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Henry Petroski's Quotes

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Born: 1942-02-06
Profession: Businessman
Nation: American
Biography of Henry Petroski

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Any design, whether it's for a ship or an airplane, must be done in anticipation of potential failures.

Tags: Design, Done, Whether

All conventional wisdom has an element of truth to it, but good design requires more than an element of truth - it requires an ensemble of correct assumptions and valid calculations.

Tags: Good, Truth, Wisdom

Case studies of failure should be made a part of the vocabulary of every engineer so that he or she can recall or recite them when something in a new design or design process is suggestive of what went wrong in the case study.

Tags: Design, Failure, Study

I emphasize that virtually every engineering calculation is ultimately a failure calculation, because without a failure criterion against which to measure the calculated result, it is a meaningless number.

Tags: Against, Failure, Result

I employ case studies of failure into my courses, emphasizing that they teach us much more than studies of success. It is not that success stories cannot serve as models of good design or as exemplars of creative engineering. They can do that, but they cannot teach us how close to failure they are.

Tags: Failure, Good, Success

There's so much written about the Titanic, and it's hard to separate what's fact and what's fiction. My understanding is that the way the Titanic was designed, the emphasis was placed on surviving a head-on collision.

Tags: Fact, Hard, Written
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Henry Petroski's quote #3
Henry Petroski's quote #3
Henry Petroski's quote #3
Henry Petroski's quote #3
Henry Petroski's quote #3