The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 86 (2008) > Issues > Issue 14 > Safety, risk and failure - John N. Carpenter
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Safety, risk and failure - John N. Carpenter

Despite the huge advancement in knowledge achieved over the last 100 years, we now live in a much more complicated engineering world than engineers inhabited at the inception of our Institution. For example, all the progress and perhaps bewildering variety of information outlined in this special issue of The Structural Engineer has to be assimilated and managed. As an industry we continue to live with major structural failures; the UK construction industry kills more people than any other industry; ill health arising from working in the industry is a major issue. We have projects that go disastrously wrong (in time, cost and client satisfaction); we spend more on litigation than we do on research. We have a constant need to educate the next generation to standards higher than their predecessors had to achieve. It is axiomatic that if our industry has progressed in knowledge over the last 100 years (or even one working generation of 40 years) there is much more for the current generation of engineers to learn and absorb.