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Ethical Issues from the Kansas City Hyatt Hotel Collapse

Ethical Issues from the Kansas City Hyatt Hotel Collapse
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course will examine the ethical issues that arose from the 1981 collapse of atrium lobby walkways at the newly constructed Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri. This tragic incident resulted in the loss of 114 lives and 200 injuries and is the most serious structural engineering failure in United States history. Out of this tragedy a number of serious ethical issues arose for the engineering profession.


In this course you will learn about the structural design feature that was the nexus of the failure, and the organizational and procedural deficiencies that allowed the fatal design change to be implemented. You will learn about the ensuing technical investigation, the issues of responsibility and liability, and lessons that were learned that can help us prevent future tragic failures such as this one.


This 2 PDH online course is intended for engineers, architects and other design and construction professionals interested to learn how the most tragic structural failure in United States history resulted from organizational and procedural failures in the building design and construction process.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Learning about the history of the project and the members of the design and construction team
  • Learning how economic considerations affect engineering decisions
  • Learning about the ominous earlier structural failure that should have foretold this tragedy
  • Learning how the parties to the design and construction effort held themselves out to the public
  • Learning from file photos what investigators at the scene saw at the time
  • Learning about the technical investigation headed by the National Bureau of Standards
  • Learning about the investigation and conclusions reach by the Missouri engineering registration board
  • Learning how engineering societies reacted to the event
  • Learning how contemporary project delivery methods might lead to different conclusions about responsibility today
  • Learning the three essentials to guard against a recurrence of this type of tragedy in the future
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review review the course document titled, "Ethical Issues from the Kansas City Hyatt Hotel Collapse".

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Ethical Issues from the Kansas City Hyatt Hotel Collapse (2.3 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 2 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document.


The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: