'Unsinkable' boats possible? Titanic scholar talks design

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Engineering and design are an important part of any construction project, but they are part of a larger system that includes the people that will manage and use the project's end product, whether it is an ocean liner, suspension bridge or spacecraft.

Scientific American spoke with Henry Petroski, a professor of civil engineering and history at Duke University and author of “To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure,” about the folly of believing a design is infallible, the Titanic's fatal flaws and how even the best-engineered technology fails when a larger system breaks down.

Click here for the full Q&A.