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Engineering Disasters - Essay Example

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Engineering Disasters

Undeniably, engineering knowhow so far has immensely contributed to humanity’s wellbeing in diverse and numerous areas. This has enabled people to execute their tasks with heightened efficiency, speed and even producing varied products meant to support humanity’s survival. Some of these products include drugs, processed foodstuffs, vehicles and aircrafts.
The Japanese Fukushima reactor meltdown incidence occurred due to manmade errors and carelessness (Girard 342). This is contrary to numerous claims especially from the government citing that the then coincidental earthquake exacerbated the incidence. According to the experts’ report, the government via its experts failed to utilize new and effective reactor designs. These could have ensured effective coolant regulation in the plant whose location was in a flood prone region. Hence, enable the nuclear plant to withstand the then severe earthquake’s pressure. Besides, the required designs would have prevented the subsequent Tsunami’s force, which severed the Fukushima’s power connections leading to the reactors’ overheating (Girard 342). Overheating led to the melting of reactors, which caused them to dispose their radioactive contents into the environment. This posed a hazard to both the inhabitants and other microorganisms in the region (Girard 342).
Boston’s Big Dig Ceiling Collapse incidence presents another example of a structural failure (Harris, Pritchard & Rabins 235). The incidence occurred due to engineers’ negligence, whereas the local authorities failed to execute the necessary construction policies. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation report, Powers Fasteners Inc. knowingly supplied fast set epoxy instead of the standard fastening (Harris, Pritchard & Rabins 235)....
knowingly supplied fast set epoxy instead of the standard fastening (Harris, Pritchard & Rabins 235). Fast set epoxy is a ceiling fastener used for short-term structures, which engineers used at the site despite being aware of the product’s “creep” and “deformation” nature (Harris, Pritchard & Rabins 235). Consequently, this inappropriate and erroneous use of materials prompted the 26 ton suspended ceiling concrete collapse onto a passing car and killing the driver (Harris, Pritchard & Rabins 235). Besides, in their report NTSB contend the site’s contractors together with their engineers contributed to the structure’s collapsing. Since, they failed to utilize their experience and knowledge to unveil the fastening product type early in advance. Therefore, in this incidence despite the legal authorities claiming Powers Company played a significant role, site’s engineers exhibited negligence and carelessness though not indicted by the law (Harris, Pritchard & Rabins 235). Engineers’ professional misconduct is also evident in the Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse incidence that occurred on 17Th July 1981 (Whitbeck 173). The incidence led to the demise of 114 people besides 200 others sustaining grievous injuries. Before the incidence’s occurrence, people were in a tea party whereas others standing on the two walkways. The two connected walkways collapsed onto the credulous people who were busy enjoying themselves whereas others holding individual conversations (Whitbeck 173). This incidence to date marks the worst structural failure in the US history in terms of human life loss and injuries sustained (Whitbeck 173). The investigators of this incidence cited the ...Show more


This study seeks to highlight past examples of engineering failings or disasters that up to date remain unforgettable due to their incalculable losses. Disasters occur due to humanity’s imperfections, errors, underestimation, design flaws, carelessness and ignorance despite the answerable authorities trying to eliminate them…
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Engineering Disasters essay example
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