To: "INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: EOR(Kansas City Hyatt Walkway Failure)
From: Peter Higgins <76573.2107(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 09:56:55 -0500
Hopefully this will be the end of the thread, but I'd like to ensure I
haven't been misunderstood regarding Mr. Gillum personally.
I'm in Mr. Gillum's camp. In many ways he was a victim of our current
"system" which still functions in much the same way. He is to be commended
for speaking out, for many have sought to make him a pariah. I remember a
presentation by the NBS over 15 years ago where the original design detail
was put up on the screen with what actually got built. Everyone sniggered a
bit. I sniggered too until they described the project organization for
reviewing the shop drawings. Then my stomach did a flip, and I realized
that this same thing could easily happen to me.
Young engineers seem to accept this state of affairs without question. It
takes someone like Gillum to drive home the necessity of stepping back and
recognizing what being an EOR requires. We can become complacent with this
system because we have so few failures which kill so many at a single time.
That doesn't excuse the system, nor ourselves for allowing it to persist.
We can do better. Indeed, we owe it to the public and our clients to
improve the way we communicate our designs to the builders.
However when failures come, and they will, don't be the least bit surprised
when the involved engineers get the same treatment Gillum got. Just hope it
Peter Higgins, SE