Karen B. Marais, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

School of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Faculty of Engineering

Purdue University



kmarais "at" purdue.edu 

Tel: 765.494.0063

Room: ARMS3325


Senior Member AIAA 



Click here for a brief biography, here for my educational background and here for my faculty webpage.

Research Interests

My research is multi-disciplinary in nature, spanning traditional engineering disciplines such as reliability, maintainability, and risk analysis, and extending to engineering economics (e.g., environmental impact of aviation and policy choices and implications) and organizational behaviour (in particular in regard to system safety). The fundamental aim of my research is to guide better engineering decisions in system design and operation. To that end I perform research in three general areas:

  1. System Safety and Risk Analysis
  2. Value-Centric System Design and Operation
  3. Civil Aviation Policy and Environmental Impacts

Recent Publications

  • Karen B. Marais. "Value maximizing maintenance policies under general repair", Reliability Engineering & System Safety, Volume 119, November 2013, Pages 76-87.
  • Karen B. Marais, Tom G. Reynolds, Payuna Uday, Delri Muller, Jonathan Lovegren, Jean-Marie Dumont & R. John Hansman, "Evaluation of Potential Near-Term Operational Changes to Mitigate Environmental Impacts of Aviation," Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 227:8, August 2013.
  • Karen B. Marais and Matthew Robichaud, "Analysis of Trends in Aviation Maintenance Risk: An Empirical Approach," Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 106: 104-118, October 2012.
  • Saleh Joseph H., Marais Karen B., Bakolas, E., Cowlagi, R.V., “Highlights from the literature on system safety and accident causation: Review of major ideas, recent contributions, and challenges”, In press, Reliability Engineering and System Safety, July 2010.
  • Hoepfer, Vitus M., Saleh, Joseph H., and Marais, Karen, “On the value of redundancy subject to common-cause failures: Toward the resolution of an on-going debate,” Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Volume 94, Issue 12, December 2009, Pages 1904-1916.
  • Leveson, Nancy, Dulac, Nicolas, Marais, Karen, and Carroll, John, Moving Beyond Normal Accidents and High Reliability Organizations: A Systems Approach to Safety in Complex Systems, Organization Studies, 30(2&3):91-13, March 2009.
  • Marais, Karen, Saleh, Joseph H., “Beyond its cost, the value of maintenance: An analytical framework for capturing its Net Present Value”, Reliability Engineering and System Safety,  94(2):644-657, February 2009.
  • Marais, Karen and Saleh, Joseph H., Conceptualizing and communicating organizational risk dynamics in the Thoroughness-Efficiency space, Reliability Engineering and System Safety, 93(11):1710-1719, November 2008. 
  • click here for a full list...

Teaching and Professional Education

  • Introduction to Aerospace Engineering AAE251 (Spring Semesters)
  • Aerospace Systems Design AAE351 (Fall Semesters)
  • Safety and Risk Analysis for Complex Systems AAE590X (Selected Fall Semesters)
  • Air Transportation Systems AAE590X (Selected Fall Semesters)