Technology & Engineering

Inviting Disaster

Lessons From the Edge of Technology

Author: James R. Chiles

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0061734586

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 368

View: 6359

Combining captivating storytelling with eye-opening findings, Inviting Disaster delves inside some of history's worst catastrophes in order to show how increasingly "smart" systems leave us wide open to human tragedy. Weaving a dramatic narrative that explains how breakdowns in these systems result in such disasters as the chain reaction crash of the Air France Concorde to the meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station, Chiles vividly demonstrates how the battle between man and machine may be escalating beyond manageable limits -- and why we all have a stake in its outcome. Included in this edition is a special introduction providing a behind-the-scenes look at the World Trade Center catastrophe. Combining firsthand accounts of employees' escapes with an in-depth look at the structural reasons behind the towers' collapse, Chiles addresses the question, Were the towers "two tall heroes" or structures with a fatal flaw?
Business & Economics

Inviting Disaster

Lessons From the Edge of Technology

Author: James R. Chiles

Publisher: HarperBusiness

ISBN: 9780066620824

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 368

View: 8694

Combining captivating storytelling with eye-opening findings, Inviting Disaster delves inside some of history's worst catastrophes in order to show how increasingly "smart" systems leave us wide open to human tragedy. Weaving a dramatic narrative that explains how breakdowns in these systems result in such disasters as the chain reaction crash of the Air France Concorde to the meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station, Chiles vividly demonstrates how the battle between man and machine may be escalating beyond manageable limits -- and why we all have a stake in its outcome. Included in this edition is a special introduction providing a behind-the-scenes look at the World Trade Center catastrophe. Combining firsthand accounts of employees' escapes with an in-depth look at the structural reasons behind the towers' collapse, Chiles addresses the question, Were the towers "two tall heroes" or structures with a fatal flaw?
Technology & Engineering

Inviting Disaster

Lessons from the Edge of Technology

Author: James R. Chiles

Publisher: HarperBusiness

ISBN: 9780066620817

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 352

View: 8638

On July 25, 2000, a small piece of debris on the runway at a Paris airport caused a tire to blow out on an Air France Concorde during its take off. A heavy slab of rubber that spun off from a tire created a shock wave in a wing tank, which burst open and sent fuel streaming into an engine intake. As flames trailed two hundred feet behind, the aircraft rolled out of control. The crash killed all 109 people on board and 4 more on the ground. The tragedy of that departing Concorde is just one of many such chain-reaction catastrophes that have occurred as the world has grown more technologically complex and as our machines have become more difficult to control -- and more deadly. Now, in a riveting investigation into the causes and often brutal consequences of technological breakdowns, James R. Chiles offers stunning new insights into the increasingly frequent machine disasters that haunt our lives. The shocking breakup of the Challenger; the dark February morning when the Atlantic swallowed the giant drilling rig Ocean Ranger; the fiery PEPCON factory explosion in Nevada; a deadly runaway police van in Minnesota: Chiles tracks the causes and consequences of these system breakdowns and others, vividly demonstrating why the battle between man and machine may be escalating beyond manageable limits -- and why we all have a stake in its outcome. Chiles reconstructs moments of confusion and then terror as systems collapse, operators make fateful, sometimes incorrect choices, and disaster follows. He uncovers surprising links between past and present tragedies, such as the connections between nineteenth-century steamboat explosions and twentieth-century nuclear power plant failures. And he analyzes the numerous near misses that don't always make the evening news -- times when the quick thinking, heroic gestures, and expert actions of a few individuals have saved the lives of many, often just in time. Combining riveting storytelling with eye-opening findings, Inviting Disaster shows what happens when our reach for new technology exceeds our grasp, and explains what we need to know to survive on the machine frontier.

The God Machine

From Boomerangs to Black Hawks, the Story of the Helicopter

Author: James R. Chiles

Publisher: Bantam

ISBN: 0553383523

Category: History

Page: 354

View: 8999

Traces the development of the helicopter from its earliest origins to the high-tech craft of today, looking at the many ways in which the helicopter has revolutionized rescue techniques, the art of modern warfare, and the transportation industry. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.
Business & Economics

Lessons from the Edge

Survival Skills for Starting and Growing a Company

Author: Jana B. Matthews,Jeff Dennis,Peter Economy

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195168259

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 268

View: 5824

In Lessons from the Edge, nearly 50 business owners and entrepreneurs offer a wealth of real-life stories, in their own words, that provide rare insights into keeping a company healthy and growing. The authors have drawn on interviews with nearly 50 entrepreneurs, all of whom are under 45 years of age and are founders or presidents of companies with revenues over $1million and growing rapidly. This instructive and inspiring book brims with lessons for all business owners about courage, persistence, and survival.
Technology & Engineering

Lessons amid the Rubble

An Introduction to Post-Disaster Engineering and Ethics

Author: Sarah K. A. Pfatteicher

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 0801899508

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 192

View: 3323

Sophisticated and engagingly written, this volume combines history, engineering, ethics, and philosophy to provoke a deep discussion about the symbolic meaning of buildings and other structures and the nature of engineering.
Technology & Engineering

Structural Design for Fire Safety

Author: Andrew H. Buchanan,Anthony Kwabena Abu

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470972890

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 438

View: 9382

Structural Design for Fire Safety, 2nd edition Andrew H. Buchanan, University of Canterbury, New Zealand Anthony K. Abu, University of Canterbury, New Zealand A practical and informative guide to structural fire engineering This book presents a comprehensive overview of structural fire engineering. An update on the first edition, the book describes new developments in the past ten years, including advanced calculation methods and computer programs. Further additions include: calculation methods for membrane action in floor slabs exposed to fires; a chapter on composite steel-concrete construction; and case studies of structural collapses. The book begins with an introduction to fire safety in buildings, from fire growth and development to the devastating effects of severe fires on large building structures. Methods of calculating fire severity and fire resistance are then described in detail, together with both simple and advanced methods for assessing and designing for structural fire safety in buildings constructed from structural steel, reinforced concrete, or structural timber. Structural Design for Fire Safety, 2nd edition bridges the information gap between fire safety engineers, structural engineers and building officials, and it will be useful for many others including architects, code writers, building designers, and firefighters. Key features: • Updated references to current research, as well as new end-of-chapter questions and worked examples. •Authors experienced in teaching, researching, and applying structural fire engineering in real buildings. • A focus on basic principles rather than specific building code requirements, for an international audience. An essential guide for structural engineers who wish to improve their understanding of buildings exposed to severe fires and an ideal textbook for introductory or advanced courses in structural fire engineering.
Technology & Engineering

Our Own Devices

How Technology Remakes Humanity

Author: Edward Tenner

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307489221

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 336

View: 4448

This delightful and instructive history of invention shows why National Public Radio dubbed Tenner “the philosopher of everyday technology.” Looking at how our inventions have impacted our world in ways we never intended or imagined, he shows that the things we create have a tendency to bounce back and change us. The reclining chair, originally designed for brief, healthful relaxation, has become the very symbol of obesity. The helmet, invented for military purposes, has made possible new sports like mountain biking and rollerblading. The typewriter, created to make business run more smoothly, has resulted in wide-spread vision problems, which in turn have made people more reliant on another invention—eyeglasses. As he sheds light on the many ways inventions surprise and renew us, Tenner considers where technology will take us in the future, and what we can expect from the devices that we no longer seem able to live without. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Technology & Engineering

Cry from the Deep

The Sinking of the Kursk, the Submarine Disaster That Riveted the World and Put the New Russia to the Ultimate Test

Author: Ramsey Flynn

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062090631

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 320

View: 5566

A gripping account of the disastrous Russian submarine explosion that killed the entire crew, devastated the Russian people, and defined Vladimir Putin's post–Cold War regime. What were Russian officials thinking when they waited 48 hours to acknowledge their most prized submarine was in trouble? Why did they track the desperate tappings of an unknown number of trapped sailors without sending an international SOS? Why did they repeatedly decline international rescue offers while their own rescue equipment repeatedly failed to make any progress? To a world community still mystified by deadly Russian deceits surrounding the Kursk submarine disaster, Ramsey Flynn's book uncovers the truth once and for all. Cry from the Deep has quickly become the definitive account of this pivotal moment in modern Russian history, as an angry Russian people – aided and abetted by a fledging independent media – openly clashed with Vladimir Putin and his new government's Soviet–era tactics of secrecy and deception. Flynn's searing narrative also documents how western officials, in a practiced silence reminiscent of the Cold War era failed to notify their post–Soviet counterparts of the disaster, despite learning of the explosion hours before the Russians did.
Business & Economics

Inside NASA

high technology and organizational change in the U.S. space program

Author: Howard E. McCurdy

Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr


Category: Business & Economics

Page: 215

View: 6173

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration began its space flight program in October of 1958 by launching the 84-pound Pioneer I space probe. Scarcely a decade later, in July of 1969, NASA amazed the world by landing the first humans on the Moon. In the two decades that followed, however, the agency appeared to lose both its vigor and its creativity. Inside NASA explores how an agency praised for its planetary probes and expeditions to the Moon became noted for the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger and a series of other malfunctions. Using archival evidence as well as in-depth interviews with space agency officials, Howard McCurdy investigates the relationship between the performance of the U.S. space program and NASA's organizational culture. He begins by identifying the beliefs, norms, and practices that guided NASA's early successes. Originally, the agency was dominated by the strong technical culture rooted in the research-and-development organizations from which NASA was formed. To launch the expeditions to the Moon, McCurdy explains, this technical culture was linked to an organizational structure borrowed from the Air Force Ballistic Missile Program. Over time, however, changes imposed to accomplish the lunar expedition - as well as the normal aging process and increased bureaucracy in the government as a whole-altered NASA's original culture and eroded its technical strength. McCurdy observes that NASA's early success depended on a number of related characteristics: extensive testing, in-house technical capability, hands-on experience, exceptional people, stoic acceptance of risk and failure, and a frontier mentality. He concludes that, given the conditions ofmodern government, the performance of high-technology agencies like NASA inherently tends to decline. Inside NASA offers a revealing study of both organizational culture and bureaucratic aging.
Social Science

The Next Catastrophe

Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters

Author: Charles Perrow

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400838516

Category: Social Science

Page: 432

View: 1973

Charles Perrow is famous worldwide for his ideas about normal accidents, the notion that multiple and unexpected failures--catastrophes waiting to happen--are built into our society's complex systems. In The Next Catastrophe, he offers crucial insights into how to make us safer, proposing a bold new way of thinking about disaster preparedness. Perrow argues that rather than laying exclusive emphasis on protecting targets, we should reduce their size to minimize damage and diminish their attractiveness to terrorists. He focuses on three causes of disaster--natural, organizational, and deliberate--and shows that our best hope lies in the deconcentration of high-risk populations, corporate power, and critical infrastructures such as electric energy, computer systems, and the chemical and food industries. Perrow reveals how the threat of catastrophe is on the rise, whether from terrorism, natural disasters, or industrial accidents. Along the way, he gives us the first comprehensive history of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security and examines why these agencies are so ill equipped to protect us. The Next Catastrophe is a penetrating reassessment of the very real dangers we face today and what we must do to confront them. Written in a highly accessible style by a renowned systems-behavior expert, this book is essential reading for the twenty-first century. The events of September 11 and Hurricane Katrina--and the devastating human toll they wrought--were only the beginning. When the next big disaster comes, will we be ready? In a new preface to the paperback edition, Perrow examines the recent (and ongoing) catastrophes of the financial crisis, the BP oil spill, and global warming.
Technology & Engineering

Normal Accidents

Living with High Risk Technologies

Author: Charles Perrow

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400828494

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 464

View: 8156

Normal Accidents analyzes the social side of technological risk. Charles Perrow argues that the conventional engineering approach to ensuring safety--building in more warnings and safeguards--fails because systems complexity makes failures inevitable. He asserts that typical precautions, by adding to complexity, may help create new categories of accidents. (At Chernobyl, tests of a new safety system helped produce the meltdown and subsequent fire.) By recognizing two dimensions of risk--complex versus linear interactions, and tight versus loose coupling--this book provides a powerful framework for analyzing risks and the organizations that insist we run them. The first edition fulfilled one reviewer's prediction that it "may mark the beginning of accident research." In the new afterword to this edition Perrow reviews the extensive work on the major accidents of the last fifteen years, including Bhopal, Chernobyl, and the Challenger disaster. The new postscript probes what the author considers to be the "quintessential 'Normal Accident'" of our time: the Y2K computer problem.
Health & Fitness

OSHA and EPA process safety management requirements

a practical guide for compliance

Author: Mark S. Dennison

Publisher: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company


Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 398

View: 1477


The Limits of Safety

Organizations, Accidents, and Nuclear Weapons

Author: Scott Douglas Sagan

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 0691021015

Category: History

Page: 286

View: 3463

Environmental tragedies such as Chernobyl, the Exxon Valdez, and Bhopal remind us that catastrophic accidents are always possible in a modern world full of hazardous technologies. Yet, the safety record appears to be extraordinarily good with nuclear weapons, the most dangerous technology of all. This safety record has led scholars, policy-makers, and the public alike to believe that nuclear weapons can serve as a safe and secure deterrent into the foreseeable future in the post-Cold War era. In this provocative and path-breaking book, Scott Sagan challenges such optimistic beliefs. Sagan's painstaking research into formerly classified archives penetrates the veil of safety that has surrounded U.S. nuclear weapons operations. Guided by theories of reliability in complex organizations, Sagan has uncovered a hidden history of frightening "close calls" to disaster: lost nuclear-armed bombers fly into the Russian warning net, Air Force officers tamper with missiles to be able to launch them without orders, B-52 bombers crash with thermonuclear weapons aboard and then vanish from the official histories, an unstable pilot deliberately turns on the two arming switches on his aircraft's nuclear bombs, and false warnings during the Cuban missile crisis lead pilots and radar operators to believe that the United States is under nuclear attack. Incomprehension, political maneuvering, and even cover-ups have limited what we have learned from these dangerous incidents, and Sagan maintains that many hidden bugs in the system remain. While the risk of deliberate nuclear war has been reduced with the end of the Cold War, the risk of serious accidents, even accidental war, remains unacceptably high. The inheritance of nuclear missiles by Soviet successor states, the continuing spread of the bomb to developing nations, and misplaced confidence in the safety of our own arsenal should produce deep concerns. Unless we radically change the posture of our nuclear arsenal, over the long run, when we least expect it, a serious accident will occur. The key factors that scholars believe lead to high organizational reliability - redundant back-up systems, personnel discipline, and trial-and-error learning - have not produced a safe nuclear arsenal. This book therefore challenges our beliefs, not only about nuclear weapons safety, but also about our ability to control the many other hazardous technologies on which modern society is based.

Ethics and Technology

Controversies, Questions, and Strategies for Ethical Computing

Author: Herman T. Tavani

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0470509503

Category: Computers

Page: 406

View: 8520

Information technology professionals must not only have a strong understanding of the latest technology, but they also need to be grounded in ethics. The third edition provides them with the information they need to succeed in the field. Each chapter is updated with new case studies and scenarios to provide the most current information. Review and discussion questions are included to reinforce key concepts. The in-text citations and references are revised to offer additional resources. Updated material is also presented on online communities and democracy, globalization and job outsourcing, security for wireless networking, and international cybercrime legislation. This enables information technology professionals to apply the concepts with a focus on ethics.
Technology & Engineering

The Challenger Launch Decision

Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA, Enlarged Edition

Author: Diane Vaughan

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022634696X

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 620

View: 4576

When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986, millions of Americans became bound together in a single, historic moment. Many still vividly remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard about the tragedy. Diane Vaughan recreates the steps leading up to that fateful decision, contradicting conventional interpretations to prove that what occurred at NASA was not skullduggery or misconduct but a disastrous mistake. Why did NASA managers, who not only had all the information prior to the launch but also were warned against it, decide to proceed? In retelling how the decision unfolded through the eyes of the managers and the engineers, Vaughan uncovers an incremental descent into poor judgment, supported by a culture of high-risk technology. She reveals how and why NASA insiders, when repeatedly faced with evidence that something was wrong, normalized the deviance so that it became acceptable to them. In a new preface, Vaughan reveals the ramifications for this book and for her when a similar decision-making process brought down NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia in 2003.
Business & Economics

Schaums Outline of Engineering Economics (EBOOK)

Author: Jose Sepulveda,William E. Souder,Byron S. Gottfried

Publisher: McGraw Hill Professional

ISBN: 9780070238343

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 184

View: 8638

Reviews basic economic concepts, including compound interest, equivalence, present worth, rate of return, depreciation, and cost-benefit ratios
Machine design

Machine Design

An Integrated Approach

Author: Robert L. Norton

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780131384385

Category: Machine design

Page: 1055

View: 1979

A thorough and comprehensive textbook dealing with machine design that emphasizes both failure theory and analysis as well as emphasizing the synthesis and design aspects of machine elements.
Biography & Autobiography

Disaster in Dearborn

The Story of the Edsel

Author: Thomas E. Bonsall

Publisher: Stanford University Press

ISBN: 9780804746540

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 230

View: 1218

Tells the disastrous story of the design and development of the Edsel, with insights into this spectacular failure of the automobile industry to sell a car that it had marketed extensively.