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The Practice of Forensic Engineering
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The practice of forensic engineering is one of the most interesting and challenging for geotechnical engineers. Geotechnical engineers are naturally drawn to failures as opportunities to increase our judgment by learning how applications of our knowledge may have failed to achieve the intended result.

The challenge for many engineers is that these failure studies typically must be done within the context of a legal system where the primary objective is to assign or allocate responsibility for the failure. The adversarial process can be intimidating, especially for engineers not accustomed to the process. Engineers typically work together collaboratively in an atmosphere where they challenge each other to produce the best engineered result. In litigation, collaboration is displaced by criticism of even the most scientifically grounded professional opinions. Forensic engineering must therefore meld the best science of failure analysis to the art of conflict resolution, where the financial consequences of the resolution can be a matter of grave consequence to the responsible party.

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Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Pat Lucia
  • Title: The Practice of Forensic Engineering
  • Event or Publication: Keynote Lectures from Geo-Congress 2012
  • Practice Areas: Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
  • Date: 2012