The structural collapse of walkways at the Hyatt Regency in 1981 was one of the most devastating collapses in US history. 114 died, over 200 were injured – needing the emergency rooms of 17 hospitals to treat them. We look at the story from the perspective of those involved.
This episode contains descriptions of the injuries sustained in the collapse - listeners may find some of these descriptions upsetting.
Detailed article can be found at https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/52fa7d_8fce6b8d54ba487684727010acb2d7e2.pdf
Welcome to the Brady Heywood podcast – the podcast where we look at engineering failures and disasters.
My name is Sean Brady, and I’m a forensic structural engineer, which means I investigate the causes of engineering failures. And while I usually focus on figuring out the technical cause of a failure, I’m also interested in the role of human factors in these disasters. Because for every technical cause of failure – not just in engineering, but in any profession – there are a range of human factors that allow these technical issues to culminate in disaster.
Which brings us to the subject of these podcasts. We’ll be looking at stories of engineering failure, and talking about the lessons learned from them. We will also be looking at how forensic engineers go about the job of investigating collapses, and we’ll be chatting about their role in legal disputes. Occasionally, we’ll look at successes – but again this from the perspective of asking what were the lessons learned. And from time to time we’ll get into the world of psychology, which will help us look at how we as humans make decisions.
So these podcasts are aimed at a wide audience. The good news is that I’ve no plans on getting bogged down technically – for those of you who are interested in the technology I’ll point you in the right direction of the websites and articles you should have a look at.
I hope you enjoy these podcasts, and I hope they’ll help you reflect on how you approach your chosen profession – whatever it may be. At the very least I hope they’ll illustrate that sometimes our decision making is not near as rational as we’d like to think it is.