Project Management Lessons  from Engineering History           Glenn Perez   NASA - Kennedy Space Center
Destiny(US Lab)           2
Common Among Successful Large Scale Historical Engineering Projects• Failed Earlier Attempt• Initiated by an Innovative Le...
Initiators• Theodore Judah – Transcontinental Railroad• Vicomte Ferdinand De Lesseps – Panama  Canal• Gustave Eiffel – Eif...
TIMELINE                                                        PANAMA                                  TRANSCONTINENTAL  ...
6
Theodore             “Ted” Judah                                                 PANAMA                            TRANSCO...
Ted Judah• Schooled in the Northeast, he was a well-known civil engineer  designing and building railroad lines by the ear...
Tragedy• Ted Judah died of Yellow Fever in New York City  on November 2, 1863. He had caught the disease  in Panama while ...
CENTRAL PACIFIC   Promontory, UT   UNION PACIFIC                                                            Omaha, NE     ...
The Gauge Debate                              US Railroad Gauges in 1861             Track Gauge          Miles of Railroa...
JOINT POSITION SENSORS ROBOTIC   ARM           ARM CONTROL COMPUTER            COMMAND AND CONTROL   ISSCOMPUTER SYSTEM   ...
New Technology in 1866• April 3rd – The Steamship European explodes in a huge fireball,  along with about 400 feet of the ...
Use of Fiber Optic Wiring on the ISS• Fiber optic cabling was specified for use  early in the ISS design process for audio...
Minimum Bend Radius IssuesBEFORE                   AFTER                                 15
Securing of Fiber Optic Wiring Harnesses                                           16
Polishing and Cleaning of Connection Interfaces                                              17
The Golden Spike May 10, 1869                   18
Ferdinand                                     De Lesseps                                                 PANAMA           ...
Ferdinand De Lesseps• Successful Initiator and Leader of the French and  Egyptian partnership to build the Suez Canal  (Co...
The 1879 International Interoceanic        Canal Congress in Paris• Organized by De Lesseps• Purpose was to determine:  – ...
The Rejected Proposal• On the afternoon of the same day as De Lesseps  speech, Baron Godin de Lepinay, a Chief Engineer  w...
Decision Made• At the end of the 2 week congress, delegates  approved by vote a proposed sea level canal  to be built at P...
24Source: http://www.trainweb.org/panama/maps/oldrailroadmap.jpg
A Failed Attempt• Construction started in early 1881.• After it became clear a sea level canal was not possible, the  Fren...
Why Failure?• Lack of understanding of the harshness of the jungle environment.• The amount of excavation required for a s...
Major NASA Programs   Over Budget and Behind ScheduleWhy?                                 27
28
THE CALEBRA CUT                                                                                             29Source : "Hi...
Calebra Cut• French Excavation: 19 Million cubic yards• American Excavation: 96 Million cubic yards• Even today, the angle...
31
Gustave                                                 Eiffel                                                 PANAMA     ...
Gustave Eiffel• Started work as an engineer  designing building iron bridges  for a railroad company.• Established his own...
1889 Paris World’s Fair• Contest announced in early 1884 by the Fair  Commission soliciting proposals for the  “centerpiec...
Eiffel’s Problems• French government agreed to provide only  about a third of the construction cost of $1M.• Debate over l...
The Letter• Eiffel wrote a letter to a supporter on the Fair  Committee on December 22, 1886 outlining the  problems and e...
Change of Heart• Eiffel put the letter in a drawer and never mailed  it! Instead, he contacted the Fair Committee:   – He ...
Why the Change?• In the course of writing the letter, Eiffel listed the issues  and discovered that there were only two re...
Workersassembled 18,000  pieces of iron in       just 21   months, underbudget and in time    for the fairs opening day. T...
Successful Project Managers• Assemble a team with the knowledge and  experience needed to complete the project.• Identify ...
Successful Project Managers• Make sure new technology is understood before  implementation.• Don’t include ego as determin...
Are These the Innovative Leaders     with a Vision for Space Flight?• Robert Bigelow – Bigelow Aerospace• Jeff Bezos - Blu...
Sources1. Bain, David Haward. Empire Express: Building   the First Transcontinental Railroad. Penguin   Group, 1999.2. McC...
Recommended Reading1. “Longitude” by Dava Sobel2. “Crystal Fire” by Michael Riordan and Lillian Hodeson3. “E=mc2” by David...
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  • Point out ISS modules and Robotic Arm that will be discussed
  • Failed earlier attempt: In come cases only failed to gain approval. Others failed construction attempt.
  • Judah – Identified route from Sacramento, CA through Sierra Nevada (most difficult section). Fought for approval from Congress. De Lesseps – Leader of failed attempt to build Panama CanalEiffel – Designer of Eiffel towerWeird fact: Strange links between these projects and leaders – will be mentioned at times throughout this presentation
  • Point out routes west. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 increased demand for travel to western USA. The Panama Railroad was completed in 1855.
  • After 2nd bullet: Dreamed of continuing the work of others to gain approval for the first transcontinental railroad.Earned the nickname “Crazy Judah” for his relentless pursuit of his dream.US Civil War started in 1861 -1865.
  • After 1st bullet: His death left a large void in the project. Fortunately, due to his hard work, the project was under way and moving along. Strange fact: Wouldn’t have gotten sick if Transcontinental Railroad or Panama Canal existed.
  • Much of the Central Pacific portion was rugged, mountainous terrain.
  • Railroad gauges in the north were mostly 4 feet, 8 ½ inches. In the south, most were 5 feet.Various railroads wanted their particular gauge adopted.Note Civil War issues.A standardized gauge expedites the transfer of railroad cars. A non-standard gauge prevents enemies from using existing track. 4 feet, 8 ½ inches was officially adopted as the US Standard in 1886.
  • Robotic Arm problem found during testing. Official units of ISS are English. Robotic Arm sending movement vectors in cm/sec to C&C computer expecting vectors in in/sec.ISS example: metric vs. English – SSMRS GNC data – inches/sec vs. cm/sec., volts AC vs. volts DCConstellation – Some documents were still using both English and Metric even at end of program.
  • After bullet 3: Although the crates packed with nitroglycerine were clearly labeled, no one transporting it knew what it was, so little care was given when handling it. The instability of nitroglycerine was misunderstood by the engineers’ building the railroad, they had seen a demonstration where a sample lit by flame that had burned very slowly, creating the misconception that it was more safe than black powder.Modern day picture of the Donner Summit Tunnel near Truckee, Nevada shows the amount of blasting required.After Bullet 4: Nitroglycerine used in construction of the railroad was manufactured on site by a British Chemist starting in early 1867.
  • Launch environment concerns: Microfractures from exceeding minimum bend radius. Damage during routing and securing. Contamination migration . Had to write specs for bend radius, routing and securing, and cleaning.
  • The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad simplified travel to the western US. But there was still a need to easily move ships between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
  • Convened to gain international agreement for a canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans on the Isthmus somewhere between Mexico and Columbia.Delegates from many 22 countries were present.
  • Proposal was never given any real consideration by any of the delegates but was later implemented in the successful US building of the canal.
  • Panama was chosen partially because of existing railroad and shipping infrastructure. Gustave Eiffel voted against.
  • After bullet 2:Gustave Eiffel provided funding for the redesign and his company was contracted to build the locks.
  • A lot of the same reasons: Bad estimates for cost and schedule, technology issues, mismanagement of resources, waiting too long to restructure, etc. Also, requested funding not provided. Note that 3 of these were successfully completed.Orion Crew Vehicle capabilities had been descoped (LEO Only) to save money. Also: Anticipated funding levels had not been provided.Much like the Panama Canal, Constellation was restructured: Orion is now Multipurpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV). ARES 1 capabilities will be realized using commercial rockets and crew carriers for LEO. ARES V Heavy Lift Vehicle (enables deep space exploration) renamed Space Launch System (SLS). Note that a vehicle based on the ARES 1 design called Liberty is now under development by ATK.
  • Talk the 2 dams and locks. Bridge to brief discussion of the Calebra Cut.
  • Project Manager of the American effort quickly indentified the Calebra Cut a major issue and declared it the prime point of attack.
  • Inside the US Laboratory “Destiny”. Results of acoustical testing: Ambient noise in Lab exceeded specification of approximately 55 dB (pumps, fans, valves, etc.). Could not get below 59 dB (60 dB: Conversation at 3-5 ft or piano practice). A waiver was submitted and approved to accept noise floor”as-is”.
  • Full name: Alexandre Gustave Eiffel
  • Picture: Garabit Viaduct railroad bridge in France was constructed between 1880 and 1884.
  • Lawsuits: Liability should tower collapse and Increased traffic in the areaHe was running out of time to complete tower before start of World’s Fair in May of 1889.
  • The contract was signed on January 7, 1887.
  • Also: Research and understand why a project manager from a similar project had success or failure.
  • Risking personal fortunesInnovative approaches
  • Glenn.perez

    1. 1. Project Management Lessons from Engineering History Glenn Perez NASA - Kennedy Space Center
    2. 2. Destiny(US Lab) 2
    3. 3. Common Among Successful Large Scale Historical Engineering Projects• Failed Earlier Attempt• Initiated by an Innovative Leader with a Vision• Difficulty in obtaining financing and authority to proceed• Political Issues• Behind Schedule and Over Budget• Lack of Understanding of New Technology 3
    4. 4. Initiators• Theodore Judah – Transcontinental Railroad• Vicomte Ferdinand De Lesseps – Panama Canal• Gustave Eiffel – Eiffel Tower 4
    5. 5. TIMELINE PANAMA TRANSCONTINENTAL CANAL RAILROAD FRENCH ATTEMPT PANAMA RAILROAD COMPLETED EIFFEL TOWER CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH STARTS1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 5
    6. 6. 6
    7. 7. Theodore “Ted” Judah PANAMA TRANSCONTINENTAL CANAL RAILROAD FRENCH ATTEMPT PANAMA RAILROAD COMPLETED EIFFEL TOWER CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH STARTS1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 7
    8. 8. Ted Judah• Schooled in the Northeast, he was a well-known civil engineer designing and building railroad lines by the early-1850s.• Moved to California in 1854 to work on the Sacramento Valley Railroad.• Scouted and surveyed the route over the Sierra-Nevada mountains through Donner Pass that would be used for the transcontinental railroad.• Worked with local businessmen obtain financing and form the Central Pacific Railroad Company to build a railroad along that route.• Served as secretary for both US House and Senate Railroad Bill committees, promoting the bill that provided federal land and loans for the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.• President Lincoln signed the Bill into law on July 1, 1862. 8
    9. 9. Tragedy• Ted Judah died of Yellow Fever in New York City on November 2, 1863. He had caught the disease in Panama while in route from California.• Judah had been mentoring engineer Samuel Montague. He was quickly promoted to Chief Engineer.• As the “do-it-all” visionary, Judah had inspired others to initiate the construction. With the Federal Railroad Bill mandates in place, construction on his dream was initiated. 9
    10. 10. CENTRAL PACIFIC Promontory, UT UNION PACIFIC Omaha, NE Sacramento, CASan Francisco, CA (Added in 1869) 10
    11. 11. The Gauge Debate US Railroad Gauges in 1861 Track Gauge Miles of Railroad Track % of Total Mileage 4’ 8-1/2” 17,712 53.3 4’ 10” 3,294 9.9 5’ 0” 7,267 21.8 5’ 6” 2,896 8.7 6’ 0” 1,777 5.3 Others 1 Source: Robert L. Frey, ed., Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography, Railroad in the Nineteenth Century, Bruccoli Clark Layman Book, 1988, p. 343• The Pacific Railway Act of 1863 established the gauge for the Transcontinental Railroad to be 4 feet, 8 ½ inches.• Choose standards early in the project. 11
    12. 12. JOINT POSITION SENSORS ROBOTIC ARM ARM CONTROL COMPUTER COMMAND AND CONTROL ISSCOMPUTER SYSTEM GUIDANCE, NAVIGATION, & CONTROL CMG GIMBAL AND ROTATION SPEED COMMANDS CONTROL MOMENT GYRO SIMULATOR 12
    13. 13. New Technology in 1866• April 3rd – The Steamship European explodes in a huge fireball, along with about 400 feet of the Panama Railroad pier, while being unloaded on the Caribbean shore.• April 16th – A crate leaking an “oily substance” explodes at the Wells Fargo office in San Francisco while being chiseled open for inspection.• The California builders of the Transcontinental Railroad had discovered that Alfred Nobel’s patented explosive, nitroglycerine, was 8 times more powerful than black powder and had been experimenting with it.• California banned the transport of nitroglycerine in the state. 13
    14. 14. Use of Fiber Optic Wiring on the ISS• Fiber optic cabling was specified for use early in the ISS design process for audio, video, and communications.• Lighter than copper• Minimal EMI issues• Well developed technology, except . . . Little or no experience in human spaceflight applications. 14
    15. 15. Minimum Bend Radius IssuesBEFORE AFTER 15
    16. 16. Securing of Fiber Optic Wiring Harnesses 16
    17. 17. Polishing and Cleaning of Connection Interfaces 17
    18. 18. The Golden Spike May 10, 1869 18
    19. 19. Ferdinand De Lesseps PANAMA TRANSCONTINENTAL CANAL RAILROAD FRENCH ATTEMPT PANAMA RAILROAD COMPLETED EIFFEL TOWER CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH STARTS1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 19
    20. 20. Ferdinand De Lesseps• Successful Initiator and Leader of the French and Egyptian partnership to build the Suez Canal (Completed in 1869).• Considered a National Hero in France. – Well respected by stockholders as President of the Suez Canal Company.• Not technically inclined, but a diplomat, convincing speaker, and a persistent leader.• Proposed a number of unfeasible engineering projects following his success with the Suez Canal. 20
    21. 21. The 1879 International Interoceanic Canal Congress in Paris• Organized by De Lesseps• Purpose was to determine: – Location of the canal (14 were considered) – Type of canal (sea level or locks) – Cost• After much debate, De Lesseps made a grandiose speech, convincing the delegates that a sea level canal at Panama was the best option. 21
    22. 22. The Rejected Proposal• On the afternoon of the same day as De Lesseps speech, Baron Godin de Lepinay, a Chief Engineer with the French Department of Bridges and Highways, presented a proposal for a canal with locks. – Explained how ships would be moved through a series of locks up and then back down over the higher terrain of the Isthmus of Panama – Proposed dams that would form 2 lakes to be used as part of the canal path to reduce the amount of excavation required. 22
    23. 23. Decision Made• At the end of the 2 week congress, delegates approved by vote a proposed sea level canal to be built at Panama: – Of the 74 that voted to approve the proposal, 19 were engineers, only 1 of which had actually been to Panama. – None of the 5 engineers present from the French Society of Engineers voted to approve the proposal. 23
    24. 24. 24Source: http://www.trainweb.org/panama/maps/oldrailroadmap.jpg
    25. 25. A Failed Attempt• Construction started in early 1881.• After it became clear a sea level canal was not possible, the French effort was modified to be a lock canal in 1887 and ended in bankruptcy 1889. – Cost $287 Million – Estimated that over 20,000 workers died• However, much progress had been made that would ultimately lead to the success of the American effort. – Land already acquired from Columbia – Maps and surveys completed – Support infrastructure in place (hospitals, living quarters, warehouses, offices, etc.) – 65 Million cubic yards of excavation completed 25
    26. 26. Why Failure?• Lack of understanding of the harshness of the jungle environment.• The amount of excavation required for a sea level canal was badly underestimated.• Primary Cause: De Lesseps vision of a sea level canal was not possible and was therefore doomed to failure. – De Lesseps: • Ignored technical issues that were presented • Failed to consider differences between the terrain at Suez and the terrain at Panama • Ignored recommendations of more knowledgeable delegates if he disagreed with their views • Had blind faith that any obstacles could be overcome by determination• De Lesseps used his reputation, fame, success at Suez, and ability to inspire to convince others that a sea level canal was the best option. 26
    27. 27. Major NASA Programs Over Budget and Behind ScheduleWhy? 27
    28. 28. 28
    29. 29. THE CALEBRA CUT 29Source : "Historical Atlas" by William R. Shepherd, New York, Henry Holt and Company, 1923
    30. 30. Calebra Cut• French Excavation: 19 Million cubic yards• American Excavation: 96 Million cubic yards• Even today, the angle of repose has never been accomplished in the Calebra CutNo matterhow good aProjectManager youmay be,sometimesyou aregoing to runinto aproblem thatjust can’t befixed! 30
    31. 31. 31
    32. 32. Gustave Eiffel PANAMA TRANSCONTINENTAL CANAL RAILROAD FRENCH ATTEMPT PANAMA RAILROAD COMPLETED EIFFEL TOWER CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH STARTS1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 32
    33. 33. Gustave Eiffel• Started work as an engineer designing building iron bridges for a railroad company.• Established his own company in 1867, eventually specializing in railroad bridges and viaducts.• Designed and built the interior skeleton for the Statue of Liberty.• Well known for the design and building of aesthetically pleasing iron structures with strong wind resistance 33
    34. 34. 1889 Paris World’s Fair• Contest announced in early 1884 by the Fair Commission soliciting proposals for the “centerpiece” of the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris.• Eiffel proposed a 1000 foot tall iron tower in late 1884. – Existing tallest structure in the world was the 555 foot Washington Monument• Proposal announced as winner on June 12, 1886 34
    35. 35. Eiffel’s Problems• French government agreed to provide only about a third of the construction cost of $1M.• Debate over location of the tower.• Lawsuits attempting to block tower construction.• Multiple delays in approval and issuing of a contract to proceed from the World’s Fair Committee. 35
    36. 36. The Letter• Eiffel wrote a letter to a supporter on the Fair Committee on December 22, 1886 outlining the problems and expressing his frustration: “Today I must tell you once again that the delays in concluding the contract are making for a very serious situation . . . The time is disappearing and I should have started building months ago . . . If this situation goes on, I have to give up all hope of succeeding . . . Still, I remain ready to start work immediately . . . But, if I have not started work during the first part of January, I cannot possibly be finished in time. If we don’t come to a definite agreement by December 31 . . . I will find it painful but necessary to give up my responsibility and take back my proposals. I would be very sorry renounce the construction of what most agree will be one the Exposition’s principle attractions.” Source: Jonnes, Jill. Eiffel’s Tower, page 25. 36
    37. 37. Change of Heart• Eiffel put the letter in a drawer and never mailed it! Instead, he contacted the Fair Committee: – He offered to accept all liability in the event of a tower collapse. – He agreed to raise the remaining financing himself.• Construction started on January 28, 1887.• The Eiffel Tower structure was completed on March 31, 1889. December 1887 March 1888 Sept 1888 March 1889
    38. 38. Why the Change?• In the course of writing the letter, Eiffel listed the issues and discovered that there were only two real problems: – Liability – Financing• He believed in the tower enough to risk his own personal fortune.• As an engineer, he knew that the tower would not collapse.• As a businessman, he knew the tower would be so popular that it would ultimately be wildly profitable.• Thus, solutions were found by taking some time to reflect and think before he hit “SEND”. 38
    39. 39. Workersassembled 18,000 pieces of iron in just 21 months, underbudget and in time for the fairs opening day. Thetower was paid off in the first year of operation 39
    40. 40. Successful Project Managers• Assemble a team with the knowledge and experience needed to complete the project.• Identify possible major issues as early as possible.• Make sure a “watch list” of project issues is created and regularly reviewed.• Provide sufficient resources for addressing issues.• Listen to recommendations from all levels of the project team. 40
    41. 41. Successful Project Managers• Make sure new technology is understood before implementation.• Don’t include ego as determining factor when making decisions.• Understand and maintain a good working relationship with those supporting the project.• Mentor successors.• Are timely when identifying the need the restructure a project. 41
    42. 42. Are These the Innovative Leaders with a Vision for Space Flight?• Robert Bigelow – Bigelow Aerospace• Jeff Bezos - Blue Origin• Elon Musk – SpaceX• Burt Rutan and Richard Branson – Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic• Paul Allen - Stratolaunch Time will tell . . . 42
    43. 43. Sources1. Bain, David Haward. Empire Express: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad. Penguin Group, 1999.2. McCullough, David. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870 – 1914. Simon and Schuster, 1977.3. Jonnes, Jill. Eiffel’s Tower. Penguin Group, 2009. 43
    44. 44. Recommended Reading1. “Longitude” by Dava Sobel2. “Crystal Fire” by Michael Riordan and Lillian Hodeson3. “E=mc2” by David Bodanis4. “Hoover Dam” by Joseph E. Stevens5. “The Great Bridge” by David McCullough6. “Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold” by Tom Shachtman7. “Empires of Light” by Jill Jonnes8. “Conquering Gotham: Building Penn Station and Its Tunnels” by Jill Jonnes 44

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