As a Civil Engineer, Dr. Govatos was trained in the design and analysis of structures, and a review of his partial
list of engagements shown on the Profiles page, highlights his experience in this area. For example, Dr. Govatos was the engineer
in responsible charge during the erection of the first container crane built at the Port of Wilmington Delaware. Dr. Govatos
also has experience in the analysis of structures that have failed. The examples below show two of his case studies.
Dr. Govatos was also retained to examine continual failures of a governmental drug reconnaissance balloon. These balloons were tethered
to a truck and driven to various points along the south coast of the United States. Once in position they were sent up in the air,
and by means of a radar attached to the balloon, and they were able to scan the oceans for incoming boats and planes. However, the
balloons continued to fail and crash even in slight to moderate winds. The balloons were constructed of fabric stretched over a tubular
frame and as in the truss case, Dr. Govatos traced the failures to inadequate connections where the structural tubes were
The figures to the left show a 50 foot long wooden truss that spanned an atrium in a shopping center. The truss failed during a snowstorm,
but analysis of the structure indicated that the members should have been strong enough to resist the imposed loads. When Dr. Govatos
examined the structure after the collapse, he found that failure occurred at a spliced connection in the bottom chord. To ensure
adequate strength, the bottom chord was designed as a double member. Inadvertently however, only a single member was used to
carry the load through the spliced connection, and it was this single member that failed.