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Tips for Avoiding Design Blunders

John C. Huang, Ph.D., PE, LEED AP

Course Outline

Throughout the history, there are many engineering and architectural blunders, from the infamous crash of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940 to the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986. Some of these blunders could have been avoided if the designers were more careful and cautious in their work. This course provides some valuable tips that will help you avoid design blunders in your practice. Whether you are a professional engineer, land surveyor, construction manager, or architect, you will benefit greatly by applying some of the advice contained in this course to your professional practice.

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

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to

Course Content

In this course, you are required to watch the following video:

Retro Report - When a Bridge Falls (10:00 video)

and study the material contained in the following document:

Tips for Avoiding Design Blunders (PDF, 36 pages, 1.4 MB)

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right-clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader from your computer.

Course Summary

Through this course, you have learned some error prevention techniques that can be incorporated into your practice. These techniques are aimed at improving the quality of your work, reducing your chances of making errors, and better protecting the health and safety of the general public.

Related Links

Five Biggest Engineering Disasters (HTML)
31 Engineering Mistakes That Make You Wonder Who Gave Them Engineering Degrees (HTML)


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.