Case study

Scientists sometimes get a little excited when an experiment doesn’t work the way they expect it to. It is an opportunity to learn something new about the world, and they can always change the experiment a bit to try again next time.

Engineering is a little bit different. Designers and engineers generally prefer to find out something is wrong before it is built instead of after, because engineering failures can be disastrous.

But engineering failures have happened and, if nothing else, they are an opportunity to learn WHAT NOT TO DO NEXT TIME.

Tacoma Bridge Collapse

November 7, 1940. You could never have stated if Tacoma Narrows was actually a Bridge or a pretty wobbly Roller Coaster. Why is that? If you have never heard of this, I suggest watching a youtube video and then following up.(Disclaimer: Just make sure your jaw lands on something soft)

quebec bridge Collapse

The building of the magnificent Quebec Bridge, which spans the St. Lawrence River near the capital city of the Province of Quebec, was a triumph after two disasters. In the interval there had been two serious accidents that had shocked Canada. For years the bridge has been an inspiration to all who have seen their plans wrecked and need courage to try again.