Using the recent Costa Concordia disaster, framed up against the lessons learned from the infamous Titantic disaster, is a perfect "teachable moment" for proving out the importance of failure analysis as part of upfront design. I would hope the takeaway from Professor Petroski's thoughtful post is that failure analysis needs to be a proactive part of the principal design process, not simply an after-the-fact exercise that comes on the heels of any kind of related disaster or product failure. On the upside, I would think the flurry of more accessible CAE and simulation tools can greatly aid engineers in this very important exercise.
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