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The Structural Engineer as Expert Witness - Forensics and Design

Paper number

Dr Sean Brady

March 2012

A paper presented to the Society of Construction Law at a meeting in Oxford on 8th February 2012

Dr Brady's paper discusses how expert witness services can be improved in construction disputes where the determination of the cause of structural failures is critical. It examines some of the common ways structural experts fail to provide quality services, in particular the lack of forensic expertise and experience on the part of the expert. It introduces forensic structural engineering and its history, examines the different roles played by forensic expertise and design expertise in legal disputes, illustrates how forensic expertise is ideally suited to determining causation and concludes with practical guidance for legal teams.

Introduction - Forensic structural engineering - The engineer as expert witness: design and forensics - The engineer as designer - The engineer as investigator - Managing the forensic process - Further resources - Closure.

The author: Dr Sean Brady is a chartered professional engineer and managing director of Brady Heywood Pty Ltd, forensic engineers, Brisbane, Australia.

Text 11 pages.