Location

New York, New York

Session Start Date

4-13-2004

Session End Date

4-17-2004

Abstract

The new discipline that deals with investigation of failures and performance problems in the built environment is known as Forensic Engineering. While forensic civil engineering is a well established science, forensic geotechnical engineering is a relatively new discipline. It involves scientific and jurisprudence related investigations and evaluation to analyze the causes/process of structural distress that originates from geo-domain. Forensics in geo-domain encompasses an extensive array of topics with general emphasis in civil engineering and specific emphasis in geotechnical and related fields having geological, geophysical, geoenvironmental, and structural applications. Mostly it applies to failures after they occur when their application has prevented and/or identified failures prior to their occurrence. Furthermore, cases of analyses and evaluations of selected remedial measures, along with their effectiveness and economy, are normally subjected to judicial scrutiny. Two case histories are presented where forensic engineering was effectively utilized to identify, investigate, and remediate the problems. The first case history identifies a request received from an adjuster of a national insurance company for a forensic engineering applied review of a reported sinkhole damage claim at a historic church building in north Florida. There had been no collapse and no injury. The insurance claim resulted in discovery of solution activity in Karst formations and identification of subsurface features that are known to aid in the formation of sinkholes. The second case history illustrates how forensic engineering was applied in investigating a situation where a severe deficiency occurred during placement of concrete for a Steam Turbine Generator (STG) structure of a power plant in west central Florida. Questions were raised regarding the structural integrity, and removal/replacement of the partially completed structure was considered a viable yet costly option. Forensic investigation was conducted to determine whether the damage was surficial and deficiency could be addressed by repairing or removal, and replacement of the structure was, in fact, necessary. In both of these cases, the application of forensic engineering principles assisted in the identification and proper remediation of the problem.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Fifth Conference

Publisher

University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

4-13-2004

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 2004 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Apr 13th, 12:00 AM Apr 17th, 12:00 AM

Forensic Engineering in Applied Civil Engineering and Geo-Domain

New York, New York

The new discipline that deals with investigation of failures and performance problems in the built environment is known as Forensic Engineering. While forensic civil engineering is a well established science, forensic geotechnical engineering is a relatively new discipline. It involves scientific and jurisprudence related investigations and evaluation to analyze the causes/process of structural distress that originates from geo-domain. Forensics in geo-domain encompasses an extensive array of topics with general emphasis in civil engineering and specific emphasis in geotechnical and related fields having geological, geophysical, geoenvironmental, and structural applications. Mostly it applies to failures after they occur when their application has prevented and/or identified failures prior to their occurrence. Furthermore, cases of analyses and evaluations of selected remedial measures, along with their effectiveness and economy, are normally subjected to judicial scrutiny. Two case histories are presented where forensic engineering was effectively utilized to identify, investigate, and remediate the problems. The first case history identifies a request received from an adjuster of a national insurance company for a forensic engineering applied review of a reported sinkhole damage claim at a historic church building in north Florida. There had been no collapse and no injury. The insurance claim resulted in discovery of solution activity in Karst formations and identification of subsurface features that are known to aid in the formation of sinkholes. The second case history illustrates how forensic engineering was applied in investigating a situation where a severe deficiency occurred during placement of concrete for a Steam Turbine Generator (STG) structure of a power plant in west central Florida. Questions were raised regarding the structural integrity, and removal/replacement of the partially completed structure was considered a viable yet costly option. Forensic investigation was conducted to determine whether the damage was surficial and deficiency could be addressed by repairing or removal, and replacement of the structure was, in fact, necessary. In both of these cases, the application of forensic engineering principles assisted in the identification and proper remediation of the problem.