More than a series of fascinating case studies, To Engineer Is Human is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life. This 251-page paperback describes the engineering design process for civil engineers especially for structures like bridges and skyscrapers. Petroski has written over a dozen books – beginning with To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design (1985) and including a number of titles detailing the industrial design history of common, everyday objects, such as pencils, paper clips, toothpicks, and silverware. Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2017. More than a series of fascinating case studies, To Engineer is Human is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life. Humans are fallible. Human-factors engineering, also called ergonomics or human engineering, science dealing with the application of information on physical and psychological characteristics to the design of devices and systems for human use.. This is a video for the "Engineering For You" video contest. Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices. if you work in engineering sectors I really recommend it. By clicking Sign Up, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design. Human designs fail because a successful design will challenge new engineers to tackle some improvement upon it and with that improvement comes a concomitant risk. It may be described as an attitude by which an engineer approaches the problem of designing machines and equipment to be used by the human … ― Henry Petroski, To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design. To engineer is human and to obviate the failure of designs is divine, one might say. The line of reasoning Petroski develops in this book were later formalized into his quasi-Darwinian model of technological evolution in, "Reading Petroski's fine book is not only a delight, it is a necessity." Please try again. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. To Engineer is Human is a masterfully written book by Henry Petroski in which he describes a wide variety of engineering failures. --. More than a series of fascinating case studies, To Engineer is Human is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life. Thank you. Any engineering curriculum ought to include this book, but anyone can find all sorts of good historical nuggets to take away from it. I have purchased about a half dozen over the past years since it was written.....It is NOT intended for only engineers, but I have found that having engineers read it makes them far more aware of what they are supposed to be doing. Ancient, Renaissance, Victorian, and contemporary works describe failures. There's a problem loading this menu right now. 1 likes. An Imaginative and Action-Packed Adventure, Tieghan Gerard's Guide to a Small but Special Meal at Home. Don't recommend unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit around with your superficial mates strumming guitars, spending you dads cash, reminiscing about your Oxbridge mates, and pontificating about stuff you know nothing about. Material cost is high. Engineering is a human endeavor. A counterexample is an example that disproves a theory. What made the graceful and innovative Tacoma Narrows Bridge twist apart in a mild wind in 1940? “To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design,” by Henry Petroski, Vintage Books, NY, 1992. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. Indeed, this book is my answer to the questions 'What is engineering?' This book gives some examples of engineering disasters (e.g. His citation of George Santayana is a great final thought: "We must welcome the future, remembering tha soon it will be past; and we must respect the past, knowing that once it was all that was humanly possible. 3. How did a simple design error cause one of the great disasters of the 1980s - the collapse of the walkways at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel? The author of more than 15 books,… More about Henry Petroski, “Reading Petroski’s fine book is not only a delight, it is a necessity.” —Houston Chronicle“Serious, amusing, probing, sometimes frightening, and always literate.” –Los Angeles Times, Sign up for news about books, authors, and more from Penguin Random House, Visit other sites in the Penguin Random House Network. The current infrastructure debacle in the U.S. makes me think we're on track to repeat all of the mistakes of the past, but maybe there's still hope to avoid a few repeats. If you're a seller, Fulfillment by Amazon can help you grow your business. Whether a "zero defect" mentality is helpful or not as an ideal, it doesn't reflect how engineering actually works, at least when complex systems are involved. Petroski’s wordsmithing talent brings to life stories of structural disasters that captured headlines and created angst. Petroski uses … To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. This edition was published in 1992 by Vintage Books in New York. He correctly points out that failure is also linked to our humanness. Description. Petroski is known for detailed accounts of the material word -- perhaps best exemplified by The Evolution of Useful Things. It gives you a clear picture also of the psychological aspects of the engineering design, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 21, 2017. Petroski covers many of the best known examples of well-intentioned but ultimately failed design in action -- the galloping Tacoma Narrows Bridge (which you've probably seen tossing cars willy-nilly in the famous black-and-white footage), the collapse of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel walkways -- and many lesser known but equally informative examples. 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