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Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(06):20-21. doi:10.1115/1.2009-JUN-1.
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Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(06):22-26. doi:10.1115/1.2009-JUN-2.
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Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(06):28-33. doi:10.1115/1.2009-JUN-3.
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Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(06):42-46. doi:10.1115/1.2009-JUN-4.
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Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(06):48-51. doi:10.1115/1.2009-JUN-5.
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This paper explains the concept of goof-proofing and its usefulness in engineering design. No standard design rules exist for engineers to follow in anticipation of human error. Human reliability analysis tools such as event trees and fault trees to model a human's contribution to events such as decreasing one's speed on an exit ramp. To minimize human error, engineering students color code wires and use specific prong configurations in the design of an automobile. It is observed that engineers follow failure modes and effects analysis procedures. The failure modes procedure isolates potential failures within a system or product. Effects analysis is the study of the consequences of those failures. The attitude on the part of designers is that they have the requisite knowledge, either from past projects or due to their expertise. The paper concludes that regardless of how engineers go about goof-proofing their designs, they must keep the end user in mind.

Topics: Engineers , Design , Errors
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Mechanical Engineering. 2009;131(06):52-53. doi:10.1115/1.2009-JUN-6.
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This article explores oil production options in the American waters. Survey shows that there is significant oil production in the waters of the North Sea and the Bight of Bonny in Nigeria, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. However, the figure published for proved reserves is generally far lower than what geologists believe is available. Proved reserves are restricted to oil and gas that can be commercially recovered from known fields using existing methods under prevailing government regulations. The Minerals Management Service tries to estimate the amount of recoverable energy found in the wind, waves, and tides. The Department of the Interior report makes use of data from the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which has estimated the wind resource both on land and at sea, as well as other recent studies. The Department of the Interior's report suggests that the biggest offshore energy source is wind, not oil. It remains to be seen whether calls to exploit that resource will be catchy.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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