Competence or Collapse

by Wendu L. Gottshall, (M.ASCE), Asst. Struct. Engr.; Michael Baker, Jr., Inc., Princeton, NJ,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2000, Vol. 70, Issue 10, Pg. 74-75

Document Type: Feature article


Gottshall, the winner of ASCE's Daniel W. Mead Prize for a paper on ethics by younger members, refers to the large-scale damage from recent earthquakes in Turkey as well as the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse when she writes on the topic of engineers who sign and seal engineering documents for portions of projects outside their area of expertise. Clients, the community, and the profession at large are at risk when engineers approve drawings without the requisite knowledge and experience, she writes.

Subject Headings: Bridge failures | Project management | Ethics | Earthquakes | Earthquake engineering | Developing countries | Client relationships

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