Focus of next Café Scientifique is structure failure

by Linda Hubbard on May 9, 2011

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.

All make the May 10 Café Scientifique program, Learning from Failure, lead by Donald Shockey, PhD., all the more timely. 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 the Director of SRI’s Center for Fracture Physics. He is an internationally recognized expert in fracture of materials and structures, and an authority on failure under impact and explosive loads.

Café Scientifique events, which are open to all free of charge, take place SRI Menlo Park (Middlefield Road at Ringwood Avenue). The May 10th program is from 6:00 to 7:30 pm; doors open at 5:15 pm. Please do not park at SRI’s main entrance (333 Ravenswood).

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