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Weak Rivets of Titanic, Weak Steel Bearing Walls of WTC, Weak,Levees of New Orleans- Weak Gussets of I-35W Bridge= 6000 deaths

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Subject: Weak Rivets of Titanic, Weak Steel Bearing Walls of WTC, Weak
Levees of New Orleans- Weak Gussets of I-35W Bridge= 6000 deaths

To: Structural Engineers Association International Members
From: Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl
Date: April 17, 2008
Subject: Weak Rivets of  Titanic, Weak Steel Bearing Walls of WTC, Weak
Levees of New Orleans- Weak Gussets of I-35W Bridge= 6000 deaths

Dear SEA-Int. Friends:

I had sent a blind copy of my earlier posting on this subject to my scientist friend and had asked him if he likes to communicate anything else to you. Below is my e-mail to him and his reply. Mike is a great scientist and a great humanist and friend. I am honored to be his friend. His views represents very well the views of many non engineers whom I have met since 1989 when I started my work on the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge , which by the way in my view is the best example of the worst structural engineering and disregard to public safety . Here is the exchange between myself and Mike. If any replies are posted on Seaint forum, I will forward them to Mike. I only like to ask that in your response to him follow the general rule of posting on the Internet and be polite and have no personal attacks on the messenger or otherwise unlawful statements, which unfortunately have occurred here in these pages once in a while, posted. Sincerely,
Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Ph.D., P.E.
Professor and Consultant on
Structural Engineering, Earthquake Engineering and
Protection of Buildings and Bridges against Blast and Impact.

====================== From: Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl To: Mike wwxxyy (Faculty member in science)
Date:April 15, 2008
Subject: Weak Rivets of Titanic, Weak Steel Bearing Walls of WTC, Weak
Levees of New Orleans- Weak Gussets of I-35W Bridge= 6000 deaths

On Tue, 15 Apr 2008, Abolhassan Astaneh wrote:


Hi Mike, Hope you got the BCC that I had for you for my e-mail to Structural Engineers Association-International members. If you want to prepare a specific e-mail to them from you, I will be happy to send it to them with only your first name. You cannot e-mail directly to Seaint, you have to be a member.
From: Mike wwxxyy (Faculty member in science)
To: Abolhassan Astaneh_Asl
Date: April 16, 2008
Subject:Weak Rivets of Titanic, Weak Steel Bearing Walls of WTC, Weak
Levees of New Orleans- Weak Gussets of I-35W Bridge= 6000 deaths

Thanks, Hassan. I don't have anything to add. I think you are a good representative of the non-engineers of the world!

We have to think in terms of what I'll call "social engineering." The environment of the engineer is also designed, but we seem to not pay enough attention to the design of that environment. The engineer might be pushed by very powerful forces to cut corners and save money. Every bit of cost cutting increases risk a little bit. In order to achieve the appropriate balance between cost and risk, we need to design the engineer's working environment so that there are powerful forces pushing for lower risk and enhanced safety.

Maybe the builder/contractor is the bigger problem. They can alter a design a little bit to save a few bucks and thereby make a structure much less safe. We also need to be sure that there are appropriate countervailing forces pushing the builders to produce safe structures. It is important that these forces do not come in the form of lawsuits from bereaved families in 20-50 years. We need to provide immediate corrections to builders who cut corners.

We'll always have the old problem of who is to police the police, but I think we can do much better than we are doing today by creating systems that won't fail unless everyone is corrupted.

Mike
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