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Leading and Learning from Failures the Shackleton Way: Education and Practice Kevin L. Rens, PhD, PE Amy J. Rens, PE, PTOE.

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Presentation on theme: "Leading and Learning from Failures the Shackleton Way: Education and Practice Kevin L. Rens, PhD, PE Amy J. Rens, PE, PTOE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leading and Learning from Failures the Shackleton Way: Education and Practice Kevin L. Rens, PhD, PE Amy J. Rens, PE, PTOE

2 Overview of Presentation Polar exploration and Engineering Failures Leadership defined The Race for the South Pole Shackleton and the Endurance –Student Comments Stefansson and the Karluk Engineering Failures –C-470 Girder Collapse –Highland Pedestrian Bridge –Student Comments Conclusion – Do the right thing

3 Definition of Leadership (ELP) Leaders, Followers, and goals make up the three equally necessary supports for leadership “The Leader is one who mobilizes others toward a goal shared by leader and followers” Certain Trumpets by Garry Wills –16 different types of leaders and their Antitype

4 The Race for the South Pole

5 “Last” Unexplored Frontier Players –Robert Falcon Scott (British) – Roald Amundsen (Norwegian) –Ernest Shackleton (British – Ireland) Discovery ( ) Nimrod ( ) Endurance ( ) Quest ( )

6 The Race for the South Pole Scott and Shackleton (Discovery ) –Furthest South (500 miles from SP) Shackleton (Nimrod 1909) –Furthest South (97 miles from SP) Amundsen won on December 15, 1911 –Scott arrived days later only to find the Norwegian flag stuck in the ice! Scott Died on the return trip.

7 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition The Pole already discovered, Shackleton set out to hike the continent Endurance ( ) Shackleton Family Motto –Fortitudine Vincimus “By Endurance we Conquer”

8 Evangelist James Dobson Why did Dr. Dobson reprint Lansing’s Original book “Endurance”? “…my belief that there are millions of people who have not yet read this remarkable story and will appreciate it having being brought to their attention”.[10]

9 "Men wanted for Hazardous Journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, Honour and recognition in case of success" Ernest Shackleton Endurance with and without sail

10 Source: South Pole dot com Endurance: 635 days and nights Set Sail from South Georgia Dec 5, 1914 Within Days enter loose pack ice Source: Kodak dot com (really Frank Hurley)

11 Endurance: 635 days and nights Endurance Beset in Ice Jan 18, 1915 Endurance Crushed and sank Nov 21, 1915 Source: south pole dot com Source Frank Hurley

12 Endurance: Patience Camp Oct 1915 to April 1916 Source: Antarctic Connection dot com

13 The Trip to Elephant Island Launched 3 salvaged Life boats on April 09, 1916 (Landed on Elephant Island April 22, 1916)

14 Elephant Island Elephant Island was really Elephant “Rock” Shackleton selected 5 men and set sail on April 24, 1916 in the “James Caird” Source: Galenfrysinger.com and wickapedia and Hurley

15 The Greatest Boat Journey Ever 700 mile trip to South Georgia 50 foot waves Hurricane Landed on West Side of South Georgia on May 10, 1916 Source: James Caird Society and NASA

16 The James Caird Society

17 The Greatest Hike Ever Selected 2 men 36 hour hike over unmapped glacial fields May 12, 1916 (7am) back to Stromness whaling station at Grytviken 4 months later after 4 attempts, the 22 men at Elephant Island were rescued (source: Wickapedia and Frank Hurley)

18 The Greatest Hike Ever Source: Shackleton’s Captain (Worsley Biography)

19 Frank Hurley “Hurley is a warrior with his camera and would go anywhere or do anything to get a picture”

20 How did Shackleton Fail Forward? Sports Equality Roommates Books Source: South Pole dot com (really Hurley)

21 How did Shackleton Fail Forward? Haircutting tournament The Variety Show Source: The Shackleton Voyages (Huntford)

22 How did Shackleton Fail Forward? Source: Shipwreck at the bottom of the world (Armstrong) Gramophone evening at the Ritz Saturday evening “toast” to our wives and sweethearts

23 How did Shackleton Fail Forward? He adjusted his goal –“So now, we go home” [18] He obsessed with getting his crew home safely –“Skipper, if anything happens to me while those fellas are waiting for me, I shall feel like a murderer.”

24 How did Shackleton Fail Forward? “Shackleton pushed Frank Wild to take his breakfast biscuit, insisting that his friend needed it more than he did. When Wild refused, the boss (Shackleton) threatened to bury it in the snow rather than to eat it himself. Wild took the biscuit. It was a gesture he never forgot.” [14]

25 How did Shackleton Fail Forward? “When Hurley lost his mittens, Shackleton insisted that he take his own. When Hurley objected, Shackleton was to the point of throwing his gloves over and into the water rather than wear his own when a crew member had to be without.” [18]

26 How did Shackleton Fail Forward? “The night was a Blur. Once Perce fell asleep while holding a board in place on the dam. He found a mug of soup in his hand and didn’t know how it got there. The strangest thing was how the boss was everywhere all the time. When a shift was finished on the pumps, there he was with mugs of chocolate.” [13]

27 Evangelist James Dobson “Let me simply dedicate this edition of Endurance to every reader who has faced impossible challenges and gales of grief. Perhaps you are such a person who has encountered perilous mountains too high to scale. I hope this book will encourage you not to give up. It was through the indomitable courage and perseverance of the explorers that they overcame terrible obstacles and lived to tell their story. There’s a message here for all of us.”[10]

28 DVD Documentaries Morgan StanleyIMAX A&EHollywood

29 Student Responses to Shackleton “The Shackleton story was not only inspiring but moving. I think you chose a perfect time to show this movie. At a time when most of us have been thinking we have it so terribly bad and we can’t possibly push through, it put me in my place to see the story of these men. It’s amazing that any one human would triumph in such a situation; let alone 27 men. Determination and sheer will made it possible for these men to live on in life and return home safely to their families.” Fall 2006 CE 3505 comment

30 Student Responses to Shackleton “This story really put things into perspective for me. I find myself constantly stressing out over minor things that are not worth stressing out over……. Life is too short to dwell on the mishaps that each and every one of us have. Rather life is meant to be a journey that we go through and make due with. A bad test here or there, not making enough money, fighting with your spouse, etc. all suck, but the ones who are able to get through the adversity are truly successful. I feel as if I take a lot of things for granted. This story has made me look at life differently. As long one tries with all they have got, life is a success. Shackleton is great example of what life truly should be about, determination to live to the fullest.” Spring 2007 CE 3505 comment

31 Many books available on the Endurance Saga

32 1. Vision 2. Symbolism 3. Optimism 4. Stamina 5. Team Unity 6. Respect 7. Conflict 8. Celebration 9. Risk 10. Perseverance WORKRELATIONSHIPS PHYSICAL HEALTH RENEWAL PURPOSE

33 Many books available on Antarctic explorations

34 Other leadership books

35 Vilhjalmur Stefansson Literally and figuratively the polar opposite of Shackleton More concerned about completing the expedition as opposed to the safety of the crew

36 Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization The Karluk August 12, 1913 became similarly trapped September 12, 1913 Stefansson organized a “hunting party” to forage for meat Was not seen for approximately 5 years Source: Nivens [2]

37 Source: Canadian Museum of Civilization Source: Ice Master (Nivens) [2]

38 Why did Stefansson Fail Backward? Inequality Source: Nivens [2] “Goodbye Mr. Stefansson”

39 Why did Stefansson Fail Backward? “…..lives were secondary to the success of the exploration.” [2] His way was the “right” way – did not listen to the advice of his crew –“that the questioner had no right to ask” –“question was impertinent”

40 Why did Stefansson Fail Backward? “Stefansson preferred to plunge ahead, heedless of detailed planning, confident everything would work out. His friend Richard Finnie described him as “really a lone wolf explorer…..at best when traveling by himself or with a few congenial followers.” ” [2]

41 Why did Stefansson Fail Backward? “Stefansson had not gone on any hunting party. Bartlett (Captain) knew it in his gut. Stefansson had abandoned ship. He had been anxious to be on his way, to continue his grand expedition. He could not sit still any longer. Whatever his motives, McConnell, Wilkins, Jenness, Jimmy, and Jerry (accompanying Stefansson) were probably unaware. As far as any of them knew, they were on a hunting trip, and it didn’t seem to occur to any of them that a secretary, a photographer, and an anthropologist made a strange hunting party. If it truly was a hunting trip, why was Hadley, the great trapper, not included? Or Chafe, the expert marksman? Why did Kuraluk, the best by far of the Eskimo hunters, remain on the Karluk while two other lesser hunters went in his place? If Stefansson were planning a simple hunting trip, surely he would have taken Kuraluk, who could of stood to be separated from his family for that short period of time. But if his intentions were indeed to be gone longer, better to take the two single Eskimos, knowing as he did the native tradition of families staying together when hired.” [16]

42 Consequence of Failing Backward Stefansson left behind 22 men, 1 woman, and 2 children – 11 of these 25 would not survive in the end [16]. Source: Nivens [2]

43 Arctic Exploration References

44 Engineering Case Studies Project Management is Responsibility C-470 Bridge over I-70 Golden, CO Highland Pedestrian Bridge over I-25 Denver, CO Student Comments

45 C-470 Girder Failure – Golden, CO Source: NTSB Report HAB-06-01

46 C-470 Girder Failure Source: NTSB Report HAB-06-01

47 Timeline Tuesday Night: 05/11/04 9:00 pmClosed I-70 12:00 am Realized one section was backwards 1:00 am Mid-air splicing resumed 4:00 am Temporary bracing started 4:30 am Difficulty with bolts 5:30 am Reopened I -70 Source: NTSB Report HAB-06-01

48 Timeline Wednesday: 05/12/04 Weather conditions prevent construction 8:45 pm General contractor’s supervisor inspects girder Thursday: 05/13/04 Driver takes a photo of rotated girder Saturday: 05/15/04 8:49 am Traveler calls 911 to report a twisted girder 9:00 am CDOT engineer observed buckled girder 10:04 am Girder falls and strikes an SUV Source: NTSB Report HAB-06-01

49 C-470 Girder Failure Source: NTSB Report HAB-06-01

50 C-470 Girder Failure Source: NTSB Report HAB-06-01

51 Structural Failure Caused by: Out-of-Plume Girder Temporary Brace No. 2 Inadequate bolt depth in deck Source: NTSB Report HAB-06-01

52 Issues Short time window allowed No pre-qualification of subcontractors No stamped set of erection plans No pre-erection meeting No structural engineer on site No contingency plans No pre-defined inspection plan after installation CDOT’s practice to not interfere with Contractor’s process Source: NTSB Report HAB-06-01

53 Lessons Learned – CDOT Prequalification of subcontractors Process for Safety Critical Work –Construction plan to CDOT Safety critical work Qualifications of supervisor Contingency plans –Safety Critical Element Conference –Final plan sealed by Contractor’s PE –CDOT Engineer’s authority to stop work

54 Lessons Learned – CDOT Erection of Structures –Pre-erection conference –Erection plan sealed by Contractor’s PE –Contractor’s Engineer to specify False work plans Bolt Torque requirements Girder stresses at critical points –Contractor’s Engineer inspects and approves erection before opening to traffic –Daily inspections of temporary structures

55 Highland Bridge over I-25 Denver, CO Source: Carter & Burgess

56 Highland Bridge – Denver, CO Source: Jeffrey Beall;

57

58 Timeline Friday Night: 08/04/06 –Closed I-25 at midnight –Set East and West Anchors –Reopened I -25 Saturday Night: 08/05/06 –Closed I-25 at midnight –Set 2 middle spans Sunday Afternoon: 08/06/06 –Reopened I-25 Bridge Grand Opening – December 16, 2006

59 Highland Bridge – Denver, CO Source: Ken

60 Source: Ken

61 Source: Ken

62 Source: Ken

63 Source: Ken

64 Source: Ken

65 Grand Opening – December 16, 2006 Source: Jeffrey Beall;

66 Student Comments “…a lot of the reason CCD (Denver) handled the construction the way they did is because of the lessons learned by the C-470 girder incident. Yes, CDOT changed its polices and procedures as far as bridge erection is concerned, but many other municipalities also learned valuable lessons…” Spring 2007 CE 5508 comment

67 Student Comments “We all agree that there is a need for integrity. The question we need to ask is how far and how long will we stand for what we feel is the ‘right thing’…Holding to strong ethics and integrity doesn’t always make you a popular person.” Spring 2007 CE 5508 comment

68 Student Comments “As engineers, we have the responsibility to look past money, schedule, even our own designs, and make sure the safety of workers and the public are set as priority one.” “…it’s not just one big choice on a project that leads to disaster; it’s a lot of little choices along the way.” Spring 2007 CE 5508 comments

69 Conclusion The basic theme of this paper is simple enough –Just do the right thing –I have heard this in Coaching, Teaching, Consulting, and have read it in the papers

70 Conclusion: Do the Right Thing Shackleton, Stefannson, CDOT, and CCD all had to satisfy their own personal codes of ethics. –Was it the right thing? “Engineers shall hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public” Code of Ethics for Engineers National Society of Professional Engineers

71 Thank You – Any Questions?


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