This article reviews risk analysis that involves the estimation or calculation of possible failures and then the possible consequences of those failures. Some tools involve the study of probable results of combined abnormal environments, such as fire with crush and puncture at a time when the item of concern is in a very cold environment. The record of past experiences can be both a look back at a disaster and a look forward to managing risk. With a necessarily strict approach to risk assessment as it is applied to nuclear armament, the final matrix is that of surety: safety, reliability, security, and control of human factors and access. Engineering advances will always result from dreams and aspirations of practitioners in the field. If no one attempts the unknown, the store of knowledge and experience will forever be capped at present levels.
The Breaks of Progress
Barbara Wolcott, a frequent contributor to Mechanical Engineering magazine, is a freelance writer based in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Wolcott, B. (March 1, 2004). "The Breaks of Progress." ASME. Mechanical Engineering. March 2004; 126(03): 32–35. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.2004-MAR-2
Download citation file: