UPC Cambridge

ISO 13485 | Medical Devices Quality Management | MD 69713

Technology Insights

Understanding Disasters

1978 Ford Pinto Fire-Balls

2000 Concorde Explosion - Fuel Tank Puncture

1978 Hartford Roof Collapse - CAD/FEA Design Error

1980 Kielland Oil Rig - Crack in Build

2017 Grenfell Fire - Cladding Rapid Fire Spread

1986 Challenger Explosion - Too cold for O ring Seal

2022 Climate Change Accidents

Small Molecules

Soft Mist Nebuliser

Combination Treatments

Low GWP Propellants



4 Drug Systems?

Gene Therapy

Lack of Care

Money First – Safety Last

Low Cost Maintenance

Negligence in One Detail

Chance Takers

Poor Communications

Pride before Safety




Incompetent Leaders

Un-skilled Maintenance

Inexperienced Design Team

Responsible Personal Power Grab

Lack of Precedent

Lack of research

Pilot Error


Lack of Care or Ignorance cause most man-made Engineering failures. Greed causing poor engineering choices is putting money before safety of the product user. Unexpected occurrences, such as ‘product abuse’ also cause failures – lack of robustness. Climate change is one occurrence that means products need to survive even greater environmental stress factors – become even more robust. 

Grenfell Tower 2017 | 72 UK deaths | 5 Year inquiry & investigation

Ford Pinto 1978 | USA est. 500 Burn deaths | 1.5 Million fuel tank replacement recall

Challenge Shuttle 1986
USA 7 Crew deaths
Presidential investigation report 1986.

Grenfell Inquiry Report – not yet published.

The challenger exploded during a cold day launch. Roger Boisjoly the sealing expert advised that the seal would fail due to the cold. Ultimately NASA overruled Boisjoly’s advice. 

The Pinto fiel tank fire-ball hazard was known by Ford Management. They delayed recall as the claims were cheaper than a 1.5 million vehicle recall.

Small molecules, combination treatments, triples, 4 drug systems, soft mist nebuliser, low-gap propellants