Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans, Louisiana. On August 29, 2005, the force of this storm’s water breached multiple levees and ultimately caused 1,118 confirmed deaths and over $21 billion in residential damages. The levees were built using incorrect data with some one to two feet lower than intended in terms of design elevation.
As with tragedies of this type, we learn from our mistakes. Engineers teamed together in New Orleans to install state of the art levees, floodwalls and pumps built to withstand overtopping by 500-year surge events. For engineers, failure often leads to design advances and new technologies. The master of science in civil engineering program at Ohio University has constructed a detailed infographic listing breakthroughs that resulted from civil engineering failures.