Book: Forensic Engineering Investigation
Publisher: CRC Press
Forensic engineering is the application of engineering principles, knowledge,skills, and methodologies to answer questions of fact that may have legalramifications. Forensic engineers typically are called upon to analyze caraccidents, building collapses, fires, explosions, industrial accidents, and variouscalamities involving injuries or significant property losses. Fundamentally,the job of a forensic engineer is to answer the question, what causedthis to happen?A forensic engineer is not a specialist in any one science or engineeringdiscipline. The solution of “real-world” forensic engineering problems oftenrequires the simultaneous or sequential application of several scientific disciplines.Information gleaned from the application of one discipline mayprovide the basis for another to be applied, which in turn may provide thebasis for still another to be applied. The logical relationships developedamong these various lines of investigation usually form the basis for thesolution of what caused the event to occur. Because of this, skilled forensicengineers are usually excellent engineering generalists.A forensic engineering assignment is perhaps akin to solving a picturepuzzle. Initially, there are dozens, or perhaps even hundreds, of seeminglydisjointed pieces piled in a heap. When examined individually, each piecemay not provide much information. Methodically, the various pieces aresorted and patiently fitted together in a logical context. Slowly, an overallpicture emerges. When a significant portion of the puzzle has been solved,it then becomes easier to see where the remaining pieces fit.
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