This course is provided by PDHengineer.com free to NSPE members. This course will meet PDH requirements for any state and will fulfill 1 PDH of the ethics requirement in states requiring ethics training. After completion of this course, we hope that you will consider PDHengineer for future continuing education needs.
On July 17, 1981, the fourth floor skywalk at the Kansas City Hyatt collapsed during a dance contest being held in the hotel atrium. The accident, which killed 114 people and injured nearly 200 others, was the result of a simple design error. The engineer of record and the project engineer responsible for designing the skywalk were found to be guilty of gross negligence, misconduct and unprofessional conduct in the practice of engineering. Both engineers lost their P.E. licenses in the state of Missouri.
This course will examine the chain of events leading up to the tragedy. We'll see how the engineer's inattention to constructability issues contributed to a decision by the fabricator to change the original design. We'll learn about a major structural failure during construction of the hotel that should have raised a "red flag" in the design. We'll see how the direct cause of the accident was the engineer's failure to review shop drawings that he stamped with his professional seal. We'll learn how deficiencies in the Kansas City building code and inadequate staffing inhibited the Kansas City Codes Administration Division's ability to prevent this tragedy. Finally, we'll discuss lessons that can be learned from this incident to help ensure that a similar tragedy doesn't happen again.
The student must take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of ten (10) questions at the end of this course to obtain PDH credits.
Specific Knowledge or Skill Obtained
This course teaches the following specific knowledge and skills:
- The Kansas City Hyatt atrium walkway base design and the project history
- Factors that contributed to a design change initiated by the fabricator
- How the fabricator's design change weakened the structure and led to the failure
- Historical perspective on design responsibility for structural connection details
- Missed opportunities during design and construction to catch the design error
- The investigation following the accident, as well as the judgment of the Missouri Board of Architects, Professional Engineers, and Land Surveyors
- Lessons learned from this tragedy which you can apply in your professional practice
Click on the following link to the PDF document to review the course material before taking the quiz for credit.
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