Forensic engineering is a distinct speciality within the wider field of engineering, which focuses on physical evidence, verifiable facts, and well-proven scientific principles to establish the cause of a failure or defect.
This expertise is quite different from conventional engineering design, which focuses on a client’s requirements and constraints and the development of solutions based on well established engineering assumptions.
In disputes, forensic expertise and design expertise play quite distinct roles. An engineer with design expertise determines if a structure was designed and constructed correctly, whereas an engineer with forensic expertise determines the cause of a defect or failure in a forensically sound manner.
Design is concerned with what should have happened, forensics is concerned with what actually happened.