Towers and Toothpicks: Engineering Large and Small

Tuesday, November 6, 2007 - 2:00 a.m. to Wednesday, November 7, 2007 - 2:55 a.m.

Featuring Henry Petroski, Ph.D.
Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Department of History

California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology Auditorium (Calit2)
UC Irvine Campus
Reception to follow

Complimentary parking located in the engineering parking structure at the intersection of East Peltason and

Anteater Drive.

This event is free to the public, however an RSVP is required.  Please email or call (949) 824-3923.

Engineering is a wide-ranging enterprise, comprised of everything from enormously broad-based, complex systems to nanoscale building blocks. Yet, no matter what is being conceived, designed, and engineered, there are common features to the process of bringing ideas from concept to reality.  Join Professor Petroski as he provides examples of engineering design and production, from record-setting towers to mass-produced consumer products, and demonstrates how projects seemingly unrelated in type and time can have profound influences on the form and function of new engineering undertakings. The value of a broad-based historical perspective on engineering will be emphasized as an invaluable aid to innovation. Professor Petroski will also demonstrate how the history of engineering should not be viewed as a cultural accessory to the profession, but as a resource of lessons learned and a source of inspiration.

Henry Petroski, Ph.D., is the Aleksandar S.Vesic professor of civil engineering and a professor of history at DukeUniversity. He has written broadly on the topics of design, success, and failure, as well as the history of engineering and technology. A licensed professional engineer in Texas and a chartered engineer in , he is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a member of the AmericanAcademy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.