. “It’s a chance for me to let people across the globe know about Eastern Washington University.”

Further recognition for EWU will come next year, as the university will host the 2024 North American series of the PHM conference. It will take place June 17-19 in the Catalyst building. 

To learn more about the 2023 conference, click here.