PMI New Jersey Chapter
PMINJ 2023 Mar Monthly Program

Project Management Lessons from the Tay Bridge Disaster

21 Mar - 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Jim Benvie
Virtual using Zoom



The Tay Bridge opened to great fanfare on 1st of June 1878. The longest iron bridge in the world. It was a key link in the Scottish east coast railway line. For the main players it brought honours and business success. But that success was short lived.

On the night of 28th of December 1879, in one of the worst storms in living memory, the bridge collapsed, taking with it the Edinburgh train and 59 passengers. The subsequent public inquiry and later analysis identified several technical failures. But this is a tale of an inspirational project, a pinnacle of Victorian engineering, that was undermined by greed and lack of leadership.

Learning Objectives:
  • A project manager’s responsibility to ensure public safety above that of financial gain.
  • The importance of the selection and supervision of a competent workforce.
  • “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” Richard Feynman


Speaker Jim Benvie PMP, The History PM is a project manager and speaker with TyauvinOn Solutions. His blog and presentations, combine a lifelong passion for history with four decades of project and operational management experience, to provide inspiration from history for project managers and leaders.

The concept is not simply to copy historical precedents, but to use them to expand your awareness, develop your thinking and stimulate your curiosity.

Do not expect, “Five simple steps to becoming a stellar project manager”, instead expect “Some assembly required”. However, he believes that like Aesop’s Fables you will find the content both entertaining and informative.

A long-term volunteer with PMI Houston, he lives with his wife Juliet in the Tomball area and his interests are reading, studying history, and cycling.

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