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Profs & Pints: Titanic Mistakes
Tuesday, April 25 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Profs and Pints DC presents: “Titanic Mistakes,” an in-depth analysis of what doomed the famous ship, with Vincent Brannigan, professor emeritus of the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering.
When the RMS Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, many blamed bad luck in the form of an iceberg in its path on its maiden voyage. Careful analysis, however, shows that the massive vessel was a disaster waiting to happen. Join Professor Brannigan, a longtime expert on risk management and forensic engineering investigation, for a fascinating discussion of what doomed the ship.
The Titanic was most modern ship in the world and had tied its sister ship, the Olympic, as the largest, being half again as large as any other ships out there. But the regulatory system had not caught up with the changing technology that made its voyage possible. In technical terms, its design, materials, crew training, and human systems were all disgracefully inadequate.
The Titanic’s captain was a mariner of vast experience. Yet he ran into a known icefield at almost full speed in a ship that was not built for speed, but luxury. What was it about the ship’s technology that led him to take such an awful risk? There was no chance whatever of winning the speed record for the passage. Its rivals, the Lusitania and the Mauretania, were built to be much faster.
The loss of the Titanic—and, especially, of more than 1,500 of its passengers—can best be described as the result of interlocking mechanical and human factors. Perhaps most alarming, we cannot claim to have learned the lessons about technological failure that it offers.
The fun will take place on our second-floor Abraham Lincoln Hall, with a bar set up near the entry.
(Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)