Machine Design

Engineering failures/disasters

The field of engineering evolves daily. The marvels of engineering far outweigh the failures/disasters. These failures and/or disasters result when engineers and designers push boundaries by building taller buildings, longer bridges, or reaching further out into space. After such an event, changes are made and regulations introduced until further developments outstrip them.

A Web site, “Engineering Failures — Case Studies in Engineering”, contains case studies in engineering design, construction, operation, maintenance, management, and interface with nonengineering organizations and personnel.

Examples of such disasters include the Soyuz 11, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, FDIV Bug in Pentium, a freight train carrying ethanol derailing in Illinois, three injured in a North Dakota oil-well explosion, Sayano-Shushenskaya Hydroelectric power-station accident in Khakassia, Russia, and the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse in Kansas City, Mo.

The site’s intent is to let readers reflect on what led to the failures and use the knowledge to advance engineering.


© 2012 Penton Media, Inc.

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