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Basics on Forensic Engineering - Part I

Ruben A. Gomez, P.E.

Course Outline

On this Part I the reader will uncover the necessary skills and personality traits that a practicing engineer must have in order to start becoming an accomplished forensic engineer. How to be an effective expert witness, considered to be the culmination and highest challenge of the specialty, how to behave in Court and how to defend yourself from the accustomed verbal attack being the favorite strategy of plaintiff’s attorneys.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

When completing this Part I, the student will accomplish the following objectives:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for engineers of all disciplines, architects and/or general contractors.

Benefit for Attendee

Attendees will also be able to assess if they are suitable or have the character and personality to fit into the shoes of a forensic engineer, architect or contractor. They will be able to determine if they have the endurance and the fortitude of character to stand direct attacks against their professional character and personal standing.

Course Introduction

For centuries physicians had an unwritten and tacit monopoly of the popular perception of forensic work. The public always viewed the term as linked to the handling and examination of dead bodies to determine the cause(s) of death. But that is no longer the case, now every profession or occupation has its own section of forensic sciences and engineering is not an exception to that rule. Therefore, the forensic engineer is defined as the professional who examines, investigates and analyses the engineering aspects of a legal problem.

Course Content

The course content is contained in the following PDF file:

Basics on Forensic Engineering - Part I

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Course Summary

This course consists of a comprehensive abstraction of what forensic engineering is, how it is defined and what are the necessary skills for someone who is interested in becoming part of the profession. It also describes the role of the forensic engineer as an expert witness and how to behave in Court as well as what the pitfalls are and the reasons for failure during daily practice.

A case history is discussed where the main problem was a product failure which ultimately was caused by improper assembly of the product and negligence in following the recommendations of the manufacturer’s instructions.

Related Links and References

For additional related technical information on this subject we recommend the latest edition of:

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.