American engineer specializing in failure analysis. A professor both of civil engineering and history at Duke University. Also a prolific author; has written over a dozen books – beginning with To Engineer is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design and including a number of titles detailing the industrial design history of common, everyday objects. Frequent lecturer and a columnist for the magazines American Scientist and Prism. His most recently published book is To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure.