Learning from failures
George W. Pearsall is Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, and before he retired in 2001 he also was Professor of Public Policy Studies, at Duke University. He earned a Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering (B.Met.E.) degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.) and then joined the Dow Chemical Company as a research engineer. He later received a Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and was on the M.I.T. faculty for four years before coming to Duke in 1964. He served twice as Dean of Duke’s School of Engineering.
His research and consulting are concerned primarily with integrating failure analysis and risk assessment into the design process. In 2001, he was awarded the Triodyne Safety Award by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for his contributions to safe design practices.