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Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

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Lectures set on role of failure in success, Dec. 7-9

The role of human error and failure in engineering design will be the topic of a series of lectures at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, Dec. 7-9, in McCosh 50.

Henry Petroski, the A.S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and professor of history at Duke University, will speak on "The Design of Everything: From Success to Failure" as part of the University's Public Lectures Series .

Petroski is the author of "To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design" (1985), which was the basis of a BBC television documentary that aired on PBS. He maintains that failure, real and perceived, drives invention and the evolution of technology.

Using examples from Band-Aids to bridges, the three lectures will illustrate the predictive value of this theory of design and the role of even minor failures in determining the development of large-scale technologies.

Petroski's talks are designated as the Louis Clark Vanuxem Lectures and will be available for online viewing a week afterward.

Contact: Tom Bartus (609) 258-3601

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