Engineering Failures (Man-Made Disasters)


When searching library resources, either OneSearch or Catalog, it is helpful to have lists of keywords to use while conducting your search.

First, think about what type of disaster your topic is. For example:

Bridge Collapse   Airplane Crash    Offshore Incident
Structural Failure   

Nuclear (or other) Plant Fire (or Meltdown)


Chernobyl    Fukushima    Three Mile Island
Tacoma Narrows    Hyatt Regency    Hindenburg
Challenger L'Aquila Earthquake    New Orleans levees

You could then consider using descriptive words, such as:

Engineering Failure    Defect        Design Flaw
Malfeasance   Negligence        Ethics


You may find or consider looking for any of the following types of sources:

Books written about the specific disaster
General books written about engineering failures
General books written about your area (e.g., nuclear power plants or bridge construction)

Primary Sources
Eyewitness accounts
Newspaper articles

Academic or Government Resources

Academic journal articles
Government reports
Legislation (especially changes to)
Health or safety documenation
Standards (either related to the failure or codes of ethics)