Students works in “Learning Mechanics from Engineering Failure”


The object of engineering design is to anticipate failure and to design against it. This is achieved by understanding how much load an structure might carry without breaking. Nevertheless, engineers continuously develop new technological challenges and few of them sometimes drive to a tragic collapse. The objective of the subject is to introduce students to forensic engineering. The analysis of failures of engineering designs is an opportunity to learn practical concepts of mechanics. The investigation of failures requires the ability of crossing knowledge, searching information, choosing the relevant facts and fostering the critical point of view of engineering solutions. Moreover, failures covers a wide variety of crafts: aircrafts, spacecrafts, marine vessels, bridges, buildings and dams.

Activity 1 of the subject is a Team work where students, in groups, must search for information about historical engineering failures in the web or in the literature, synthesize the information and present it to their classmates. Students must propose an appropriate disaster to study or the teacher can propose a list of some historical engineering failures.  The study should be approached from the technical point of view and the human considering: What failed / Why it failed / Possible corrective actions (How to make it not fail) / who was guilty at fault, and why and at the end generate a video with the case studied.

Here there is the Storify of the activity 1 of the subject “Learning Mechanics from Engineering Failure” of industrial and aeronautic degree in @etseiat @barcelonatech during spring season 2014 of the videos and the discussion in twitter using the hashtag #LMEF14 [View the story “Learning Mechanics from Engineering Failure” on Storify]

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