Case Studies

What is a Case Study?

Case studies (also called "case histories") are descriptions of real situations that provide a context for engineers and others to explore problems. Case studies typically involve complex issues where there is often no single correct answer--you may be asked to select the "best" answer given the situation.

Case studies allow you to:

  • Explore the nature of a problem and circumstances that affect a solution
  • Learn about others' viewpoints and how they may be taken into account
  • Define your priorities and make your own decisions to solve the problem
  • Predict outcomes and consequences

Find Case Studies & Supporting Information

Library Catalog

Prospector (regional catalog)

Case Studies by Subject


(The books below are available at the Library. Use the Library Catalog to find location information.)



  • Beyond Failure: Case Studies for Civil Engineers. Delatte, Norbert J. 2009. Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) [e-book].
  • Case-Based Reasoning in Design. Maher, Mary Lou; Balachandran, M.; Zhang, Dong Mei. 1995. Mahwah NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates. TA174 .M335 1995
  • Case Histories in Offshore Engineering. Maier, G., ed. 1985. CISM Courses and Lectures No. 283. NY: Springer Verlag. TC1665 .C37 1985
  • Case Histories of Geophysics Applied to Civil Engineering and Public Policy: Proceedings of Sessions Sponsored by the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers in Conjunction with the ASCE National Convention in Washington D.C., November 10-14, 1996. New York: ASCE. TA705 .C38 1996
  • Case Studies in Engineering Design. Matthews, Clifford. 1998. New York: John Wiley. TA174 .M382 1998
  • Case Studies in Engineering Failure Analysis-- open-access e-journal
  • Design Paradigms: Case Histories of Error and Judgment in Engineering. Petrosky, Henry. 1994. New York: Cambridge University Press. TA174 .P473 1994
  • Engineering Ethics -- Texas A&M University.
  • Engineering Ethics Library-- Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Engineering Ethics: Concepts and Cases. Harris, Charles E. 2000. Belmont CA: Wadsworth Publ.  TA157 .H357 2000
  • Engineering Failure Analysis. Failure Analysis Case Studies: A Sourcebook of Case Studies Selected from the Pages of Engineering Failure Analysis. First volume: 1994-1996. Jones, David R.H. 1998. New York: Elsevier. Second volume: 1997-1999, Jones, David R. H. 2001. New York: Pergamon. TA169.5 .F353 2001
  • Ethical Dilemmas, Cases, and Case Studies -- University of Southern California (USC) College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences
  • Ethics Cases -- Eastern Tennessee State University.
  • National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Board of Ethical Review cases 1976-2001
  • Online Ethics Center -- National Academy of Engineering. Includes some environmental cases.
  • Success Through Failure: The Paradox of Design. Petroski, Henry. 2006. Princeton: Princeton University Press. TA174 .P4739 2006


  • Engineering and Environmental Ethics: A Case Study Approach. Wilcox, John R.; Theodore, Louis, eds. 1998. New York: Wiley. TD153 .E54 1998
  • Environmental Problem Solving Case Studies -- Colorado Internet Center for Environmental Problem Solving. Caution: case studies are of varying quality.
  • Forensic Engineering: Environmental Case Histories for Civil Engineers and Geologists. Schuirman, Gerard. 1992. San Diego CA: Academic Press. TA219 .S58 1992
  • Intermountain Oil & Gas Best Management Practices Project.  Includes case studies involving communities in Colorado and neighboring states.
  • Keeping Pace with Science and Engineering: Case Studies in Environmental Regulation. Uman, Myron F., ed. 1993. Washington DC: National Academy Press. TD153 .K44 1993
  • Lean Manufacturing and Environment -- Environmental Protection Agency's Case Studies & Best Practices.
  • Unnatural Disasters: Case Studies of Human-Induced Environmental Catastrophes. Gunn, Angus M. 2003. Westport CT: Greenwood Press. GF75 .G85 2003


  • Combating Water Scarcity in Southern Africa: Case Studies from Namibia. Msangi, Josephine Phillip, editor. 2013. Dordrecht : Springer. [e-book]
  • Ecological Engineering: An Introduction to Ecotechnology. Jorgensen, Sven Erik. 1989. New York: Wiley.  TD153 .E28 1989
  • Engineering Geology Case Histories. Boulder CO: Geological Society of America. TA705 .E55
  • Ethics in Science : Ethical Misconduct in Scientific Research. D'Angelo, John. 2012. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis. Q180.55.M67 D36 2012
  • National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, Case Collection -- University of Buffalo.
  • Rocky Mountain Futures: An Ecological Perspective. Baron, Jill S. 2002. Island Press.  GE160.R58 R63 2002

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Last Updated: 10/22/2016 18:15:17