David C. Trindade, Ph.D.



Dave Trindade is an analytical and problem-solving professional with excellent communication skills. He has extensive technical and executive level leadership experience in quality and reliability operations. He has been a consultant and trainer in industry and academia for many years. He has also developed innovative statistical and graphical analysis methods for industrial applications. He is a co-author of a very popular book Applied Reliability. He has many publications and conference presentations. He has directed many teams to success. He is internationally known expert in the field of reliability. He is also recognized as a dynamic and effective speaker.

Dr. Trindade earned a B.S. with honors in physics from Brown University. In his junior year, under a National Science Foundation Grant, he worked with Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Leon Cooper to study biological and physical interactions related to the origin of life. He received a Fellowship to the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. During two summers, he worked in the Research Labs of Eastman Kodak, studying the low temperature and radiation absorption properties of materials. His graduate studies were primarily in optics and solid state physics.

After attaining an M.S. in material sciences, he joined the Product Assurance Group at IBM in Burlington, Vermont as a Senior Associate Engineer. His first years were spent in qualifications and reliability evaluations. He enrolled in the doctoral program in physics at the University of Vermont (UVM). However, a class in Statistical Design of Experiments (DOE) taught by Bill Diamond at IBM sparked a strong desire to learn more about statistics and probability. Dr. Trindade then switched his field of study into the statistics department and obtained an M.S. in statistics in 1976. He began teaching as adjunct lecturer at UVM courses in undergraduate introductory statistics and graduate level mathematical statistics and applications. Dr. Trindade did a joint doctoral program in mechanical engineering and statistics, achieving a Ph.D. in 1980. The thesis title was "Nonparametric Estimation of Lifetime Distribution via the Renewal Function." His thesis advisor was Dr. Larry Haugh.

The statistical procedures developed in his doctoral work were applied at IBM to measure the field reliability of computers. At IBM, Trindade advanced to Advisory Engineer. While at IBM, Dr. Trindade submitted his first patent application on semiconductor reliability prediction and received Patent 3,889,188, "Time Zero Determination of FET Reliability," on June 10, 1975. He worked on statistical methods for reliability engineering, conducted reliability training, and led several task forces to resolve reliability issues, resulting in his developing an active interest in executive leadership.

Dr. Trindade was hired in 1981 as the Worldwide Director of Quality and Reliability by General Instrument (GI) in Hicksville, New York. He managed an organization of over 200 individuals located in several continents, with four quality managers and a statistician as direct reports. He traveled internationally to deal with and resolve quality and reliability issues at key customers. GI had a very poor quality reputation when Dr. Trindade took control. In two years, through the application of statistically based engineering approaches, GI's quality and reliability performance surpassed all of the competitors.

One example in particular illustrates his leadership for improvement efforts. Teaming with the local Quality Manager and Vice President of Technology, Dr. Trindade's investigative statistical analysis and reliability work concerning excessive electrostatic discharge (ESD) related product failures resulted in GI's developing integrated circuits with vastly superior ESD resistant compared to the competition. As a result, GI regained credibility with original equipment manufactures (OEMs) and obtained a significant multi-million dollar increase in orders for GI programmable read only memories (PROMS) for use in Atari and Mattel video games.

In another GI project, Dr. Trindade introduced one of Dr. Deming's fourteen principles by reducing the number of wafer suppliers from six and dealing only with two suppliers who were willing to implement statistical process control (SPC) in the wafer manufacturing process to achieve high quality. Dr. Trindade worked with these suppliers, teaching their engineers and management fundamental concepts in SPC. Consequently, with improving quality confirmed by statistical distribution analysis of wafer parameters, GI was able to eliminate incoming wafer level inspection, improve process yield, increase quality and reliability, and reduce manufacturing costs.

In 1984, Dr. Trindade joined Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in Sunnyvale, California, as Director of Reliability. There he established a reliability organization consisting of three labs (failure analysis, surface analysis, and stress testing) and a small statistics group with several statisticians. He developed new programs for qualifications, monitoring, modeling, and reporting of reliability data. He drove reliability improvement projects, especially for building in reliability through DOE and SPC.

In 1986, the first edition of Applied Reliability, coauthored with Dr. Paul Tobias, was published. Based on the statistical analysis methods developed at IBM and refined through the internal reliability classes, this book became very popular among engineers working in semiconductor manufacturing. The text emphasized the practical use of statistical reliability approaches to solve problems in industry, plan tests, run accelerated studies, and predict field behavior from stress data. Over 10,000 copies of the first edition were sold, which is an impressive number for a technical publication.

At AMD in 1987, Dr. Trindade became actively involved with SPC implementation in the wafer fabrication areas. He was appointed SPC Group Facilitator in charge of establishing AMD's SPC programs. He led a steering committee of senior executives from manufacturing, quality, assembly, advanced technology, and engineering. He hired into AMD a statistical community of statisticians and developed SPC facilitators (process engineers interested in the application of statistics to solve problems); instituted training in DOE, SPC, and statistical methods for reliability; and delivered presentations at conferences on these topics. His work lead to the establishment of a new position at AMD of Director of Applied Statistics, holding a joint title also as Director of Reliability.

By successfully implementing SPC in all the wafer fabrication areas and assembly, in 1990 Dr. Trindade was made the first Senior AMD Fellow, a recognition of the highest technical achievement. He embarked on an extensive training and consulting program to teach engineers the use of practical statistical techniques and software for process and product improvements in quality and reliability. In four years, over 2500 employees attended these courses. Increases in yield and productivity, along with reduction in defects, costs, and downtime occurred rapidly during this period. He also lead a department of statisticians and programmers. His consulting activities, especially in reliability crisis situations, saved AMD and customers millions of dollars.

Because of his continued love of teaching, in 1984 he also joined the faculty of Santa Clara University (SCU) as an adjunct lecturer in graduate statistics and reliability. In 1995 he was voted the Adjunct Lecturer of the Year by the Applied Mathematics Department at SCU.

In 1995, the second edition of Applied Reliability, coauthored with Dr. Paul Tobias, was published. This edition added analysis methods for repairable systems, Bayesian reliability techniques, and reliability growth models. Several universities have been using the text for undergraduate and graduate level courses in reliability for engineers.

In late 1996, Dr. Trindade left AMD.  Under the business name STAT-TECH™, he began a consulting and training business, which eventually included many clients in technology, manufacturing, engineering, and medical devices. In 1997 he was offered a position in and new area for him of software quality and reliability. Thus, he became the Senior Director of Corporate Quality and later Senior Director of Quality and Advanced Tools at Phoenix Technologies LTD, a leading company in the field of software BIOS. There, he directed the Quality organization in process and productivity improvements through the application of statistical methods. He achieved significant success in quality efforts in the Personal Computer Division by reducing software defect levels by over 80% in a six-month period. He had quality responsibility for all divisions, including Worldwide Field Operations and served on the board of directors for production BIOS.

He was involved in Y2K planning and tests. He directed worldwide efforts to establish quality processes, metrics, configuration management, and release criteria, along with determining necessary field and site technical support. Additionally, he was responsible for all technical training for engineers and customers. He established statistical quality systems for this large software company ($100M annual revenues). He continued to drive reduction of defects and increased productivity. He directed operations of quality departments worldwide. He organized corporate QA functions, including hiring and staffing. He developed advanced monitoring and control systems. He presented quality reviews to many customers.

Some significant accomplishments included: the establishment of Lotus Notes based measurement program for tracking software problems, permitting rapid worldwide replication and access, eliminating of manual load processes; the development of goals and strategic plans for improving product through reduction of defects and code simplification; the institution of meaningful statistical metrics of progress in cycle time improvements and quality improvements, including weekly progress reports; writing and implementing a software release policy to assure delivery of high quality software. He also provided total quality management (TQM) training to employees at all domestic locations to foster understanding of quality objectives and statistical principles and to motivate support for quality improvement efforts.

In 1998 Dr. Trindade joined Sun as Quality Program Manager in the Java Software Division. There he worked on the application of statistical methods for measuring software quality. He became Senior Staff Engineer in the Quality Office in the Network Services Products Division. He provided statistical expertise, especially in the areas of reliability and availability. He developed quality metrics and directed the team on Software Reliability Modeling. His critical analysis of software metrics established direction for quality improvement efforts for Sun divisions. He became recognized for his outstanding work in the application of statistical analysis and modeling to a critical Sun product reliability issue, which facilitated cause identification and rapid resolution of the problem, along with considerable savings to the company by the adoption of his recommended best practices. His success resulted in his being nominated and promoted to Distinguished Engineer in 2000.

Moving to the Computer System Division, he was involved with guiding the network systems availability assessments. His extensive contributions centered on providing statistical expertise and modeling to solve reliability and availability problems for Sun servers, software, and components. He became a Six-Sigma Champion and provided consulting expertise to Sun's Master Black Belt community. He has also developed and presented training sessions to senior level engineers and executive management on reliability, availability, statistics, and DOE topics. He has taught a very popular three day session in Applied Reliability to over 400 Sun engineers.

His efforts at Sun focused on the development of simple graphical tools for the analysis and monitoring of the reliability of Sun repairable equipment in the field. Called time dependent reliability (TDR) at Sun, these methods are replacing the overuse and abuse of mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) calculations. Dr. Trindade coauthored a paper entitled "Simple Plots for Monitoring the Field Reliability of Repairable Systems", which won the best presentation award at the 2005 RAMS in Virginia. The techniques presented at RAMS in a series of tutorials have been applied to over 100 important customers' datacenters. As a result, Sun succeeded in resolving issues and understanding system behavior in the field, leading to improvements in product quality and reliability and satisfied customers. In April 2005, Dr. Trindade received the Chairman's Award for his innovative work in TDR development and implementation.

Dr. Trindade provided consulting services to Sun in areas of statistical analysis, design of experiments, applied reliability, forecasting, and statistical software. He was the expert on reliability issues. He provided support to several divisions at Sun, especially for the resolution of reliability issues and modeling of field failures. He traveled internationally to give presentations and meet with customers on critical reliability issues.

In 2010, Dr. Trindade joined Bloom Energy as Fellow and Chief officer of Best Practices. He has been using his knowledge and experience in statistics, especially statistical process control (SPC), design of experiments (DOE), quality, and reliability, to contribute to Bloom Energy's vision and goal of making clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world. His focus has been to train Bloom's employees in the application of statistical methods for process improvement and the achievement of manufacturing excellence.

He has published extensively papers on various topics and has presented many times at internal and external international conferences. He speaks regularly to the statistical and engineering community and to executives and managers on the importance of statistics in industry. He is the coauthor with Dr. Paul Tobias of the third edition of popular textbook Applied Reliability, published in 2012.

In 2008, he was awarded the IEEE Reliability Society's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, he was honored as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.