Forensic Engineering

Back analysis and forensic engineering assessments.

On occasions, structures, infrastructure and civil engineering projects do not perform as anticipated.   This failure to comply may take the form of instability leading to collapse, excessive settlement, translation or deflection and/or structural distortion leading to damage or loss of integrity.  Additional issues that may require the attention of a Forensic Engineer are latent (hidden) conditions that cause distress at a later date and economic loss associated with the construction process or contract.    

The role of the Forensic Engineer is to collect, review and assess all available relevant information, recommend and specify any required additional testing and inspect the project works such that the cause of the “failure” can be determined and defined.  It is not uncommon for the Forensic Engineering function to be closely allied to that of Expert Witness as failures of structures and major projects frequently lead to litigation where the courts rely upon opinions of experts to gain clarity on the cause of, and so technical responsibility for, the “failure”. 

In some circumstances the role of the Forensic Engineer can extend into the identification, design, specification and supervision of appropriate remediation works.   CMW are very well placed to undertake this additional aspect as our investigation and design teams are ideally experienced to address the selection and delivery of optimised remediation works.   

Effective Forensic Engineering is predicated on a sound understanding of engineering principals, widely based knowledge of analysis, design and construction processes and practices and sufficient experience in the performance and behaviour of successful and non-compliant project works.   It is critical that these skills are applied in an entirely unbiased manner, and approached with a fresh thought process, such that a robust and truly independent assessment of cause and technical responsibility can be determined and reported.  In most circumstances this combination of required skills and approach requires that the Forensic Engineer has significant relevant experience and sufficient seniority to maintain full technical independence.   

The CMW team includes a number of very experienced senior Geotechnical Engineers and Engineering Geologists with significant personal experience in Forensic Engineering and Expert Witness work in many areas of geotechnical and geological project works.   Following confirmation that no actual or perceived conflicts of interest exist we can provide the necessary geotechnical Forensic Engineering services to identify and report the assessed cause of damage or deterioration that has occurred.   Where relevant we can extend these services into the development and presentation of Expert Witness opinions and reports and, if necessary, appear in court to provide evidence. . 

CMW provides geotechnical Forensic Engineering services to insurance companies, loss adjusters, property owners, legal teams, developers, mining companies, contractors and government bodies as dictated by project circumstances and client requirements. 

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