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Lessons from failure

In this collection of articles, forensic engineer, Sean Brady, introduces readers to the forensic process, examines significant historical failures and the lessons that can be learned from them, and considers the human factors that can contribute to failure.

The series has been published on an ad hoc basis since November 2012.

You can also follow the BradyHeywood podcast on your computer or iTunes.

www.bradyheywood.com.au

Articles in this series

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady provides an overview of the technical and human factors that contributed to the partial collapse of Dutch football team FC Twente’s stadium roof.

Publish Date - 26th October 2012

Author – S. Brady, Brady Heyward Pty Ltd

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady stresses the importance of managing 'human factors' to reduce human error within bridge projects, citing international examples from which lessons can be learned.

Publish Date - 30th November 2012

Author – Sean Brady

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady highlights potential similarities between the recent Sasago road tunnel collapse in Japan and the catastrophic failure of part of Boston’s I-90 Connector Tunnel in 2006.

Publish Date - 26th March 2013

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – Free

The Structural Engineer

Could the 30 year failure cycle evident in specific bridge failures be coincidence or something more? Sean Brady looks at the technical and human aspects of this unfortunate trend.

Publish Date - 1st May 2013

Author – Sean Brady

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady examines one of the recurring themes from the ICE’s Fifth International Conference on Forensic Engineering.

Publish Date - 1st June 2013

Author – S. Brady

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady investigates the contribution of 'corporate memory loss' to the failure of a railway bridge near Dublin, Ireland.

Publish Date - 25th June 2013

Author – S. Brady, Brady Heywood

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Drawing on two high profile examples, Sean Brady suggests that attitudes toward near-misses can sometimes result in complacency – with catastrophic consequences.

Publish Date - 1st August 2013

Author – S. Brady, Brady Heywood

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Here, Sean Brady sets out seven strategies for identifying and reacting to structural failure near-misses.

Publish Date - 1st September 2013

Author – S. Brady, Brady Heywood

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

A forensic examination of the 2007 I-35W bridge collapse in Minnesota, responsible for the deaths of 13 people.

Publish Date - 1st October 2013

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

In the first part of a two-part article, Sean Brady explores the differences between a good designer and a good forensic engineer.

Publish Date - 28th November 2013

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady assesses the strengths and weaknesses of applying engineering analysis to the forensic process.

Publish Date - 1st January 2014

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Based on an article originally published in The New Yorker, Sean Brady reflects on the Citicorp tower crisis.

Publish Date - 3rd February 2014

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Based on a recently published case study in ASCE’s Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, Sean Brady highlights the systemic management failings that resulted in huge financial cost and significant reputational damage to a high profile project.

Publish Date - 28th February 2014

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

In the first of a two-part article, Sean Brady takes readers through the chain of events that led to the collapse during construction, with 75 deaths, of the Quebec Bridge.

Publish Date - 24th October 2014

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

In the concluding part of this article, Sean Brady explores in more detail the technical cause of the Quebec Bridge collapse and the human factors that lay behind this.

Publish Date - 27th November 2014

Author – S. Brady

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

In this intriguing tale of the Getty kouros, Sean Brady explores the role that implicit assumptions play in undermining experts’ judgment.

Publish Date - 5th January 2015

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady highlights the perils of sticking rigidly to a concrete construction schedule regardless of weather conditions.

Publish Date - 1st February 2015

Author – S. Brady

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

To mark International Women’s Day, Sean Brady presents the first of a two-part article exploring the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and the crucial role Emily Warren Roebling played in making it a reality.

Publish Date - 27th February 2015

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady concludes the story of the Brooklyn Bridge, detailing how Emily Roebling defied the odds to see the project through to completion.

Publish Date - 1st April 2015

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady tells the stories of some of the survivors, rescuers and engineers involved in the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse.

Publish Date - 1st May 2015

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

In this two-part article with a difference, Sean Brady looks further afield to explore how ‘expertise bias’ may cloud our judgement.

Publish Date - 1st June 2015

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady concludes this two-part article with a warning to engineers not to become over-reliant on their ‘tools’, but to consider how and when to apply them.

Publish Date - 1st July 2015

Author – S.Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

While we may think of blind faith in technology as a modern affliction, Sean Brady’s account of the Hartford Civic Center Stadium collapse shows that overreliance on structural analysis software is not a new problem.

Publish Date - 31st July 2015

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady explores how the lessons of the 2014 Virgin Galactic crash are pertinent to all design engineers, irrespective of discipline.

Publish Date - 1st September 2015

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady examines how engineers learn from failure and discovers that frustration is key.

Publish Date - 1st October 2015

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady explores the wider societal ramifications of devastating structural failures.

Publish Date - 1st December 2015

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

With Nicaragua planning a new canal to link the Atlantic and Pacific, Sean Brady considers the lessons of the Panama Canal when engineers face up to nature on such a grand scale.

Publish Date - 1st April 2016

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady concludes his tale of the Panama Canal and looks ahead to the potential challenges of building the proposed Nicaragua Canal.

Publish Date - 1st May 2016

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady examines the remarkable engineering works that may have underpinned the Hanging Garden of Babylon - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

Publish Date - 1st July 2016

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady relates the failure of several box-girder bridges of the 1960s and 1970s and explains how these led to new design rules and workmanship guidance.

Publish Date - 3rd October 2016

Author – S. Brady (Brady Heywood)

Price – £9

The Structural Engineer

Sean Brady recounts the tale of the Comet jet airliner crashes of the 1950s and explains how the trailblazing accident investigation revealed a failure of imagination that holds lessons for all engineers.

Publish Date - 1st September 2017

Author – S. Brady

Price – £9