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The Most Expensive Engineering Mistakes in History

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The Most Expensive Engineering Mistakes in History

Think of this as Titan Recruitments advice on what not to do. If you are a graduate, you may be nervous about entering your industry. Well, you can relax. Rest easy in the knowledge that whatever you do, it probably won’t measure up to these mistakes. (Fingers crossed.)

In this article we count down 5 of the most expensive engineering and mining mistake in history…

5 - Spanish Submarine Mistake

$2.2 Billion

The Isaac Peral Submarine was built by the Spanish Government in 2013. Engineers created a submarine that could get to the bottom of the ocean, just fine. However, a miscalculation was made. The submarine was unable to resurface again. The submarine engineers tried to rectify this issue by making it bigger. However, it now couldn’t fit in the seaport where it was supposed to live. Causing more expensive changes.

All in all, it cost the Spanish government $2.2 billion.

4 - The Dubai Aquarium Leak

$20 Billion

Who would of thought that one little, leaky panel joint could cause all this havoc. Certainly not the engineers and constructions workers that created the biggest aquarium in Dubai known as the ‘indoor ocean’.

Luckily, the leak was recognised in time, and all of the animals inside the aquarium survived. However, in order to fix the leak without disturbing the hundreds of huge sharks, and highly exotic creatures inside, nearly $20 billion was spent.

3 – The SNCF Train Mistake

$20.5 Billion

In 2014, the French rail company, SNCF manufactured 2,000 new trains in 2014. However, the trains were too wide to fit into many of the old tunnels, small stations and platforms that were found across Europe. In order to rectify the mistake, SNCF spent over $20.5 billion on new trains.

2 - Deepwater Horizon – Oil Rig Explosion

$65 Billion

In 2010, the world was shocked by images of the explosion of the BP Deepwater Horizon. Oil slicked the ocean for hundreds of kilometres around. It was an environmental and economic disaster, like we’d never seen before.

The company involved, Transocean, had to pay $1.4billion due to the US Clean Water Act.

BP also had to pay an estimate of upwards $65 billion in penalties, compensation and losses.

1 - The Apollo 13 Space Mission

$283 Billion

An engineering fault in the Apollo 13 caused 2 oxygen tanks to give out. All of the oxygen had depleted within 3 hours. Luckily, no astronauts were lost. However, the mission was forced to return to Earth earlier than intended, and did not achieve any of the missions aims.

It is estimated this cost the US government $283 billion. 

Don’t Make the Same Mistakes…

If you have the right people on your team, the potential for achievement is endless. With the wrong people… well, we’ve seen what can happen.

See our services webpage for more information.


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