The Annual Reliability and Maintainability Symposium (RAMS®) is a world-renowned annual symposium alternating between east and west coast areas of the United States and has been continually conducted successfully since 1954. Its purpose is to promote the Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety professions and provide training, education, recognition, and advancement of these professions. As part of this, RAMS® generates peer reviewed technical papers that are published on-line in IEEE Xplore. RAMS® also provides extensive tutorials on the RAMS® body of knowledge (BoK), to include basic and advanced topics.
Many individuals attend RAMS as evidence of achievement for career advancement and to meet higher education (e.g. PhD) requirements. Attendees also use the tutorial sessions to support their Continuing Education Unit (CEU) needs or to prepare themselves for certifications such as the ASQ CRE or CQE.
RAMS operates via volunteers from 8 sponsor societies:
- American Society for Quality-Electronics & Communications Division (ASQ-ECD)
- American Society for Quality-Reliability & Risk Division (ASQ-RRD)
- Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers-Reliability Society (IEEE-RS)
- Institute of Environmental Sciences & Technology (IEST)
- Institute of Industrial & System Engineers (IISE)
- Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)
- Society of Reliability Engineers (SRE)
- International System Safety Society (ISSS)
Volunteers participate on/in either the Management Committee (MC) or Board of Directors (BoD) as follows:
- The Management Committee (headed by the General Chair) is responsible for all the planning and execution of the symposium for the coming year which includes selection and completion of papers and tutorials presented at RAMSâ. Each year, MC members rotate through various subcommittees ultimately ending as General Chair (typically 10-15 years).
- The Board of Directors (headed by its Chairman) is comprised of appointees from the sponsoring societies. The board is primarily responsible for: providing the necessary seed money for the following year conference, approval of the management committees annual budget, final paper and tutorial awards selection, finding appropriate Associate Editors, contracts for RAMS® including future sites/locations, and performance of Management Committee members. BoD members are ultimately concerned with an on-going successful RAMSâ and that the interests of their respective sponsors are being met.
- There is also an ad hoc volunteer Advisory Board generally consisting of people representing various organizations (government, industry, and academic sectors) that help the MC determine an appropriate theme for the conference.
As there is no company running RAMS like one might see in other conferences, the above volunteers give up their personal time to help RAMS run efficiently and effectively each year.