Columbia Shuttle Investigator To Speak At Baylor Nov. 10

Nov. 4, 2003

by Judy Long

A forensic engineer who spent four months reassembling the space shuttle Columbia will speak on "Columbia Reconstruction and Debris Assessment (Putting all the Pieces Together in the World's Largest Puzzle)" at noon Monday, Nov. 10, in room 109 of the Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building on the Baylor University campus.

Mark Tanner, vice president and senior consulting engineer at Mechanical and Materials Engineering and one of the country's top failure analysts, will give an overview of the assent, re-entry, break-up and eventual recovery of the Columbia. He will focus primarily on the reconstruction effort and debris assessment that took place at Kennedy Space Center. While reassembling the craft, Tanner searched for the breach that allowed hot gases to enter the Columbia's wing.

"Mark Tanner is one of two forensic engineers invited to work on the task of determining how and why Columbia failed," said Dr. Walter Bradley, Distinguished Professor of Engineering. "Baylor is extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to hear a presentation of how he and his team were able to use the debris from Columbia to give a remarkably clear answer to the question of why the tragedy occurred."

A mechanical engineer, Tanner conducts risk assessments of industrial equipment and identifies risks associated with the maintenance, operation and engineering practices applied to complicated equipment. He is a member of the American Society for Metals (ASM) International, has chaired the ASM failure analysis committee and is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the School of Engineering and Computer Science at (254) 710-3871.

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