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Engineering Ethics: A Case Study on the Kansas City Hyatt Hotel Collapse

Speaker:
J. Paul Guyer, PE, RA, Guyer Partners
Date:
May 8, 2013
Session Details

This SE University session examined the ethical issues that arose from the 1981 collapse of atrium lobby walkways at the newly constructed Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. This tragic incident is one of the most serious structural engineering failures in US history – resulting in the loss of 114 lives and over 200 injuries.

In this session, presented by J. Paul Guyer, PE, RA, of Guyer Partners, participants learned about the structural design feature that was the nexus of the failure, and the organizational and procedural deficiencies that allowed the fatal design change to be implemented. The session also covered the ensuing technical investigation, the issues of responsibility and liability, and lessons that were learned that can help prevent tragic failures in the future.

Session Length: 2.0 hours

Current SE University subscribers can access the recording in their SEU Resource Center account. Please use the link below to view the session page in the SEU Session Library.