It Couldn't Happen Here: Investigating Engineering Failures

A talk for Cambridgeshire Industrial Archaeology Society by Theron Pearman and Geoff Winckles

Free for CIAS members, £2 for Museum members, £3 for non-members

What do collapsed bridges, crashed aeroplanes, trains, cars, and split bin bags all have in common? All can be the result of engineering failure. Whether it’s an incident resulting in loss of life and millions of pounds of damage, or the remains of last night’s dinner all over the drive way, overcoming these engineering challenges is vital for technological progress to occur.

Fortunately, due to rigorous development and testing of structures and products, large scale disasters rarely happen. But, what is the investigative process when an unexpected failure occurs? Have you ever wondered who is responsible for finding out what went wrong when disaster strikes and what techniques they use to uncover what caused it?

Step up the forensic engineer. They are engineering detectives who find the clues and put the information together to find out why a failure occurred; allowing others to use the information to create a safer future.

Join the Technical Team at the Museum of Technology to gain an insight into how forensic engineers work looking at well-known, and less well known failures that have shaped our lives.

About Cambridge Industrial Archaeology Society (CIAS)

The Society's aim is to study and record the industrial history and artefacts of Cambridgeshire. It has links with the Association of Industrial Archaeology (AIA) and is one of the founder members of the East of England Industrial Archaeology Conference (EERIAC). The Society's meetings, visits and conferences are open to everyone with an interest in industrial history. Registered charity number: 265592.

The Society hosts a talk at Cambridge Museum of Technology at 7:45pm on the second Monday of the month from October to April.

Membership for October 2019 to September 2020 costs. £15

To join the Society or to renew membership, please contact:
Stephen Hipkin, 82, Frog End, Shepreth, Royston, Herts, SG8 9RF, telephone: 01763 261 915

For programme and EERIAC event information, please contact:
Robin Chandler, 12 Church Street, Hemingford Grey, PE28 9DF, telephone: 01480 465571


East of England Industrial Archaeology Conference (EERIAC) is normally held on the second Saturday in June each year. The usual format is for talks in the morning, followed by a tour around local sites of interest.