The design of the storm surge barrier in the Eastern Scheldt

Disasters like the Challenger illustrates the importance of design to engineering. In this case, as in other cases, the design phase was crucial for the proper working of a technology and possible risks and other side effects. The example also shows the importance of activities that are closely related to design like testing, certification and inspection. Second, the example shows that most design involves trade-offs. In wheel design for trains, e.g., a trade-off is faced between energy (and cost) efficiency and comfort. We start with a description of what designing is and what type of ethical issues may arise in the various stages of the design process. Next, we shall take a closer look at one aspect of the design: the choice between different conceptual designs in the light of design requirements and trade-offs.

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