William Tyrell

Mr. Tyrrell has over 40 years of project management, design and engineering experience in industries as diverse as ports, bulk handling facilities, offshore production and drilling, petrochemical and refineries, bauxite and nickel mining, mineral concentrators, pressure vessel fabrication, wood products, pulp and paper, microelectronics, and food processing.

hyatt regency walkway collapse

Engineering Disasters: Hyatt Regency Walkway Collapse (1981)

In 1981, a walkway in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City collapsed, killing 114 people and injuring 200 more. A change in the original design of a series of walkways suspended above the lobby’s hotel led to a connection failure. The original design had all of the walkways suspended from the ceiling with steel …

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East Ohio Gas Explosion

Engineering Disasters: Cleveland East Ohio Gas Explosion (1944)

The Cleveland East Ohio tragedy occurred on Friday, October 20, 1944. At 2:30 p.m., laboratory workers at the East Ohio Gas Company spotted white vapour coming out of above-ground storage tank number 4, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) tank at the gas company’s Lake Erie tank farm. Gas was flowing from the tank and wind …

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space shuttle columbia

Engineering Disasters: Space Shuttle Columbia (2003)

  This short article covers the circumstances surrounding the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003 and the steps taken to correct the root cause of the accident. Space Shuttle Columbia broke up on re-entry On February 1, 2003, space shuttle Columbia broke up as it returned to earth’s, killing the seven astronauts on board. The investigation …

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Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse

Engineering Disasters: Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse (1940)

  The Tacoma Narrows Bridge opened to traffic on July 1, 1940 and collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7 of the same year. At the time it was the third longest suspension bridge in the world, just behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the George Washington Bridge. Fortunately no human life was lost during …

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hindenburg

Engineering Disasters: Hindenburg (1937)

What really happened to the Hindenburg? A German passenger airship called The LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and crashed during its attempt to dock in New Jersey on May 6, 1937, just after completing a transatlantic flight from Frankfurt, Germany three days earlier. The incident shattered public confidence in the giant, passenger-carrying rigid airship and …

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Challenger

Engineering Disasters: Space Shuttle Challenger (1986)

The launch of the shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986 was a huge television event, largely because one of the astronauts was New Hampshire’s Christa McAuliffe, a member of the Teacher in Space program. This was a NASA program announced by Ronald Reagan in 1984 to inspire students, honor teachers, and spur interest in the flagging space …

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Engineering Disasters: Banqiao Dam Failure

In response to severe flooding and to ensure electrical power generation in 1949 and 1950, China built the Banqiao Dam in the Huai river basin of the Henan province. It was completed in 1952. However, they never imagined the dangers that would follow. Understanding the Banqiao Dam Failure Due to construction and engineering errors, numerous …

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