Tuesday, May 10

"Learning from Failure"

Donald Shockey, PhD

Associate Director

Director of SRI’s Center for Fracture Physics

May 10, 2011
6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Structural failures happen daily.  Most have minor consequences and are unreported to the public, but some have high impact and are high-profile. The recent Southwest Airlines fuselage failure was unnerving, the San Bruno pipeline rupture was tragic, and the Japan earthquake was disastrous.  If anything positive can be extracted from such events, it is that lessons can be learned to avoid future failures and their associated losses.  

At our May cafe event, Don will present several projects conducted at SRI that demonstrate how understanding failure leverages the design of more robust structures—ranging from fracture-resistant stents placed inside the human body to new components for space missions. He will discuss areas that still require innovation, and describe a technology that addresses a key aspect of the failure process.

Don is Director of SRI’s Center for Fracture Physics, is an internationally recognized expert in fracture of materials and structures, and an authority on failure under impact and explosive loads.  He joined SRI International in 1971 after earning a doctorate in Materials Science at Carnegie-Mellon University and completing a 3-year post-doctoral appointment at the Ernst-Mach-Institut and the Institut für Werkstoffmechanik in Freiburg, Germany.

Café Scientifique events are open to all free of charge. No reservations are necessary.