How do engineers pass on experiences if liability is the only thing owners worry about?

I came across an unfortunate situation and wanted to see if anybody has any comment and/or advice.

My final employment before retiring was assistant resident engineer and documentation specialist for bridge construction.  One of my tasks was to take photographs of construction and submit a few of them per month to the client.  I thought these photographs, along with brief descriptions, would generate an informative orientation program for high school and college students that want to study civil engineering.  My experience, based on presentations to high school students, is that they really do not know what civil engineers do – even when they want to make that their college study program.

I got permission from contractors building the bridges and from the bridge owners to continue to take detailed photographs during construction, after I retired.  I then combined the photographs with brief descriptions of the role civil engineers played in bridge construction.  It showed and described how construction proceeded, how civil engineers helped to control construction of it, what civil engineers tested and measured, and what components were used to make the Bridges modern, safe, and structurally sound.

My problem is that presentation of the pre-final version of the program raised concerns about potential liability.  The owners were so concerned about “potential liability” that they would not even make a complete study to see what actual liability issues may exist.  They just said they would not approve the project and that I could not pursue it.

I wonder if anybody has any advice?  How do experienced civil engineers pass on their knowledge and experiences to future civil engineers if the profession is so worried about liability?

Cover Picture Cropped Offset 2

Thank you.


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