301 Rice Hall
​240 Rice
P.O. Box 400743
Charlottesville, VA 22904


Joanne Bechta Dugan is Professor Emerita of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on probabilistic assessment of the dependability of computer-based systems. She has developed the dynamic fault tree model, which extends the applicability of fault tree analysis to computer systems. Current work focuses on the development of a new sequence of interdisciplinary courses in robotics, including autonomous vehicles, humanoids and small robots for social applications.

She and her colleagues and students developed the dynamic fault tree model, which has been used for reliability analysis and probabilistic risk assessment by industry, academic and government researchers and contractors. A software tool that embodies this work (called Galileo) was developed by researchers at the University of Virginia and has been used by NASA and its contractors for many years.

In 2000 she was named a Fellow of the IEEE, cited for “contributions to dependability analysis of fault tolerant computer systems.”

In January 2000 she received the IEEE Reliability Society Award, “recognizing the contributions of new techniques for fault tree analysis, including theoretical advances, practical application and technology transfer through software tool development.”

In 2003 she received the Harriet B. Rigas Award for outstanding woman engineering educator, given by IEEE Education and Computer Societies.

In 2014 she was awarded the Hartfield-Jefferson Scholars Teaching Prize, 2014. This prize is awarded annually to faculty in SEAS who exhibit strong commitment to teaching. In the same year she was awarded the Harold S. Morton, Jr. Award for Teaching, for dedication to the education of undergraduate students in SEAS and outstanding teaching in the school’s core courses and the Outstanding teacher award given by the ECE Department.

Dugan was recognized by her undergrad alma mater with the 2016 IT leadership award, in recognition of leadership in the field of information technology, positive impact on the community and commitment to LaSallian values.

She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Systems Engineering and Mathematics and has advised PhD students in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering and systems engineering.


​Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Duke University

​M.S. in Electrical Engineering, Duke University

​B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science, La Salle College

Dynamic fault tree analysis has extended the state of the art and the state of the practice in analysis of the dependability of computer systems.

Joanne Bechta Dugan Professor Emerita of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Research Interests

Risk Management
Human Machine Interface
Embedded Systems
Science, Technology and Society

Selected Publications

"Dynamic Fault Tree models for Fault Tolerant Computer Systems," IEEE Transactions on Reliability, Volume 41, Number 3, pages 363-377, September 1992. J.B. Dugan, S.J. Bavuso, M.A. Boyd
"Fault Trees and Markov Models for Reliability Analysis of Fault Tolerant Systems," Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Volume 39, pages 291-307, 1993. J.B. Dugan, S.J. Bavuso, M.A. Boyd
“A separable method for incorporating imperfect fault-coverage into combinatorial models," IEEE Transactions on Reliability, September 1999, pages 267-274. S.V. Amari, J.B. Dugan, R.B. Misra
“Developing a Low-Cost, High-Quality Software Tool for Dynamic Fault Tree Analysis," IEEE Transactions on Reliability, March 2000, pages 49-59. J.B. Dugan, K.J. Sullivan, D. Coppit
“Modular Solution of Dynamic Multi-Phase Systems,” IEEE Transactions on Reliability, December 2004, pages 499-508. Yong Ou, J.B. Dugan
“Diagnostic Decision Trees based on Estimating Diagnostic Importance Factors from Markov Models,” IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine, August 2005. T. Assaf, J.B. Dugan
“A continuous-time Bayesian network reliability modeling and analysis framework” IEEE Transactions on Reliability, vol. 55(1):86-97, March 2006. H. Boudali, J.B. Dugan
“Empirical Analysis of Software Fault Content and Fault Proneness Using Bayesian Methods” IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, Volume 33, Number 10, pages 675-686, October 2007. G.J. Pai, J.B. Dugan
“System Diagnosis using Evidence from Sensors,” Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Volume 93, Number 4, April 2008, Pages 509-521. T. Assaf, J.B. Dugan
“Analyzing Dynamic Fault Trees Derived from Model-Based System Architectures,” Nuclear Engineering & Technology, Vol. 40, No. 5, August 2008. J. Dehlinger, J.B. Dugan
“Combining Software Quality Analysis with Dynamic Event/Fault Trees for High Assurance Systems Engineering,” Proceedings of the 10th High Assurance Systems Engineering Symposium, November 2007, Pages 245-255. Invited paper. J.B. Dugan, G.J. Pai, H. Xu

Courses Taught

Digital Logic Design
Introduction to Embedded Computer Systems
Humans & Robots
Dataflow Programming for Embedded Systems
Dependable Computing Systems
Reliability Engineering