Brady Heywood specialises in investigating the cause of defects and failures in construction and engineering disputes

The firm utilises a forensic engineering mindset to provide input into all stages of construction defect disputes, from undertaking preliminary investigations to providing expert witness opinion


Through publications, blogs, podcasts and events Brady Heywood provides insights into engineering failure




Brady Review of All Fatal Accidents in Queensland Mines

Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, December 2019

Review of fatal accidents from 2000 to 2019.

Beyond the Limits of Imagination

The Structural Engineer, September 2017

The story of the trailblazing investigation of the comet crashes.

The Roles of Technical Engineering Experts in Construction Disputes

Construction Law International, June 2016

A guide for legal teams engaging technical experts on disputes.

Why do Bridges Fail?

Following the collapse of the Florida International University bridge, this blog asks the general question of why bridges falls down.

The Westgate Bridge Collapse

The bridge collapse that killed 35, and the creeping barrage of poor decisions that lead to the failure.

De Grolsch Veste Stadium Collapse

The role of too much trust in making people complacent, and how it knocked a stadium down.


Podcast Series


Apollo 13 is the story of the NASA mission that ran into trouble in deep space, and the incredible effort by mission control in Houston to bring three astronauts home safely.

Episode 4

Star Sailors

Episode 5

Steely-Eyed Missile Men

Episode 3

The Tiger Team


Introduction to Forensics

Melbourne University

5 September 2018

The Tensions Between Lawyers and Experts

SCL North America, Chicago

26 - 28 September 2018

Drop your Tools

NZ Bridges Summit

6 - 7 November 2018


Queensland Mining Health and Safety Conference

Aug 2020


Forensic structural engineering is the investigation of failure or non-performance in the built environment


Forensic engineering is a distinct speciality within the wider field of structural engineering, where the forensic engineer focuses on actual physical evidence found at the scene, verifiable facts, and well-proven scientific principles to establish the cause of the failure.  This expertise is quite different from that of conventional engineering design, which instead focuses on taking a client's requirements and constraints and generating an engineering solution based on well established engineering assumptions.  

In construction defect disputes, forensic expertise and design expertise fulfil two very distinct roles. An engineer with design expertise can opine on whether or not a structure was designed and constructed correctly in the first place, whereas an engineer with forensic expertise can accurately determine the cause of a defect or failure in a forensically sound manner. Design is concerned with what should have happened, while forensics is concerned with what actually happened.

Design is concerned with what should have happened, while forensics is concerned with what actually happened.


The firm is led by Dr Sean Brady, a forensic structural engineer who specialises in identifying the cause of defects and failures in the construction and engineering sectors

Forensic engineering

Preliminary investigation

Evidence collection 

Litigation support

Arbitration support

Expert witness services

Dr Sean Brady is a forensic structural engineer who specialises in identifying the cause of defects and failures in the construction and engineering sectors. He has acted as an independent expert in numerous proceedings involving a wide range of constructed facilities, including stadia, bridges, wharves, tall buildings, large basements, petroleum storage vessels and mining structures.


He is a director of the Society of Construction Law Australia, and a member of the Singapore International Mediation Centre's Panel of Experts. Sean contributes to the specialty of forensics through roles on two of the world's premier forensic structural publications - the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities (Associate Editor) and the UK's Institution of Civil Engineers Forensic Engineering Journal (Editorial Board member).


He is also a visiting lecturer at a number of universities.