SEAoNY YMG & ASCE SEI Met Section Chapter:
UNRECOGNIZED KNOWLEDGE: RECURRING STRUCTURAL FAILURES
Presented by Julie Mark Cohen, PhD, PE, SECB
Julie Mark Cohen, PhD, PE, SECB, is a Consulting Structural and Forensic Engineer and an Independent Science and Technology Studies Scholar. She has over 30 years of varied professional experience, mostly in practice, but also on self-initiated research for which she has procured her own funding in structural/earthquake engineering and also in science and technology studies. Her presentation is based on the results on her research project entitled "A Study of Knowledge Flow and Recurring, Costly Infrastructure Failures" which is funded by the National Science Foundation's Science, Technology, and Society program. Dr. Cohen can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Seminar
Since the 1960s, forensic investigators of structural failures have primarily sought out quantifiable errors and omissions. Underlying causes of too many of these failures have gone unnoticed, thus not offering information to develop "feedback loops" to correct deficiencies and inadequacies in structural engineering practice. Consequently, unnecessary structural failures have not only continued, but have recurred.
From a broader design- and systems-based perspective, the author has examined hundreds of failures. She has identified and substantiated nine areas in which structural engineers have been making design decisions without using available, pertinent knowledge from related engineering fields and even from structural engineering. Three areas are the focus of this seminar.
Using three case studies, overviews will be given on structural engineering design decision-making in the context of history. The first one is fracture due to hydrogen embrittlement of galvanized high-strength hard steel bolts and threaded rods. The second is the February 2017 failure of the Oroville Dam Spillway. The third includes structural failures that have resulted from the (mis)use of the terms "design" and "systems thinking." Relevant knowledge was available, but was not recognized and utilized during conceptual and schematic design.
Structural failures impose risks to society (deaths, injuries, financial loss). Recurring failures are inexcusable. As such, structural engineering as a profession is too important to society to start out with an undergraduate education under the umbrella of civil engineering (i.e., with courses irrelevant to structural engineering practice). Suggestions will be offered on where changes need to be made.
1.5 PDH Credits will be offered (pending)
Registration opens at 5:45pm and light refreshments will be served.
Seminar begins promptly at 6:00pm
For SEAoNY and ASCE members, registration is $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Non-members will be $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
The event will take place at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place.
A ‘Recap & Rewind’ session will be hosted immediately afterwards at the Malt House (206 Thompson St). All lecture attendees are welcome. Light appetizers will be provided for the group.
If you have any questions about this event or SEAoNY’s Young Members Group, please email SEAoNY YMG Cochairs Samantha Brummell and Maya Stuhlbarg at seaonyYM@gmail.com. For ASCE, please email ASCE SEI Met Section Chair Ross Anderson at email@example.com .