Denmark, the world of probability

My second secondment was in Aalborg, direction Denmark 👉, in one of the best universities in reliability. The research teams there were involved in different fields, including wind turbines, tunnels, buildings, fire security and more. They aim to change the deterministic world of engineers to a probabilistic world!  It sounds like a noble goal.

When we apply the rules and the equations given by standards like the Eurocodes, we often think that the result is certain, neglecting the fact that our world is full of uncertainties. In mathematics, it is possible to have a certain fact which will 100% occur, and variables with exact values. However, when we move to reality, nothing is certain or exact. Parameters in engineering fields do not have an exact value because of the uncertainties such as physical, statistical or model uncertainties.  

That is why, as engineers, we should not see problems and their solutions as being deterministic but learn how to deal with the associated uncertainties to search the precise solution.
So, how to deal with uncertainties?  This is what I learned during my stay in Denmark, back to my courses of probability in mathematics.  
Taking probabilistic courses with my collegues

Various levels and steps exist to solve engineering problems using a probabilistic approach. To simplify, the first step is to define the parameters as random variables or as constants, the second step is to define the statistical distributions of the variables, with a mean and a standard deviation, and the last step is to verify the relations and the correlations between the parameters.
The parameters can be defined for one component or the entire system (a set of components). In the last case, the relation between the components should also be investigated. The components can be either in parallel or series connections.
Mathematics give equations to deal with all the probabilistic calculations.

To learn more about the probabilistic approaches in civil engineering, I will advise you to check this website:

With the probabilistic approach, I was able to understand more the equations provided by the standards and I developed a clear idea about the importance to consider the uncertainties in my future work. 
In the probabilistic world Denmark, I did not forget to have fun, specially with my lovely collegues in Aalborg and Aarhus!

Me in the Wonderland

Somewhere in Aalborg

ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum


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