Final Exam Essays

Read Complete Research Material


Two Essays for Final Exam

Two Essays for Final Exam

Essay about Case study: Collapse of Kansas City Hyatt Regency Walkway

The collapse of the walkways of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City remains the most painful and powerful lesson about the practice of ethics in engineering. Being a third principal in the design of the walkway for the hotel, I came to know about the loopholes in its design before the finalization of the structure. Before I discuss my professional and ethical responsibilities in this case, let me give a brief overview to some unsettling facts of the case:

On July 7, 1981, a dance competition was underway in the lounge of the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City. Spectators watched the show from bridges suspended. The rods supporting two floors of bridges were broken and bridges fell upon the dancers. One hundred people were killed and about two hundred were seriously injured. A survey conducted to investigate about the details of the accident revealed that the original assembly was modified to reduce its cost. It was noted that this time, it supported twice the original charge of the assembly. The modification of the assembly was carried out by an engineer, responsible for reducing the cost of construction, but he had not participated in the design of the framework at all. Unfortunately, this engineer did not understand the importance of details changed. Here, as in many other accidents, there was a lack of communication between partners in the construction led to tragic consequences.

There are certain issues identified which were the probable reasons of the most historic, structural failure of the walkway of Hyatt Regency hotel. These are:

Poor communication between partners or principals,

Sizing error or insufficient knowledge of the behaviour structure,

Problems with the material itself,

Quality of work,

Faulty welding and connections,

Insufficient building material,

Failure on the part of the hotel to hire building inspectors,

Failure of inspectors to let the building be occupied despite the potential risks with its collapse,

Errors in selection and sizing of the details of project, and

Negligence to the construction processes and temporal structures.

It was due to these few errors that led to such a magnanimous accident in which hundred of lives were lost due to the mistakes and inattentiveness of the engineers.

My Professional and Ethical Responsibilities in This Case

As I had out the seal of approval on the decided plans, being the part of the engineering team, it was my responsibility to carry out the plan according to what was decided, taking full responsibility for its outcomes. It is now also required that all load bearing calculations must be checked by a city appointed engineer and that checks be formal and not “spot checks”.

As a collective industry for the case, all the responsible and concerned principals including the engineers, fabricators, architects and other parties must understand and learn the lessons learnt form the case. It was also required from our part (as engineers) to undertake all the necessary ...
Related Ads