Engineering Disasters

Decent Essays
In just a few centuries, mankind has made leaps and bounds in advancing technology and engineering capability. From skyscrapers to nuclear reactors, engineers continue to design and build things that previous generations would have thought impossible or could have never imagined. With each success in innovation, the world seems to be jetting towards a technological wonderland. However, not every project goes smoothly, and some even fail disastrously. Engineering disasters have made their mark on history just as prominently as its successes. With each success, engineers strive to reach that much further into the unknown and desire to innovate the next great technology. With each disaster, engineers have been forced to take a step back and analyze…show more content…
The ASME created standards and codes for pressure vessels as well as initiating a precedent for analyzing engineering failures as to help prevent future disasters. Before, even when incidents were sometimes catastrophic, pressure vessels were simply deemed a dangerous line of work. The ASME, along with societies of other engineering disciplines, created a system to diagnose sources of error, which provided a basis from which engineers could innovate solutions. At its core, the method is just a few simple steps: contain the disaster, analyze the failure source, and determine who or what was at fault. With formal societies and rules in place, engineers were more accountable than ever for their projects. However the system for accountability was still incomplete. By 1919, engineering disasters were still catastrophic as a result of questionable practices and judgment. It was around this time that engineering licensure was developed as well as the adaptation of engineering ethics into the analysis of engineering catastrophes. Engineering ethics provided additional insight into why engineers make critical decisions as well as provide a platform for judging these engineers when things go wrong. Now the analysis gained an additional step: was the decision or action that led to failure made ethically or was it morally
Get Access