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Hold Paramount. By Meredith Davies, Kailly Vay, Maria Hatgipetros, and Colleen Kane. Factors of Safety. Buildings have high factors of safety (2.0) Air frames for airplanes have love factors of safety (1.2) The Asmara overhang might have a factor of safety less that is less than one

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Hold paramount

Hold Paramount

By Meredith Davies, Kailly Vay, Maria Hatgipetros, and Colleen Kane


Factors of safety

Factors of Safety

Buildings have high factors of safety (2.0)

Air frames for airplanes have love factors of safety (1.2)

The Asmara overhang might have a factor of safety less that is less than one

What should Chris do?


Engineering triumphs
Engineering Triumphs

  • Pyramids and Aqueducts in Rome

  • St. Petersburg in Russia

  • The Brooklyn Bridge in New York

    (John, Washington and Emily Robeling)


Engineering Failures

Due to errors in calculation or fabrication

Due to not anticipating all the ways it could fail

Due to not all side effects being predicted

Engineers As Managers

Does duty to employer over ride duty to the public

- Explosion of the Challenger

Give benefit of doubt to safety side

“Normalization of Deviance”


Acceptable risk
Acceptable Risk

  • At what point do we accept the risk and say that we cannot design the structure any stronger or safer?

  • Design is a repetitive process

    • Structure is postulated

    • Loads are estimated

    • Effects of loads are calculated using mathematical principles and well-tested equations

  • Example of Citicorp building


Acceptable risk1
Acceptable Risk

  • Engineers cannot produce anything that is completely risk free

  • Engineers are obligated to the public to not subject them to risk levels above that which is commonly expected


Decision making technical and ethical aspects
Decision Making: Technical and Ethical Aspects

  • Technical questions- how to achieve the goal by the most effective and efficient means

  • Generally an agreed upon “right” answer

  • State-of-the-art answer exists

  • Ethical Questions- how to achieve the goal without compromising any of your own or of society’s values

  • No clear experts on the topic exist

  • No “right answers”


Consulting with colleagues
Consulting with Colleagues

  • It is an engineer’s professional obligation to report unsafe situations

  • Professional Obligations out weigh private interests

  • Advice from collegues is beneficial within the bounds of professionalism

  • Difficult for engineers to be critical of each other


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