7) Mr  Ranbir Sinha, a distinguished structural engineer, received a phone call from an engineering student at a nearby college. The student expressed concern that Mr. Ranbir’s famous skyscraper had a serious technical design flaw. At first, Mr. Ranbir’s  dismissed the student’s concerns outright but the conversation gets him thinking. Over the weekend, Mr. Ranbir sifts through his data and realizes the student is indeed correct – strong winds could cause this famous landmark to topple and in the process kill thousands of innocent people. Rectifying the problem would be no small task and would require notifying the building’s owners, city officials, and the press and might negatively impact Mr. Ranbir’s professional reputation. Consider each of the following questions and evaluate the case study: What is the action or inaction that is the cause for concern? Who or what may be affected? How will they be affected? (i.e., what are the possible consequences?)  Are there any laws, regulations written or unwritten that may apply? What actions might be taken and what would the consequences of these actions be? Can anything be done to prevent this from reoccurring or to minimize the severity of the consequences? (250 words)

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Topic: Case Studies

7) Mr  Ranbir Sinha, a distinguished structural engineer, received a phone call from an engineering student at a nearby college. The student expressed concern that Mr. Ranbir’s famous skyscraper had a serious technical design flaw. At first, Mr. Ranbir’s  dismissed the student’s concerns outright but the conversation gets him thinking. Over the weekend, Mr. Ranbir sifts through his data and realizes the student is indeed correct – strong winds could cause this famous landmark to topple and in the process kill thousands of innocent people. Rectifying the problem would be no small task and would require notifying the building’s owners, city officials, and the press and might negatively impact Mr. Ranbir’s professional reputation.

Consider each of the following questions and evaluate the case study:

  1. What is the action or inaction that is the cause for concern?
  2. Who or what may be affected?
  3. How will they be affected? (i.e., what are the possible consequences?)
  4.  Are there any laws, regulations written or unwritten that may apply?
  5. What actions might be taken and what would the consequences of these actions be?
  6. Can anything be done to prevent this from reoccurring or to minimize the severity of the consequences?

(250 words)

Reference

 

Why this question

The question is related to case studies part of GS 4.

Structure of the answer

The answer may be framed as per your own convictions, understanding and knowledge. However, for your guidance, answers for each question is also given here. You may further add to it and refine your answer.

  1. What is the action or inaction that is the cause for concern?

The cause for concern is that the building Mr Ranbir designed could potentially topple in strong winds.

  1. Who or what may be affected?

The building’s owners and occupants of whom there are thousands (large number).

  1. How will they be affected? (i.e., what are the possible consequences?)

The building occupants could be maimed or killed. The building’s owners would be ruined. Mr Ranbir’s professional reputation and career would certainly be ruined and he could also face imprisonment and civil lawsuits.

  1. Are there any laws, regulations written or unwritten that may apply?

Certainly if the building collapsed and people died, Mr Ranbir would be guilty of many counts of murder. There are likely many laws and regulations that would also apply. Likely the code of ethics for Mr Ranbir’s profession holds its members responsible for ensuring public safety.

  1. What actions might be taken and what would the consequences of these actions be?

Mr Ranbir can go to the building owners and inform them of the problem and of what needs to be done in order to fix the skyscraper.

  1. Can anything be done to prevent this from reoccurring or to minimize the severity of the consequences?

Certainly by informing the owners as soon as possible Mr Ranbir will minimize the severity of the consequences. Mr Ranbir should also carefully review his calculations to determine how/why he made the error in the first place. This will allow him to make sure that he doesn’t make the same mistake again in the future.