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July 31 , 2008

Design Paradigms

Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering


From ancient Greek temples to twentieth-century towers, engineers have learned more about design from failure than success. The concept of error, according to the author, is central to the design process. As a way of explaining the enduring aspects of engineering design, he relates stories of some of the greatest engineering successes and failures of all time. These case studies, drawn from a wide range of times and places, serve as paradigms of error and judgment in engineering design. By showing how errors were introduced in the design process and how they might be avoided, the book suggests how better quality and reliability might be achieved in designed devices, structures, and systems of all kinds. Clearly written, with striking illustrations, the book will appeal to engineering students, practising engineers, historians of science and technology, and all those interested in learning about the process of design.

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