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The Skywalk Tragedy: Lessons Learned from the Collapse

Date: Time: 6:00 pm–8:00 pm
Othmer Hall Room: 106
Additional Info: OTHM
“In terms of loss of life and injuries, this was the most devastating structural collapse ever to take place in this country.”

U.S. National Bureau of Standards (Feb. 1982). No, it was not the World Trade Tower or Pentagon, nor the Oklahoma City bombing. Years before those events, the worst structural collapse took place in Kansas City, Missouri on July 17, 1981, when two suspended walkways collapsed in the Hyatt Regency hotel, killing 114 and injuring another 216. Four decades later, there is still misinformation about what happened, what caused the collapse, and whether it could have been prevented. There are lessons to be learned from this event, lessons that apply to every engineer.

Come hear Burns & McDonnell’s general counsel, Bill Quatman, Esq., FAIA tell the inside story of what happened, and the events leading up to and following the Skywalk Collapse, including the disciplinary charges against the two design engineers and their firm.

You will:
1. Understand the actual facts of what caused the structural failure that led to the collapse of the skywalks;
2. Distinguish between the urban myths and the realities of what happened;
3. Learn how even small detail changes can have massive project impacts;
4. Identify opportunities to catch the fatal design flaw that went overlooked by the structural engineer.

This event is co-sponsored by eSAB, Tau Beta Pi, Pi Tau Sigma, ASME, IEEE and NSPE Southeast Chapter.

Additional Public Info:

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