The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Petroski to Deliver 3rd Annual Lupton Library Lecture

Dr. Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic, professor of civil engineering and professor of history at Duke University and the author of 12 books, including The Book on the Bookshelf, will deliver the 3rd annual Lupton Library Lecture April 7, 7 p.m. in the Raccoon Mountain Room of the UTC University Center.

Petroski will base his lecture on the research and human interest stories found in The Book on the Bookshelf , a book lover/engineer’s look at books and book storage. A reception and book signing will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

Please direct questions about the event to Steve Cox, Special Collections, Lupton Library, or call (423)425-2186.

More about Henry Petroski:
He has written on many aspects of engineering and technology, including design, success and failure, error and judgment, the history of engineering and technology, and the use of case studies in education and practice. Petroski’s books on these subjects, which are intended for professional engineers and general readers alike, include: To Engineer Is Human, which was adapted for a BBC-television documentary; The Pencil; The Evolution of Useful Things; Design Paradigms (named by the Association of American Publishers as the best general engineering book published in 1994); Engineers of Dreams; Invention by Design; Remaking the World; The Book on the Bookshelf; and Paperboy, a memoir about growing up on Long Island in the 1950s and about what predisposed him to become an engineer. His latest book is Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design, and a new collection of his essays will appear in September under the title, Pushing the Limits: More Adventures in Engineering. The languages into which his books have been or are being translated include: Chinese, Finnish, German, Hebrew, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and Turkish.

In addition to having published many technical articles in refereed journals, Petroski has published numerous non-technical articles and essays in newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsday, and Scientific American. Since 1991, he has been writing the engineering column in the bimonthly magazine American Scientist, and now also writes a bimonthly column on the engineering profession for ASEE Prism. He lectures regularly to both technical and general audiences, in the U.S. and abroad, and has been interviewed frequently on radio and television, including on NPR’s All Things Considered and other public-radio shows, and on CNN's Talk Back Live and NBC's Today.

Before moving to Duke in 1980, Petroski was on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin and on the staff of Argonne National Laboratory. He is a professional engineer licensed in Texas and a chartered engineer registered in Ireland. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, and a Fellow of the National Humanities Center. Among his other honors are the Ralph Coats Roe Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Civil Engineering History and Heritage Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, honorary doctoral degrees from Clarkson University, Manhattan College, Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.), and Valparaiso University, and distinguished engineering alumnus awards from Manhattan College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (whose History and Heritage Committee he chairs), a fellow of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland, an honorary member of the Moles, and a member of the the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.