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Engineering forensic investigation involves the application of engineering principles, methodologies, and analysis techniques to investigate failures, accidents, or incidents related to engineering systems, structures, products, or components. The goal is to determine the root cause of the failure or incident and provide expert analysis and conclusions for legal, insurance, or technical purposes.

When is Forensic Engineering needed?

A forensic investigation seeks to identify the source of a failure. This involves determining the actions that failed and demonstrating a chain of causation that led to the failure. This information can be utilized to improve a component’s performance and reliability.

The results of a forensic investigation are frequently presented before the court. Failures can result in liability because of the property damage, injuries to people, or loss of life they are responsible for cause. As a result, forensic evidence is employed in the preparation, prosecution, and defense of a contested breach of contract, violation of health and safety claims, product liability, and tort claims. Even intellectual property issues, such as patent infringement, may be addressed by forensic investigation.

Key aspects of engineering forensic investigations include:

Failure Analysis: Investigating structural failures, material defects, product malfunctions, or system breakdowns to determine why and how they occurred. This involves examining the physical evidence, conducting tests, and analyzing data to identify the cause of the failure.

Evidence Collection and Preservation: Collecting and preserving relevant physical evidence, documentation, and data related to the incident or failure. Proper documentation and preservation of evidence are crucial for accurate analysis and conclusions.

Expert Analysis: Applying engineering knowledge and specialized techniques to analyze the collected evidence, perform simulations, and conduct experiments to reconstruct the events leading to the failure or incident.

Root Cause Identification: Identifying the primary cause or causes of the failure or incident, which could involve design flaws, material defects, human error, improper maintenance, environmental factors, or other contributing factors.

Technical Reports and Documentation: Providing comprehensive technical reports that outline the findings, analysis, conclusions, and recommendations based on the forensic investigation. These reports serve as crucial documentation for legal, insurance, or technical purposes.

Legal and Expert Witness Testimony: Offering expert opinions and testimony in legal proceedings, arbitrations, or hearings based on the findings and conclusions of the forensic investigation.


We provide you with the latest performance-based design solutions and engineering best practices while helping to determine applicable codes and standards. We comply with the national codes and standards, engineering best practices, performance-based consulting, and fire & life safety audit criteria. Our team also specializes in construction and system investigation during the lifecycle of a building and assists in designing a go-forward plan and helps manage the upgrade.

Industry application

  • Suitable for various engineering disciplines, including civil, mechanical, electrical, structural, and materials engineering.
  • Customizable solutions adaptable to failures or incidents in diverse engineering systems or structures.

Who normally requires forensic engineering for an accident or failure?

  • Product manufacturers
  • Builders and contractors
  • Insurance companies
  • Underwriters
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Auditors
  • Lawyers and law firms
  • Government investigators
  • Project consultants



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