Laboratory Examination of a Crashed HelicopterForensic engineering is the application of scientific and engineering principles to settle disputes between two or more parties. These disputes typically arise when a product or structure fails to perform as expected and causes a loss to one of the parties. Forensic engineering is practiced for insurance companies evaluating claims for payment or subrogation and for attorneys pleading or defending product liability law suits. Engineering evaluation determines the cause or causes of the failure to help assign liability for the damages.

Most failures involve materials damage of some sort to the materials comprising the failed component(s). Therefore, materials engineering is often an integral aspect of forensic engineering investigations. Evaluation of the material’s behavior using standard failure analysis practices typically identifies the failure mechanism, and this information, on its own or in combination with other engineering evaluations, leads to determination of the root cause and liability. While our expertise is focused on materials engineering, MEE routinely collaborates with experienced investigators, engineers, and scientists in other disciplines as needed for complex investigations.

MEE has four professional engineers on staff who been involved in hundreds of forensic engineering evaluations for a wide range of legal, commercial, and industrial clients. Together with skilled laboratory technicians, MEE provides our clients with  a highly experienced team of professionals to support your product liability cases.
Benefits to partnering with MEE for litigation support include:
  • Our in-depth industry experience with a wide variety of metals and polymers, including technical expertise in failure mechanisms
  • Our state of the art testing and laboratory analysis facility with dedicated space for hosted multi-party inspections
  • Comprehensive laboratory quality system to assure accuracy and precision for all testing
  • Expertise in the development of necessary protocols for litigation and insurance claims
  • Practiced ability to break down complex technical issues for interpretation by nontechnical people, such as attorneys, agents, judges and juries
  • Expert Witness testimony provided by registered professional engineers who adhere to the highest principles of ethical conduct in our professional duties

MEE Professional Engineering Staff
Larry Hanke, PERyan Haase, PE

Neal Hanke, PE
Dan Grice, PE

Examples of Forensic Engineering Cases

  • Oil refinery pipeline rupture
  • Grain bin collapse
  • Evaluation of arcing on electrical conductors after residential fire
  • Farm auger guard failure
  • Collapsed 16 story climbing crane
  • Truck axle fracture
  • Nylon lifting strap failure
  • Natural gas line failure
  • Hip replacement prosthesis fracture
  • Aircraft fuel line fracture
  • Corrosion of copper tubing for water supply distribution
  • Diesel engine connection rod bolt fractures
  • Premature actuation of fire protection sprinkler heads
  • Golf club shaft fracture
  • Perforation of corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) for gas distribution
  • Thermal damage to steel duct after a fire
  • Electrical failure of capacitors
  • Electrical arcing in high-voltage switch gear
  • Lawn chair collapse
  • Fracture of CPVC sprinkler pipe
Contact us today to learn more.