发布时间:2020-08-04 15:27:17 阅读:100


  • 作者:致远教育
  • 导读:本文是一篇Assignment代写范文,这篇文章讲述的是失败在成功设计中的作用,不是在讨论失败如何帮助工程师进行设计,而是失败对理解工程本身的重要性。
  • 字数:1874 字
  • 预计阅读时间:6分钟


本文是一篇Assignment代写范文,题目为The role of failure in successful design,这篇文章讲述的是失败在成功设计中的作用,不是在讨论失败如何帮助工程师进行设计,而是失败对理解工程本身的重要性。


The role of failure in successful design

The book To Engineer is Human, The Role of Failure in Successful Design, by Henri Petroski, is not a discussion on how failures help engineers in their designs, but the significance of failure in the understanding of engineering itself. Also, the book argues that to engineer is human, which translates to all humans are engineers, or problem solvers in their own areas. Such an interpretation makes the book relevant not only to the engineering profession, but also the general public. in addition, the author makes extensive amount of references to literature, culture, psychology and society, making is much less boring for the readers. In this review, an introduction of the central theme of the book will come first, followed by evaluations of the two major claims made by the author. Lastly, how these two claims combine to form an effective argument will be analyzed.

亨利·彼得罗斯基(Henri Petroski)的《工程师是人,失败在成功设计中的作用》一书,不是讨论失败如何帮助工程师进行设计,而是失败对理解工程本身的意义。此外,这本书还认为,工程师就是人,也就是说,所有人都是工程师,或者在他们自己的领域里解决问题的人。这样的解释使得这本书不仅与工程专业有关,而且与普通大众有关。此外,作者还大量参考了文学、文化、心理和社会等方面的内容,使读者不再感到无聊。在这篇评论中,首先介绍这本书的中心主题,然后对作者提出的两个主要主张进行评价。最后,将分析这两种主张如何结合起来形成有效的论据。

The entire book is built around the significance of design failure in engineering success. As a professor of engineering and history, the author knows not only the cases of historic engineering failures, but also the significance of them in the future designs. In the book, Petroski explained cases of bridge collapses, plane crashes and building failures to the readers. There aren’t any technical details trying to figure out where the problem was, but rather an observation of how did the engineers respond to the failures. Failures, according to the author, have become opportunities for engineers to find the weak link in their design that was unnoticed before. By stating that to engineer is human, the application of failures works not only for engineers, but for all those who encounter failures in their lives. Moreover, in the analyzation and study of failures, not only technical problems are solved, a more profound understanding of engineering itself would be established. Without failure, not necessarily in reality, but on paper as well, a person can never become a “real” engineer.

亨利·彼得罗斯基(Henri Petroski)的《工程师是人,失败在成功设计中的作用》一书,不是讨论失败如何帮助工程师进行设计,而是失败对理解工程本身的意义。此外,这本书还认为,工程师就是人,也就是说,所有人都是工程师,或者在他们自己的领域里解决问题的人。这样的解释使得这本书不仅与工程专业有关,而且与普通大众有关。此外,作者还大量参考了文学、文化、心理和社会等方面的内容,使读者不再感到无聊。在这篇评论中,首先介绍这本书的中心主题,然后对作者提出的两个主要主张进行评价。最后,将分析这两种主张如何结合起来形成有效的论据。

The author is successful in his argument that failure is one of the most important component in the learning process. The engineer group is commonly considered the type of people with high intellectual abilities. However, the truth is, engineers are only human, who’s nature is to find solutions to problems. The major difference is that engineers are constantly seeking for the optimum, or compromise between the ideal and the restrictions from the reality, which requires extensive amounts of learning. While learning from the successes of the others provide a form of guideline for engineers to follow, the cases of successes are extremely constrained. An engineer who have succeeded in one project cannot produce the same design in a different location without modifications, which become potential sources of failure. In comparison, learning from the failure for an engineer serve as reminders for him or her in future designs. Failures are more specific than successes, which incorporate the design characteristics and the environmental factor. Therefore, an engineer who is experienced with failures are more likely to succeed.


Throughout the book, Petroski emphasizes on the importance of the human touch in engineering, that no machine or computer would be able to simulate. While the development of computer and software has made the life of engineers much easier. Petroski views the trend as a dangerous sign. He believes that engineers should stay close to the real-life experiences as much as possible, for it is the accumulation of such experiences that help engineers ask the right questions. When the engineers are more and more dependent on computers, they become farther from understanding the project in a comprehensive way. As a bridge between science and the daily life applications for the public, engineer need to find their inspirations from not only the scientific side, but also from the society, people, culture, history, and art. As a book that include areas of construction engineering, poetry and literature at the same time, Petroski has succeeded in expanding the imagination of the readers, especially engineers.

Petroski also believes that based on the experiences of failure and the persistence of the human factors, engineers can take control of their project and reduce the excessive safety considerations. The more knowledge of failure they possess, the more confident engineers would be. Even the most capable engineers are not able to consider all possible failure cases in their design. Before 911, it was hardly imagined that a skyscraper would collapse due to human factors. After the incident, new standards of design were proposed to counter the factor of terrorism attacks. However, such standards are still not enough to simulate the complex reality. Hence the factor of safety was introduced to the engineering practice to take care of the unknown and increase the level of safety (Ching, 2009). The factor of safety is often referred to as the “factor of ignorance”, because it provides room for error from unknown sources. Most of the times factor of safety leads to over design and increase project cost. Thus, those who reduce the factor of safety should know exactly what the consequences are, as they are stepping into the unknown. It would also require designers to be able to reject and modify a computer-generated design when necessary, incorporating the human factors to make the design more realistic.

Overall, the book is very intriguing and eye-opening since it does not dwell within the engineering field, but include thinking and imaginations that relate to the political, cultural, and literature fields. Through the arguments in the book, the author has succeeded in establishing the theme of the book: engineering cannot be successful without learning from design failures, and incorporating the factor of human. The significance of failure lies not only in the help it provides the engineers on the technical level, but in the sense, that learning from failure is the essence of engineering. Petroski also argues that engineers should not be detached from reality and experiences, despite the use of advance tools. Staying connected to the reality and society is also not merely helpful on the technical level, but will become inspirations of design that no computer is able to produce yet. It is only by combing the failure experiences and open-mindedness, can an engineer become truly successful.