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Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University, where he specializes in the analysis of failure. His first of many books was "To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design." He holds a Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He has most recently written "The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems" (Knopf). He lives in North Carolina and Maine.