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Lecture 36

FSC239Y5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 36: Wood Veneer, Extension Cord, Fot

Forensic Science
Course Code
Joel Cahn

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FSC239 Lecture 36 How things fall apart and using Forensic Engineering to catch the
bad guy
What is an engineer?
o A scientist discovers that which exists
o An engineer creates that which never was
Engineering design
o The systematic , intelligent generation and evaluation of specifications for artifacts
whose form and function achieve stated objectives and satisfy specified constraints
Forensic engineering
o The investigation fo artifacts that fail or do not operate/functions as intended,
causing personal injury and/or monetary loss, the consequences of which are dealt
The bad guys
o All parties involved in an accident or failure must be investigated
o A forensic engineer can be retained by insurance adjuster or attorney, representing
o Those represented can be
Governmental agents
o Civil vs Criminal?
Beyond reasonable doubt
Lower standard
On a balance of probabilities
o 51% responsible
CSI in engineering
o Forensic pathology = forensic engineering
o Ballistics = collision reconstruction
o Blood spatter/DNA analysis = fire investigations
o Fingerprint analysis = product failure fractography
Three main areas
o Accident reconstruction
o Fire investigation
o Product failure
Unacceptable difference between expected and observed performance
Do not achieve expected quality of performance for expected period of time
Catastrophic fracture
Don’t have to fracture to fail
Duty of expert?
o Higher duty to court than client
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