Failure Investigations in Undergraduate Education

by Eugene Chesson, Jr., Univ of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Reducing Failures of Engineered Facilities


Author stresses the need for failure investigations in undergraduate education especially in Civil Engineering. The civil engineer often creates only one major project of a kind, and is also constrained by geography, geology, hydrology, and meteorology. Site environment, uncertainties in foundations, snow and wind loads, even earthquakes must all be accepted. Most other kinds of engineers have tighter control over materials, fabrication, and eventual use of their products. Many work on assemblies which will be duplicated in the thousands so that prototype testing is possible. In addition, the expected lifetime for many civil engineering projects will be 5 to 20 times greater than for the projects planned by other types of engineers. Therefore, failure investigations may be of special importance to the civil engineer.

Subject Headings: Forensic engineering | Failure analysis | Undergraduate study | Snow loads | Wind loads | Engineering education | Structural failures | Geography

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