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Transcript of Forensic Engineering
Often they will study topics such as:
Forensic Engineers most often get into the field later in life after years of other engineering-related jobs. It is often viewed as an overlay to another successful engineering career. This is because there are few companies who train young engineers for this specific job.
A building burns to the ground from an electrical fire
*forensic engineers will examine the wreckage and use it as evidence in court.
A car's brakes fall off while driving down a hill and the driver sues the car company
*forensic engineers will examine the car and come up with ways to improve the brakes
CREATED BY: Audrey and Vedika
Currently, forensic engineers use electron microscopes, fracture mechanics, and other adaptable tools in their research. Studies are being devoted to the research of future technology. Some examples are:
using the chemistry of color to identify chemical and biological malfunctions, technology which can determine what caused a building to collapse, and how to reduce car malfunctions leading to car crashes.
Mass producing car which never has accidents is virtually impossible, but the number of car accidents in the U.S. is rising and so are court cases related to car malfunctions. Forensic engineers are trying to create technology which accurately reconstructs a car accident, leading to better safety.
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Forensic Engineer Degrees
Examples of jobs
• Scanning Electron Microscopes: These magnify surfaces thousands of times to view fractures, determine why the object failed, and determine the object’s microstructure.
• Impact Dynamics: This method takes models and uses them to see how structures react when hit with fast moving objects. This helps determine how stable structures are.
• Finite Element Analysis: This method takes an object and, mathematically, determines how specific parts react by dividing them into defined shapes. It then analyzes the whole object by adding up the parts it analyzed earlier.
Present methods of forensic engineering are more technology and mathematically based then they use to be. For instance, fracture mechanics is commonly used, and based off of the concept that a fracture’s strength, when compared to the square root of the largest crack’s length, is inversely proportional. This discovery has helped in analyzing loads applied to fractures. Some more methods are listed below:
Forensic engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with accidents and crime scenes. Forensic engineers figure out how accidents happened and piece back together the cause. They are often also involved in litigation cases to testify about what they have figured out, and to share the reason why the incident happened in the first place. They piece things back to together and retrace the incident so that they can have a full picture of what went down and why.
Forensic engineers are also involved in litigation cases. They have to go into courts and testify about their findings. This means, that as a requirement, forensic engineers can't have a criminal record.
• Computational Fluid Dynamics: This uses mathematics to see how fluids affect a structure. This is based on breaking a structure into controlled volumes.
Color often plays an important role in identifying different things. Scientists are creating technology which can determine the reason an object malfunctioned or why a building crashed using color chemistry.
It is best for a future forensic engineer to get an internship straight out of college. The entire forensic engineering field is based on experience in the field. If you don't have experience, you don't get the job.
Forensic Engineers need a bachelor's degree, and must take the basic engineering courses. It doesn't matter what the major is in, as long as it can be related to forensic engineering.
Forensic Engineers can make anything between 28,000 and 164,000. The median is about 86,000.
Forensic engineering developed as the field of forensics did. When forensics got the point where it needed people who specialize in structures and mechanics, the field turned to engineers. Engineers already knew how to examine infrastructure, they just had to take a lawyer's viewpoint while looking at it. The need for these engineers created the field.
This is an example of microstructure
Forensic engineering has changed over the years as methods advanced and new technology was made. When the forensic engineering field was first starting out, certain principal methods were used by the engineers.
Some of the most common tools used to carry out some of these, are chemical analysis, optical microscopy, and X-ray diffraction.
As buildings become more advanced, building failures will also become more common. Motion detecting sensors are being introduced into the engineering world to prevent building failures.
Examples of forensic engineer cases are when a building collapses, a car accident occurs, a fires breaks out etc.
Some of the original methods are analyzing service records, loads, temperature, micro-structure, reconstruction, and getting descriptions of the accident from witnesses. These methods are still used by forensic engineers, but they have been built upon, as new technology has emerged.
Forensic engineers also collect shrapnel, see why things are bent certain ways, and look through the rubble at the scene of an accident to find the cause of the incident. The two main kinds of techniques they use to find these things out are analytical and empirical.
Example of fracture mechanics/ case in which it would be used
Example of reconstructing the accident on the computer
Questions frequently asked by forensic engineers
Why did it happen?
How could it
have been prevented?
Examples of what a forensic engineer would do