@Free E-pub ô To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design Þ eBook or E-pub free

This is the first time I read a book that I felt bored by but kept learning something. The first third of this book tried to explain why we need to learn from our mistakes Um I really didn t need a hundred pages to know this The examples of the failures was interesting But, then the last third of the book was again kind of boring Unfortunately, this isn t going to be my parting gift to my intern as I d hoped I have to find something else to give him. @Free E-pub ⛅ To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design ⚡ Reading Petroski S Fine Book Is Not Only A Delight, It Is A Necessity Houston ChronicleHow Did A Simple Design Error Cause One Of The Great Disasters Of The S The Collapse Of The Walkways At The Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel What Made The Graceful And Innovative Tacoma Narrows Bridge Twist Apart In A Mild Wind In How Did An Oversized Waterlily Inspire The Magnificent Crystal Palace, The Crowning Achievement Of Victorian Architecture And Engineering These Are Some Of The Failures And Successes That Henry Petroski, Author Of The Acclaimed The Pencil, Examines In This Engaging, Wonderfully Literate Book More Than A Series Of Fascinating Case Studies, To Engineer Is Human Is A Work That Looks At Our Deepest Notions Of Progress And Perfection, Tracing The Fine Connection Between The Quantifiable Realm Of Science And The Chaotic Realities Of Everyday Life Alert, Inquisitive, Unspecialized, Wholly Humanrefreshingly Eclectic The Spectator Henry Petroski Is An Ardent Engineer, And If He Writes Good Books Like This, He Might Find Himself Nominated To Become The Meistersinger Of The Guild This Is A Refreshing Plunge Into The Dynamics Of The Engineering Ethosas Straightforward As An I Beam Science A very well written book that explains a lot about engineering in terms non engineers can easily understand This book is full of simple explanations that shed light on things I thought I knew, as well as informing me of many things I did not previously know To give one example, I had read before about the collapse of the Hyatt Regency walkways in Kansas City I thought I understood pretty well an explanation with diagrams showing showing how a design change in the connections by which the walkways were suspended resulted in the catastrophic collapse I knew it was because they had abandoned the original plan to connect both walkways by means of individual long rods, and switched to using two shorter rods, one connecting the top walkway to the ceiling and the other connecting the second walkway to the first But this author put in terms I found much easier to grasp If two people are hanging on to a suspended rope, the rope is probably strong enough to support the weight of both people If instead, one person is hanging on to the rope, and a second person is hanging onto a second rope tied around the ankles of the first person, what matters is not the strength of the rope so much as the grip strength of the top person In Kansas City, it was the connections that failed I would recommend this book to anyone interested in knowing about just what it is that engineers do, and about how engineers learn from their predecessors mistakes. The premise really is interesting that it is from engineering failures that the most learning can be derived Sadly at least as a non engineer reader , the writing shifted from pulled me into it fascinating to merely slogging through.Probably not something you d want to pick up unless the topic itself really appealed to you. I am an English graduate who makes his living in IT, working a lot with engineers I came into this looking for specific insights I could use on how to make the things I build less prone to failure Ironically, I gave up on it because it was excessively poetic and metaphorical in places, and wordy throughout The audiobook narrator s voice wasn t especially pleasant, either Not terrible, but not good enough for me to want to persist with it. This slim volume covers some of the most notable failures in engineering history up to the mid 1980s, and makes learning about engineering engaging The comments about how computers will change the engineering profession are oddly prescient, and make me wish for an updated book. A friend of mine once described this book as like self help for geeks I love it. Here, engineering primarily means big structures that can carry people bridges, building, airplanes Of course, in the real world, there are many other categories of engineering.Message of the book can be summarized in a few lines Engineering is a trade off between meeting requirements safely, and cost design cost, materials cost, labor cost , and aesthetics dramatic bridges, buildings, Primarly, it goes into depth about how a structure doesn t just follow from requirements there are countless judgements made by the designer on cost and aesthetic grounds Further, one cannot fully test for all the conditions that the structure will undergo, and hence there will always be failures Further, failures teach us a lot about how do it the next time.For someone who understands the above thesis, the book is kind of boring and repetitive It s probably a good book for someone who is not aware of engineering tradeoffs.One of the last few chapters is about the negative effects of moving from slide rules to electronic calculators and computers First, engineers have lost the intuitive feel of numbers, i.e., in slide rule days, a bad number perhaps due to a bad calculation would smell funny, because the slide rule teaches you to understand expected orders of magnitude where is the decimal point and number of significant digits with electronic calculation, people just take the number at face value Second, before computers the sheer labor of calculation was so much that people stuck to a few tried and testeddesigns and typically overdesigned everything With computers, people try funky designs, and try to optimize the last extra pound and dollar out of the design, making them much riskier I m ok with thisthesis, but he does not mention the benefits of the computer, namely that certain calculation mistakes don t occur any , and the computer can test the structure in a lot scenarios than was feasible earlier I think he goes overboard on the negatives and gives too short shrift to the positives. What attracted me to this book when I bought it 17 years ago Between the introduction and the back of the book, I got the idea that To Engineer Is Human would give me a greater understanding about the reasoning and effort that engineers put into their structures Then and now, I am awed by the bridges and buildings I come across, and at times a voice in my head echoes that of Djimon Hounsou s character in Gladiator, who, upon seeing the Coliseum for the first time, whispers, I didn t know that men could build such things Next time you drive over a suspension bridge that crosses a body of water, ask yourself, How did they erect that concrete wall Petroski does not answer such questions, per se He does give some detailed accounts about some of histories notorious structural failures the Kansas City Hyatt Skywalk collapse in 1981 the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse in 1940 He also talks about the limitations about design, and possible sources for human error Unfortunately, Petroski only skims most of these subjects, and devotes most of his pages to other material that does little to illuminate his subject.For instance, Petroski proposes that the creative effort that goes into engineering design is akin to that which an artist pours into a painting, a statue, a novel It s a nice sentiment, but it does little to support his efforts to explain the where and why and how of failure in engineering design Worse, Petroski is enad with his own metaphors and writes about them at length, as in the instance when he draws similarities between the writer s proverbial waste basket overloaded with unwanted drafts and the frequent revisions that go into a structural design Again, this is a quaint picture and no The comparison does not offer any new insight into a lay understanding of either writing or engineering Who is going to be surprised that a bridge is preceded by multiple designs and revisions Where Petroski shines most is when he gives a detailed account about an engineering failure and the subsequent post mortem This is where he highlights and exposes material that most lay readers including yours truly are not aware of the kind of material that exists in the trade journals and technical papers that are available for a public consumption that nevertheless rarely happens His overview of the Kansas City Hyatt Skywalk disaster of 1981 is insightful and intriguing, and it opens up a line of questioning that readers can take with them for the rest of their lives Perhaps as a measure of relief, Petroski also offers an account of an engineering success as embodied by the design, execution, and successful use of the Crystal Palace in the first International World Exposition in 1851 the story is fascinating in its own right, and Petroski adds color to the account by sharing his expertise in civil engineering.I wish Petroski had put emphasis on this kind of material Rather than insist that engineering design yields the same kind of elegance as the arts, he could have proven this point with concrete pun intended examples and anecdotes I would have also appreciated biographical details about the designers and builders behind failed structures For someone who seems to love a synthesis between the arts and sciences, Petroski only goes so far towards humanizing his subject Early on, he says that engineers are human and therefore fallible agreed so why not tell us about these human beings, so that when we ask, How did you build that we have some idea.