Monthly Archives: November 2012

Engineering Disasters and Learning from Failure

I seem to be stuck on a theme.

Blog link

Often, a deficiency in engineering ethics is found to be one of the root causes of an engineering failure. An engineer, as a professional, has a responsibility to their client or employer, to their profession, and to the general public, to perform their duties in as conscientious a manner as possible. Usually this entails far more than just acting within the bounds of law. An ethical engineer is one who avoids conflicts of interest, does not attempt to misrepresent their knowledge so as to accept jobs outside their area of expertise, acts in the best interests of society and the environment, fulfills the terms of their contracts or agreements in a thorough and professional manner, and promotes the education of young engineers within their field

The Architecture of Evil

Kinda of a sobering overview….from The New Atlantis

Someone designed the furnaces of the Nazi death camps. Someone measured the size and weight of a human corpse to determine how many could be stacked and efficiently incinerated within a crematorium. Someone sketched out on a drafting table the decontamination showers, complete with the fake hot-water spigots used to lull and deceive doomed prisoners. Someone, very well educated, designed the rooftop openings and considered their optimum placement for the cyanide pellets to be dropped among the naked, helpless men, women, and children below. This person was an engineer, an architect, or a technician. This person went home at night, perhaps laughed and played with his children, went to church on Sunday, and kissed his wife goodbye each morning.

Unbelievable Paper Art

Just the thing on a lazy Sunday, great Art.

Calvin’s love of art and nature was inspired by growing up in the Canadian countryside. He worked as a designer but began experimenting with paper in 1984. His appreciation for the subjects he works with continues today, being a member of the ‘Society of Animal Artists’ and ‘Artists for Conservation’. Below, he describes the specific materials he uses and the process he’s refined over the course of his career.

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American Manufacturing

This article in the New York Times highlights the difficulty of keeping manufacturing in the U.S.

I’m not saying that outsourcing is always a bad thing but a great manufacturing base is needed to keep a country healthy and innovative.

The shift at Sears from a tool invented and manufactured in the United States to a very similar one made offshore has already led to a loss of American jobs and a brewing patent battle.

The story of the Bionic Wrench versus Craftsman, which bills itself as “America’s most trusted tool brand,” also raises questions about how much entrepreneurs and innovators, who rely on the country’s intellectual property laws, can protect themselves. For the little guy, court battles are inevitably time-consuming and costly, no matter the outcome.

Thanks for the link, David.