Gordon Savage

Gordon Savage

Contact information

Phone: 519-888-4567 x33941
Location: EC4 2021

Biography summary

Gordon Savage is a Systems Design Engineering Professor at the University of Waterloo.

He is interested in the application of systems theory to field and continuum problems. Professor Savage’s research aims to produce general models of spatially continuous processes such as heat conduction, diffusion, and elasticity. These models provide conceptual or computational advantages, which unify or categorize existing numerical methods such as finite elements and finite differences.

Professor Savage’s research focuses on the areas of non-linear media modelling, coupled fields, probabilistic boundary conditions and constitutive properties; flexibility and impedance finite elements; and grid optimization methods.

Another area of his research is reliability and quality of design, which is in response to the increasing importance of safety and quality objectives as more complex systems are being designed and environmental standards are becoming stricter. The concepts of reliability and quality have proven to be useful in helping quantify constraints and selective alternative designs.

Professor Savage’s research aims to provide a unified methodology for the design of various physical systems that encompass both quality and safety design criteria. The methodology is applicable to multi-disciplinary systems and incorporates several mathematical theories of probability assessment. The research results should provide a design methodology well suited, but not restricted to, the design of systems with active redundancy and dependent component failures. Additionally, it should provide important measures that can be used for the comparison and improvement of designs.

Research interests

  • Modeling & Simulation
  • reliability and quality in design
  • Systems Theory & Optimization
  • Discrete Continuum Theories
  • Mechatronics Design
  • Large Systems Modelling through Subsystems
  • Modelling and Optimization of Systems
  • Pattern Analysis
  • Machine Intelligence & Robotics


  • 1976, Doctorate, PhD, University of Waterloo
  • 1970, Master's, MASc, University of Waterloo
  • 1968, Bachelor's, BASc, University of Waterloo


  • SYDE 252 - Linear Systems and Signals
    • Taught in 2020, 2021, 2022
  • SYDE 351 - Systems Models 1
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
  • SYDE 352 - Introduction to Control Systems
    • Taught in 2022
  • SYDE 661 - Model-Based Robust Design
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2022

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/recent publications

  • Savage, Gordon J and Zhang, Xufang and Son, Young Kap and Pandey, Mahesh D, Reliability of mechanisms with periodic random modal frequencies using an extreme value-based approach, Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 150, 2016, 65 - 77
  • Savage, Gordon J and Son, Young Kap, An Extreme-Value Event Approach for Frequency-Domain Performance Reliability, IEEE Transactions on Reliability, 65(2), 2016, 1058 - 1068
  • Wang, Shujuan and Li, Qiuyang and Savage, Gordon J, Reliability-based robust design optimization of structures considering uncertainty in design variables, Mathematical Problems in Engineering, 2015, 2015
  • LI, QIUYANG and SAVAGE, GORDON J and SON, YOUNG KAP, Economic, Robust and Quality Design of Engineering Systems using a Hybrid Six Sigma-second Moment Approach., International Journal of Performability Engineering, 11(4), 2015
  • Son, Young Kap and Savage, Gordon J, Stability Analysis of Uncertain Systems Using a Singular Value Decomposition-Based Metric, International Journal of Reliability, Quality and Safety Engineering, 22(05), 2015

Graduate studies