June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
The Hyatt Regency Hotel disaster continues to be an important civil engineering ethics case-study. In engineering statics, this disaster is used to teach students about lifelong learning, the importance of licensure and ethics in engineering design and build. The assignment has evolved over the years and now includes a demonstration, free-body diagram and statics analysis. The demonstration and statics analysis of the original design and as-built conditions are completed before the Hyatt Regency disaster is described. Students are initially provided with schematics of the original and as-built designs and tasked with drawing the free body diagrams, completing the statics analysis and explaining the difference in the two systems. During the following demonstration, students load weight on scale models of both the as-built and original design configurations of the suspended walkways of the Hyatt Regency Hotel. In both cases, the models are loaded to failure and the total weight added before failure is compared. After a short discussion, a video of the Hyatt Regency Hotel tragedy is shown. The in-class assignment is followed up with a reflection paper assignment. In a survey administered to students in the course during fall 2017, 89 percent of student respondents (n = 48) indicated the activity added to their understanding of the topic and indicated in descriptive questions that the activity was helpful and increased their interest in engineering.
Doyle, L., & Nilsson, T. L. (2019, June), Experiencing Failure - Recreating the Hyatt Regency Collapse to Teach Statics, Ethics, and Lifelong Learning Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32792
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