How We Got Here

How We Got Here

Update: 2021-04-20


Welcome to the first episode of Testing 1-2-3, a new podcast from NI, where we speak to engineers, experts, and those on the forefront of some of the world’s biggest inventions and possibilities, to look at the world around us from the lens of testing. Get ready to deepen your knowledge, experience some “eureka” moments, and have fun in the process. 

In the first episode, we explore how we created a modern world complete with appliances, automobiles, and aircrafts ready for everyday use and consumption. We know rigorous and repeated testing is important, but what happens when things go wrong? 

We welcome two experts to talk about why testing is so important, so overlooked, and yet so underrated. The first guest, Melanie Cragnolin, brings her 17 years of experience in structural engineering to discuss the negligence of three historic engineering failures: the Titanic sinking, the Hindenburg, and the Tacoma Narrows bridge. The conversation then shifts to the value of test in aviation with former test pilot Chris Solan, who explains why he may be the most relaxed person on the plane.


Learn More About: 

  • The Titanic, Hindenburg, and Tacoma Narrows are three separate catastrophic failures, but they each have a common theme of a need for more testing, listening to the engineers, and speaking up when things seem off. 
  • The human obstacles that engineers and designers face underlining the need for careful, thorough, imaginative testing.
  • Melanie shares some interesting facts about what was happening in the Titanic that you may have never heard before. 
  • Why we need to be more proactive than reactive when it comes to Testing. 
  • What additional testing could have been done in each of these tragic instances, and also the need for backup plans and safety measures in case things do go wrong. 
  • Chris explains the engineering perspective of the wings on a plane flapping during turbulence, and it may calm even the most nervous flyer. 
  • What really happens if we take our phone off airplane mode while in an aircraft? 
  • Snakes on a plane may not be real, but for one flight, mini dachshunds sure were! 


Resources Mentioned: 


Melanie Cragnolin

Chris Solan 

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How We Got Here

How We Got Here