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Kimberly W. Land
(757) 864-9885

For Release: Oct. 28, 1999

RELEASE NO. 99-077

Bridging the Gap Between Failure and Success

Failure is a central concept in the engineering and design process of building a major bridge, according to Duke University professor, Henry Petroski.

Henry Petroski, the Aleksander S. Vesic professor of civil engineering and professor of history at Duke University, will present "Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America" at a colloquium at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 2, at NASA Langley's H.J.E Reid Conference Center.

Media briefing

A media briefing will be held at 1:15 p.m. in the Wythe Room of the Reid Conference Center, 14 Langley Blvd. at NASA Langley. Media who wish to attend the briefing should contact Kimberly W. Land at (757) 864-9885.

Petroski will use historical case studies to show that bridge design is independent of the state of the art and applies equally to ancient, modern, and future engineering practice. Also, he will share stories of some of America’s most well-known and significant bridges, such as the Brooklyn, George Washington, and Golden Gate bridges.

Petroski serves as chairman of the department of civil and environmental engineering. Before moving to Duke in 1980, he was on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin and on the staff of the Argonne National Laboratory. He is the author of several books and currently writes the engineering column in American Scientist .

The general public is invited to the Sigma Series lecture at the Virginia Air and Space Center that evening, at 7:30 p.m.

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