Lessons amid the Rubble: An Introduction to Post-Disaster Engineering and Ethics

Lessons amid the Rubble: An Introduction to Post-Disaster Engineering and Ethics

by Sarah K. A. Pfatteicher
     
 

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The aftermath of September 11, 2001, brought the subject of engineering-failure forensics to public attention as had no previous catastrophe. In keeping with the engineering profession's long tradition of building a positive future out of disasters, Lessons amid the Rubble uses the collapse of the World Trade Center towers to explore the nature and future

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Overview

The aftermath of September 11, 2001, brought the subject of engineering-failure forensics to public attention as had no previous catastrophe. In keeping with the engineering profession's long tradition of building a positive future out of disasters, Lessons amid the Rubble uses the collapse of the World Trade Center towers to explore the nature and future of engineering education in the United States.

Sarah K. A. Pfatteicher draws on historical and current practice in engineering design, construction, and curricula to discuss how engineers should conceive, organize, and execute a search for the reasons behind the failure of man-made structures. Her survey traces the analytical journey engineers take after a disaster and discusses the technical, social, and moral implications of their work. After providing an overview of the investigations into the collapse of the Twin Towers, Pfatteicher explores six related events to reveal deceptively simple lessons about the engineering enterprise, each of which embodies an ethical dilemma at the heart of the profession. In tying these themes together, Pfatteicher highlights issues of professionalism and professional identity infused in engineering education and encourages an explicit, direct conversation about their meaning.

Sophisticated and engagingly written, this volume combines history, engineering, ethics, and philosophy to provoke a deep discussion about the symbolic meaning of buildings and other structures and the nature of engineering.

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Editorial Reviews

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - Karl D. Stephan

Just the sort of resource that everyong from civil engineers to historians of technology will find helpful in guiding students to appreciate some of the complexities and subtleties of the profession and practice of engineering.

Choice

The aim is to blend history, engineering, ethics, and philosophy into the design process with implications for the future curricula of engineering design courses.

IEEE Technology and Society Magazine
Just the sort of resource that everyong from civil engineers to historians of technology will find helpful in guiding students to appreciate some of the complexities and subtleties of the profession and practice of engineering.

— Karl D. Stephan

Technology and Culture - Wang Nan

Pfatteicher's retrospective on more than 100 years of engineering history in North America through the lens of the 9/11 experience is a unique contribution to engineering self-understanding. It is a valuable contribution to ongoing reform in engineering education.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801899508
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
12/29/2010
Series:
Johns Hopkins Introductory Studies in the History of Technology
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

John A. Ochsendorf

A valuable addition to the literature and an excellent source for illustrating the shortcomings of conventional engineering problem solving.

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