The design process for ceramic materials is more complex than that of metals because of low-strain tolerance, low fracture toughness and brittleness. The application of structural ceramics to engineering systems hinges on the functional benefits to be derived and is manifested in the conceptual design for acceptable reliability. This article discusses the design considerations for the use of structural ceramics for engineering applications. It describes the conceptual design and deals with fast fracture reliability, lifetime reliability, joints, attachments, interfaces, and thermal shock in detailed design procedure. The article provides information on the proof testing of ceramics, and presents a short note on public domain software that helps determine the reliability of a loaded ceramic component. The article concludes with several design scenarios for gas turbine components, turbine wheels, ceramic valves, and sliding parts.