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R134V
Ethical Issues from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse (Video Course)

J. Paul Guyer, P.E., R.A., Fellow ASCE, Fellow AEI

This course will examine the ethical issues that arose from the 1940 collapse of the Tacoma Narrows bridge in Washington state. This was one of the most dramatic bridge collapses in history, with fortunately no loss of life and little property damage other than the bridge itself. The collapse took place less than a year after completion of construction of the bridge. Out of this incident a serious ethical issue was illuminated for the engineering profession. Specifically, at what point is the professionís theoretical and experiential knowledge insufficient to justify moving forward with a specific project or design scheme? And in the presence of weak experiential knowledge, is there a practicable way to supplement the experiential knowledge so as to move the project forward? In this course you will learn about how the engineering profession gained important new insights into the importance of aerodynamics in bridge design as a result of the ethical dilemma faced by the designers of the first Tacoma Narrows bridge.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.


Note: This course requires users to pay first before viewing the course content.

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NY PE & PLS: You must choose courses that are technical in nature or related to matters of laws and ethics contributing to the health and welfare of the public. NY Board does not accept courses related to office management, risk management, leadership, marketing, accounting, financial planning, real estate, and basic CAD. Specific course topics that are on the borderline and are not acceptable by the NY Board have been noted under the course description on our website.

AIA Members: You must take the courses listed under the category "AIA/CES Registered Courses" if you want us to report your Learning Units (LUs) to AIA/CES. If you take courses not registered with AIA/CES, you need to report the earned Learning Units (not qualified for HSW credits) using Self Report Form provided by AIA/CES.

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