From the Directors Desk: Good Engineering Still Matters

An engine disk that failed aboard American Airlines

Reflecting on the recent events that endangered the lives of 169 people aboard American Airlines flight 383 last week, you would think that advanced materials science would have prevented an issue seen in the GE engine part that failed.

When I worked in aerospace engineering, all structural parts were x-rayed during production to detect flaws. But here we have a common part of a common engine with a major flaw only 2/3 of the way through its maximum lifetime. These problems should be taken seriously. They may affect more than just the one plane that caught fire; this may be a systemic problem.

I have noticed design problems in a variety of new products these days. It reminds us all that despite great marketing and great strategy, quality engineering is still vital, not just for product success, but for the safety of the public.

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