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Developing Case Studies In Failures And Ethics For Engineering Educators

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.400.1 - 8.400.9



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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

Developing Case Studies in Failures and Ethics for Engineering Educators

Norbert J. Delatte

Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Alabama at Birmingham


Over the years surveys conducted by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Technical Council on Forensic Engineering (TCFE) Education Committee1-5 have documented the following points: • Engineering students, particularly undergraduates, should be informed about the important and historic failure cases that have shaped the profession – the Quebec Bridge, the Kansas City Hyatt Regency, and others • With appropriate course materials, these cases can be integrated into a number of civil engineering and engineering mechanics courses • Most faculty do not have the time to develop case studies themselves, and would welcome a web-based source of case materials. Survey respondents asked in particular for a thorough online bibliography.

In response to the survey results, the National Science Foundation has funded a research project at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) entitled “Developing Case Studies in Failures and Ethics for Engineering Educators,” as project number DUE 0127419. The two-year project began 1 March 2002. The project is being carried out with the support and input of the ASCE TCFE Education Committee. The case study materials developed so far are available at the following web address:

The site provides courses, course topics, and case study to illustrate those topics, as well as an extensive bibliography. This web site will be updated frequently during the project. As part of the project, UAB will host a one-day workshop for 24 engineering educators on 12 July 2003. Following the summer 2003 workshop, efforts will be made to provide additional workshops if there is sufficient interest. There is no registration fee for the workshop, and the workshop materials will be provided free of charge.

Case Studies Project

The objectives of the case study “Proof of Concept” project are to:

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Delatte, N. (2003, June), Developing Case Studies In Failures And Ethics For Engineering Educators Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12311

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