A significant component of progress in engineering is through failure. The focus of this paper is on ship and offshore structures although the observations are applicable to other engineering disciplines. There are many categories of sources of failure. The primary interest here is how the industry responds to broad and discrete technological changes that impact how ship and offshore structures are designed. Several examples of failures are described together with the shortcomings that led up to them. The lessons learned are synthesized in an effort to draw broad conclusions. The paper closes with recommendations on how the industry can improve its approach to dealing with change.

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