Discussion: View Thread

Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

  • 1.  Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 01-31-2024 08:05 AM

    "Yes," I know that the work of FEs is subject to many types of legal requirements, including confidentiality.

    On the other hand, books like "Blessings of Disasters" illustrate the value such knowledge has to the education of the 

    engineers in college, as well as practice.

    Q. What, where, and how might such failure analysis be made available without breaching legal requirements?

    Cheers,

    Bill


    #Other

    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 2.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 30 days ago

    Bill & All

    Having worked on standards and code development now for more than 30 years, I can say confidently that structural failures and engineering and construction mistakes do make it into the knowledge base of the committees and do have substantive effect on the requirements of our codes and standards, as well as practice.  We all know of some of the "big" failures that resulted in practice changes, e.g., the skybridges at the Hyatt Kansas City; the failed steel moment connections in the Northridge earthquake; the World Trade Center collapse.  However, many other less well known "failures" that perhaps did not result in large numbers of casualties or huge economic losses become known to the code writers and are considered.  For example, many years ago, a fracture developed in steel framing for a canopy at the Wolf Trap center near DC.  This resulted in changes ot the AISC and AWS specifications.  Discovery of failed galvanized high strength bolts, a relatively minor failure, resulted in changes to the methods of coating high strength fasteners.  Failures in precast structures, due to lack of adequate interconnection of pieces led to the first structural integrity provisions in building codes.  There are many examples.

    One of the problems code writers face is that often the "facts" are presented by experts with biased opinions as to what happened and why.  The committees have to try and sort through this and mostly do a reasonably good job.  Not to say it wouldn't be better if the information could come more directly.

    A few things have happened recently that are improving this.  A few years ago, I-Struct E, the UK-based professional structural engineering association started their CROSS (collaborative reporting for structural safety) system, whereby engineers could report observed probelmes and obtain get out of jail free cards.  This was based on a similar successful system that NASA runs for pilots in the US.  The US recently adopted this same CROSS system.  It is online and can be found here:  Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures US (CROSS-US) (cross-safety.org)

    Also, following the World Trade Center collapse,  the National Cosntruction Safety Act charged with NIST of conducting independent investigations of major structural failures, and publishing the results of their investigation together with recommendations for improved praxtice.  They did this following the WTC invetigations and are now nearing completion of a similar investigation into the Surfside condo collapse.



    ------------------------------
    Ronald Hamburger, SE
    Consulting Principal
    Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 27 days ago

    Hello, 
    Ronald, William good night and thanks for this very essential subject. I appreciated a lot :) 

    Its is very interesting at same time concerning, it caught my attention. Specially to structural young engineers to further expand their views to the core while approximating theorical fields and aligning them with structural practical experiences. Using this type of knowledge would be a key concept to develop a new breed of engineers that should be needed in future. It's important to shape lessons from mistakes to possible exist successful joy in structural art creations. Also Career paths could include a lifelong learning, and motivation to positioning engineers as leaders and innovators overcome difficult challenges ahead, designing better structures. Not only the code should be sufficient accepted as final language or way to communicate Engineering problems, but the think part of it that we have as humans, the "outside the box" part of it. So the engineer itself could emerge as a solution for all forensic problems, having the opportunity in multiple ways to explore what fails in order to preserving and protecting our structural profession. 


    Thoughts would be essential part when reacting to structural engineering patterns that sometimes develops in extremes cycles of structural stresses and deflections, leading to collapse, disproportional or not caused by an unintended load sometimes. A old way example to gain additional insights on the dangerous of Structural Engineering can push us to the next level or upgraded to have its fundamentally changed design, in other words: to understanding what could fit better in this real world from a future world. The CROSS-US was introduced online to me, and I imagine  public by SEI Institute strategic vision and well extended in online events and discussion activities from both Board of Governor, Staff and with SEI past Presidents. In my view the idea of CROSS is the one that could quickly generate information form a database about structures created that at some period of time has a rapidly end or remains in unpredictable design that fails but can assist engineers in the design of new ones. A similar pattern is happening to SE2050.org, while creating new emergent performance buildings, but also resilient and sustainable. se2050.org


    Because real world applications demands very rapid quickly deployment at times, and newer installation of structures, SAFETY could be a issue IF Quality is not guaranteed Over Economic Impact. So I think it demands a lot from us and the future conditions, that has lead to important organizations starting playing Roles never Played before, to reflect about the main function of Structural Engineer itself, projecting them as strong force towards responsibility of human life, and the need for work in multidisciplinary themes.   SEI has emerged with this Video on 2019: SEI Future Vision of SE and also initiative like SEI 2033 Vision appears with the participation of NCSEA, CASE and even the appearance with IStructE or IABSE, as support organizations.

    *On the TRHIVE: I think in today's environments is essential for collaboration, work together and get all 3D, AI, Spatial and Mental models about those disasters to see how full engineering can develop differently ways of solve now and when. So explanations by research papers could be the normal. A system that could be really interesting, is to have a FWV but "a version for Collapses", could be and interesting at some points, to develop since new machinery would work with us in the future trying to reduce the demand on engineers to solve everything could be a risk for profession. 

    It is time to be deeply creatively along our peers and technologies that we will have in the future and try to do our best about this, to not repeat again, in ways that we shouldn't be.  

     
     The Collapse of World Trade Center | The Complete Physics 





    ------------------------------
    Andre Newinski S.E., M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    AN
    Santo Angelo
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 2 days ago

    Thanks very much Ronald for the insights and reference.

    Cheers,

    Bill



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 27 days ago

    A starter for this conversation would be hearing from educators on how they are incorporating lessons learned from disasters and failures into their classrooms. I don't think there is any better teaching tool for focusing students on the safety-critical nature of their work than past disasters and failures.



    ------------------------------
    Mitch Winkler P.E.(inactive), M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 24 days ago

    As always Mitch, excellent advice.

    And if the engineering educators get beyond the structural details of the failures(s),

    they will ask Deming's "Why" 5 times.

    It will then take them to the actual root-cause.

    Cheers,

    Bill



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 24 days ago

    Right-on Mitch!

    Some starting resources:

    • "To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design,"

    by Henry Petroski. 1992

    • "Epic Engineering failures and The Lessons They Teach," by Stephen Ressler. 2022

    • "The Blessings of Disaster: The Lessons That Catastrophes Teach Us and Why Our Future Depends on It,"  by Michel Bruneau. 2022

    Cheers,

    Bill



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 24 days ago

    My engineering education did include discussions of failures in several courses. I'm not saying there couldn't be improvement or added value from additional communication between the investigating engineers and the educators, but I think we need to give credit where credit is due by acknowledging that it is happening some.

    As Ronald mentioned, some of that knowledge also makes its way into academia via code updates. Courses like reinforced concrete design and steel design use the codes heavily in the coursework. There are members of academia involved in some of those code committees as well, so that is an additional touch point for that knowledge to transfer back into academic institutions.

    I would be interested to see how we could increase the access, but there is some currently out there.



    ------------------------------
    Heidi C. Wallace, P.E., M.ASCE
    Tulsa, OK
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 22 days ago

    Thanks Heidi!

    What needs to "Find its way into the classroom" is, IMO,

    the most valuable parts of the above-noted 3 books.

    In their chapters/cases, after presenting and discussing the tech-reason for the failures as best they can,

    they have a "Lessons-Learned"" section at the end of each case.

    Turns out these reflections are EXACTLY what is missing in our engineer's formal education.

    Would be interested what you think once you have the time to review.

    Cheers,

    Bill



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 21 days ago

    I think this is a case where one needs to look at outcomes. In my mind, graduates need to know that engineers are not infallible and mistakes get made through acts of omission and commission. They must know they are part of a system and the failure of the system is its weakest link. They also need to graduate with a strong sense of curiosity and desire to learn more. There are limits to how much stuff can be thrown at students in 4 years, and I think this is a case where a performance-based approach is needed rather than a prescriptive one.  



    ------------------------------
    Mitch Winkler P.E.(inactive), M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Why Not Transfer Knowledge of Forensic Engineer's Results To Engineering Educators

    Posted 2 days ago
    • Thanks to one and all for the clear thoughts and opinions.

    My take?

    It seems we each and all agree why, and what needs to happen with such information.

    The challenge is "When, Where, & How."

    And of course, the reliability of any "How."

    Cheers,

    Bill



    ------------------------------
    William M. Hayden Jr., Ph.D., P.E., CMQ/OE, F.ASCE
    Buffalo, N.Y.

    "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot 1819 - 1880
    ------------------------------