HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Guest Blogs

Petroski on Engineering: Engineering & Civilization

NO RATINGS
1 saves
Page 1 / 2 Next >
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 4/4
Larry S.
User Rank
Iron
Much of what is built today will barely last a lifetime ...
Larry S.   5/3/2012 3:15:11 PM
NO RATINGS
Buildings, roads, bridges are repeatedly repaired, replaced, and demolished.  We seem to have the technology to make better materials; engineering sophistication to make things last; but not the foresight to put quality ahead of short-term cost considerations.  The TV breaks, it is cheaper to toss it out and buy a new one.  Plastic plumbing components are replacing copper products that are now so cheaply made that they have become undependable.  This says something about the current state of engineering AND our "civilization".

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Lessons of failure
Charles Murray   5/3/2012 1:22:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Professor Petroski's point about learning from failure is an important one. A recent book, "Creating Innovators: The Making of Ypung People Who Will Change the World," makes a similar point. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, the author, Tony Wagner, writes, "In most high school and college classes, failure is penalized. But without trial and error, there is no innovation." Professor Petroski puts that lesson in historical context when he describes how ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks built a body of engineering knowledge by learning from failure.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Still readable
naperlou   5/3/2012 9:47:48 AM
NO RATINGS
Henry, one comment you made really resonated with me.  You mention that Vitruvius's book is still eminently readable.  I find that all the time.  It is interesting to go back to read source material (as opposed to contemporary commentaries) on any subhject and to see how much like those authors we are.  Despite all the great innovations we have developed, we still think in similar ways.  In some ways that seems suprising.  I guess it should not. 

A wile back I was in Germany and our hosts were showing us a Roman aqueduct that was still in operation.  It is really a testament to their knowledge and skill.  We build on that foundation and reap the benefits.

<<  <  Page 4/4
Partner Zone
More Blogs from Guest Blogs
We Have FPGAs with On-chip MCUs, but How About MCUs with On-chip FPGAs?
Programmable logic has come a long way from the simple devices we started out with. Remember Programmable Array Logic, or PALs? But where will we be in the next five to 10 years?
As industrial applications increasingly use process control systems utilizing sensor feedbacks to monitor various operating parameters, energy sources and consumption are becoming major factors of a system.
By asking more in-depth questions and providing customers with richer design data, distribution salespeople can quickly build credibility and help customers to avoid potential problems when they specify high-performance plastics.
Recent enhancements in rechargeable and primary (non-rechargeable) battery technologies enable industrial devices to perform beyond the limitations of legacy consumer batteries.
Design News Webinar Series
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
11/6/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Dec 15 - 19, An Introduction to Web Application Security
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service