Forensic Engineering is a relatively new engineering discipline that has evolved from Reliability Engineering. It is the branch of engineering that studies the Physics of Failure. A Forensic Engineer must have mastered the basic technical skills of engineering in addition to being knowledgeable in the codes and industry standards relating to construction, manufacturing and selling products. A Forensic Engineer must also be capable of defending his findings in court of law under the fierce scrutiny of cross-examination.
A Forensic Engineer is responsible for technically sound and unimpeachable answers to three basic questions:
Reconstructing an accident is like solving a complex puzzle consisting of words, pictures, people and machines. It is an iterative process of getting facts, applying engineering principals, developing a theory, testing the theory and refining what you think you know until the theory is consistent with the facts. The reconstruction process is both an art and science--- Murphy's Laws apply the same as Newton's Laws.
Bass Associates Inc. has in business
over 25 years and we have the experience to
reduce a complex technical problem to an explanation that can be understood by a
layperson. We can also provide visual computer simulation to demonstrate
equipment operation or to reconstruct accidents. Some of the areas that we have experience
with are as follows:
Electrical Accidents & Hazards:
Mechanical Accidents & Hazards:
Forensic Engineering Analysis is a process that assembles all available
information and physical evidence into a coherent explanation of What
Happened, Why it Happened and What Could Have Been Done to Prevent it from
Happening. The process can be a highly structured study or a
simple report, but the basic components are always the same.
first step for analyzing an accident or other incident related to failure is Reconstruction.
The Forensic Engineer examines all available evidence, including eyewitness
accounts, to determine the sequence of events and generate a time line leading
to the incident.
next step is to develop a theoretical model of the system that can
be used to explain exactly what went wrong. The theoretical model must include
human factors as well as physical engineering considerations. System diagrams
and schematics are very useful and sometimes computer simulations can be used to
demonstrate the dynamics of the situation.
components are analyzed to determine exactly why they failed and the mode of
failure. This is a very important aspect because a component can fail because of
an internal defect or because it was overstressed due an external cause. This
distinction is very important because it may be used to establish liability.
John M. Bass is Registered as a Professional Engineer in both Electrical and Mechanical Engineering. John also has served as an Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. John has an extensive background in Design, Safety, Reliability and Failure Analysis. John's knowledge of Engineering Documentation Systems allows him to be effective uncovering evidence during discovery. He has the experience to know what to look for and where to find it. He can reconstruct the technical evolution of a product from design through production. He knows how to follow the ECO trail to determine what a company knew about a problem, when they knew it and who the decision-makers were.
For Help or more information, call John Bass at 952/544-6079.
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Copyright 1998 Bass Associates Inc. Last modified: March 31, 2010