July 2018, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) | Boulder, Colorado

The second-annual SRP worship will be hosted by the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) on July 31-August 1, 2018 at their facility in Boulder, CO.

Date: July 31 – August 1  |  Location: Boulder, Colorado

Click here for more information and to register.


Challenge Scenarios

The SRP will use community-selected “Challenge Scenarios” to guide research direction and address important gaps in the field.  As the SRP grows, multiple simultaneous Challenge Scenarios will execute in parallel, with a staged deployment sequence to provide a steady flow of opportunities to engage in new problems while following through with prior investments.

Challenge Scenarios provide the common denominator to identify a topic area of mutual concern, assess current gaps in state-of-the-art, coordinate targeted improvements, and reassess the efficacy after implementation. These scenarios provide notional use cases to demonstrate capabilities, expose deficiencies, and drive investments in technical improvements, and demonstrate quantitative improvements in predictions.  By engaging a broad sampling of independent government, academic, and industrial institutions in blind assessment, round-robin Challenge activities reveal common weaknesses and individual strengths that can be used to motivate future developments in both experimental assessment and simulation methodology. 

The current Challenge topics below were chosen by discussion at the first SRP workshop in August 2017. Challenge leads are working with the community to further define these topics, and plan to issue a Challenge in future months.

Additive Manufacturing

Lead: Xin Sun, Oak Ridge National Laboratories
We will propose an additive manufacturing scenario focused on the predictions of residual stress and distortions, without going into fracture and fatigue. More details to come.

More detailed information is available to members in the Members Only section.

Fracture and Hydrogen Embrittlement of Pipeline Steels

Lead: Jevan Furmanski, Exxon Mobil
We will propose a multi-phase challenge scenario, first beginning with the prediction of the fracture resistance curve in vintage and modern pipeline steels, and adding weldments and hydrogen charging to the fracture prediction problem.  Important aspects of the problem include low-constraint fracture, microstructure effects, hydrogen effects on plasticity and failure, hydrogen transport, and non-ideal crack fronts in 3-dimensions.

More detailed information is available to members in the Members Only section.

Challenge Lifecycle

The lifecycle of each topic within the SRP is expected to typically follow a 5-year trajectory:

  • Year 1—Issue Challenge—A use case / challenge scenario is defined and predictions are solicited.
  • Year 2—Identify Gaps—Assessment of sources of discrepancy lead to the identification of targeted investment for near-term improvements.
  • Years 3-4—Solve Gaps—Improvements are developed and implemented. These improvements could be in a range of areas including refined models, improved test methods, etc.
  • Year 5—Demonstrate Effectiveness—Efficacy of the improvements is quantified and the extensibility of the improvement is evaluated in a new blind challenge scenario within the same topical domain (similar material, environment, failure mode).


These Challenges will be regularly reviewed by the SRP leadership, which will allow the SRP to pose new challenges as existing ones are addressed. In many topical areas, it is possible that Years 2-4 could be repeated to achieve continuous incremental improvements that are consistently benchmarked.


The primary in-person activity of the SRP will be its annual workshop. Participation in the workshop is restricted to members under most circumstances to maintain the value of SRP Membership.

Agenda Items for Workshop:

  • Reports / highlights from member institutions on independent work
  • Reports on ongoing Challenge Scenarios
  • Assessment and prioritization of the most significant gaps in reliability assessment
  • Coordination of resource needs, purchases, and distribution
  • Coordination on research investments for addressing gaps
  • Brainstorming sessions on next challenge scenarios
  • Voting on next challenge scenarios
  • Review of Action Items
August 2017, Sandia National Laboratories | Albuquerque, New Mexico

The Structural Reliability Partnership hosted its inaugural Structural Reliability Partnership Workshop, on August 29-30, 2017 at the Marriott Uptown in Albuquerque, NM, sponsored by Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Texas, and Exxon Mobil.

The intent of this workshop was to provide an opportunity for the community to discuss opportunities for research in structural reliability, and identify ways that the community could work together to coordinate research and leverage investments on areas of mutual interest.

Due to limited space, and the discussion-based format of this workshop, attendance at this workshop was by invitation only. The SRP will hold broader workshops open to the wider community, as the SRP concept solidifies.

SRP Workshop Report

Relevant Publications

The Sandia Fracture Challenge: blind round robin predictions of ductile tearing
Boyce, B.L., Kramer, S.L.B., Fang, H.E. et al. Int J Fract (2014) 186: 5.

The second Sandia Fracture Challenge: predictions of ductile failure under quasi-static and moderate-rate dynamic loading
Boyce, B.L., Kramer, S.L.B., Bosiljevac, T.R. et al. Int J Fract (2016) 198: 5.