Postgraduate Course: Learning from Engineering Failures (MSc) (PGEE11233)
|School||School of Engineering
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This class on engineering failures will draw together the technical, ethical and design content from previous years to show how professional engineers can, and do, make mistakes that can result in catastrophic failures. The role that failure plays in engineering design will be explored, and the interaction between technical systems and society will explored.
The course will be based around a series of case studies which will be used to elucidate key ethical, professional, governance, and societal issues. The primary focus will be civil and structural engineering failures, but the class will also draw on failures from other disciplines.
Each lecture will use a different case study (or case studies) to illustrate the thematic links between failures. Over the course of the class the following will be explored:
1 - The governance challenges of regulation and safety management of technological systems, and societal framing of risk and resilience goals.
2 - The ethical considerations for professional engineers and the conflicts that they may experience as part of the working lives.
3 - The knowledge issues that emerge (and are inherent to) understanding and managing the performance of complex technical systems.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Written Exam %: 0%
Practical Exam %: 0%
Coursework %: 100%
||The class will be run as a lecture and seminar during which students will be posed a series of discussion topics related to the material in the lecture. Course staff will discuss with the students during the class and give guidance about key topics and ideas.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Develop a critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts used to understand the way that engineering practice interacts with broader societal factors;
- Engage critically with relevant literature on risk, resilience, and regulation;
- Develop the ability to use one of the frameworks/conceptual approaches to analyse a specific case study;
- Assess competing claims and critically review the methods used to create engineering designs;
- Understand the key elements of engineering professions, and the ethical requirements and societal sanctions therein.
|Henri Petroski (2012), To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure. 978-0674065840|
Scott Knowles (2011) The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America.
Scott Knowles (2014) Engineering Risk and Disaster: Disaster-STS and the American History of Technology, Engineering Studies 6(3), 227-248.
Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch (2002) The Golem at Large: What you should know about technology.
Charles Perrow (1984) Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Luke Bisby
|Course secretary||Mr Ruben Gutierrez Martin
Tel: (0131 6)50 5690