Whenever there is any accident and building collapse there is loss of property and life. There are many injured and there is tremendous loss. In such a case the vicinity of the building is also damaged and there is severe loss. After the initial reaction, the time is for legal action. Once the dust settles the court moves in to fix responsibilities and compensation. The court is interested in determining the cause of collapse and the compensation etc. In this situation the court engages an expert in the field. The expert goes through the entire thing and tries to find the exact cause and origin of failure which caused the building to collapse. In such a situation, the assistance of forensic engineering expert services firms is taken to sort the matter out. The method and the procedure which is adopted by the experts are called forensic engineering.
It is a branch of engineering which is relatively less taught. This stream is rarely taught in engineering curriculum. There is no graduate or doctorate level in this branch. Basically, forensic engineering is the application of different other engineering fields’ knowledge in determining the cause of any structural failure. For this many branches are involved and scientific principles are applied to reach the root cause of the physical breakdown. All these services are provided by forensic engineering firms which have their experts. The study of forensic engineering involves several steps. It all begins with collection of data. The process then moves on to the technical review of the failure to locate the exact reason of failure. After that, there is development of failure profile which describes the failure in detail. The whole process or cause of failure is determined in a proper format. The effort is to reach the root cause of the failure. After that, investigation synthesis is done under which the procedure of investigation is detailed. After this is done, the hypothesis is developed so as to pinpoint the cause or origin of the accident. When all this is done, the process of reporting begins.
There is no forensic expert witness in these cases. In this case, the engineer has to display high level of subject expertise in the court of law. This scientific principle or theory forms the proof. Now, the opinion of the court is based on the theory proposed by the engineer. It means the engineer must not only have a fine education background but experience and training as well.