Is it Forensic Engineering or Crime Scene Investigation?

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The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) defines Forensic Engineering as “The application of engineering principles to the investigation of failures or other performance problems.” It’s part crime scene investigation and part engineering, making it an interesting and fulfilling field. As Engineers, we are trained to solve problems. When it comes to a Forensic Engineer’s “problem” it is not always how to design a wall…but rather trying to answer, “why did the wall fall?”

Our typical clients for our forensic services are insurance companies working to determine if a claim qualifies for coverage, an attorney defending a claim or making one. Our investigations include a large number of measurements, photographs, and documentation. This then results in creating a report that summarizes our findings provides a discussion on said findings and then our concluding opinions. Often times, we rely upon other professionals in the fields of Heating Ventilation or Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Chimneys. For example, we can be called in to testify during depositions, mediation hearings and in court to defend and/or explain our reports.

Some of our more notable assignments were:

  • Determining the cause of an HVAC duct falling in an indoor pool during a swim meet. Thankfully, there were no injuries.
  • Conducting many wind vs water disputes following Superstorm Sandy in NY, NJ, PA, and DE.
  • Figuring out how an electrical fire started in a Community College.
  • Detecting how many car fire investigations began.
  • Determining why several in-ground pools “floated” out of the ground.
  • & the list goes on….

Feel free to reach out to us if you have a “problem” that needs to be solved, or if you’d like to join our team of “problem” solvers. https://wjhengineering.com/contact-us/