Case Studies

Case Studies

An overview of the LITEE Case Studies used in this course.

Della Steam Plant

Company: Alabama Power Company

Problem studied: A turbine generator unit that was being restarted after routine maintenance produced such high levels of noise and vibration that the building had to be evacuated. A video in the CD-ROM includes a demonstration of the effect of 17 mils of vibration on a 10 pound rotor kit, thereby enabling students to visualize the vibration of a 120,000 pound piece of equipment. Two of the engineers make conflicting recommendations to the manager. The students are asked to assume roles representing the engineers and manager involved, make a recommendation, and defend their position.

Leadership skills emphasized: Share, access, and interpret large volume of information about rotor vibrations, inventiveness in interpreting charts, decision trees, teamwork.

Sources: PDF CD-ROM


Challenger STS 51-L

Company: NASA

Problem studied: Design of the field joint of the Solid Rocket Booster used in the Space Shuttle Challenger. The multimedia CD-ROM traces the design and implementation of the field joint from 1972 to 1986 and shows that the design chosen during 1980s was found to be catastrophically inadequate during a shuttle launch in 1986, leading to a major redesign.

Leadership skills emphasized: Ethics, Communication skills of engineers, Coordination among multiple agencies.

Sources: PDF CD-ROM

Lorn Manufacturing

Company: Lorn Manufacturing

Problem studied: Highlights the importance of safety and serviceability considerations in the design of a lap-winder machine used in a textile mill. The case study describes how a worker in a textile mill lost three fingers while performing maintenance on this machine and follows the ensuing court case.

Leadership skills emphasized: Impact of legal issues on engineering decisions, Role of engineers as expert witness, Communication skills of engineering leaders.

Sources: PDF CD-ROM