The firms responsible for designing and managing Boston’s Big Dig project reached a $458 million settlement with state and federal officials today. The settlement will allow these companies to avoid criminal charges in the 2006 fatal tunnel collapse and any civil liabilities with infrastructure problems. The settlement and terms were announced this afternoon at a press conference with U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and Attorney General Martha Coakley. Under the settlement terms, Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff will pay $407 million and 24 other companies involved in the project will pay about $51 million.
The settlement will keep Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff from facing criminal charges in the death of a 38-year-old woman who was killed in July 2006 when a portion of the I-90 Connector tunnel collapsed and crushed the car she was a passenger in. Her husband survived the accident.
State officials could seek additional money from Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff over the next 10 years if the project has a major failure in the future causing more than $50 million in damage. Its liability would be capped at $100 million.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
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