WG 8: Forensic Structural Engineering

 Interview with Robert T. Ratay, USA, 
Chair of WG Forensic Structural Engineering 
Consulting Structural Engineer; Adjunct Professor,
Columbia University NY, 

Robert T. Ratay, USA

The ultimate objective of WG Forensic Structural Engineering is to mitigate structural failures and 
improve forensic engineering practices. To those ends it endeavors to
(i) report on the engineering investigation of structural failures
(ii) encourage improvements of design and construction practices based on the lessons learned from failures 
(iii) publicise techniques of field and analytical investigation of failures 
(iv) promote ethical forensic engineering practices 
(v) inform of effective dispute resolution procedures and(vi) through publications and seminars increase the awareness of students and practicing engineers of the causes, prevention and consequences of failures, thereby increasing the safety 
and reliability of structures."


This bibliography includes the papers at IABSE Symposium Madrid 2014 and IABSE Conference Geneva 2015.   
Brühwiler, E. 
Forensic investigation of early age Alkali-Aggregate Reaction damaged concrete elements: causes and lessons
Dakov, D. Belev, B. Penelov, C.
Deterioration of connections and failure of light-weight façade envelopes due to sequence of seismic and wind actions
Danewid, R. Thelandersson, S.
Lessons from collapse of a 3-storey building in Sweden
Delatte, N. J.
Systems for Structural Failure Investigations in the United States
Godart, B.
How to deal with Structures affected by Delayed Ettringite Formation
Konno, K. Nagata, Y. Itabashi, Y.
Maintenance and repair of slab anchors on a curved non-composite steel box-girder bridge
Makhoul, N. Mikhael, E.
Earthquake Damage Estimations of Byblos Potable Water Network
Morales, E.M.
Engineering Investigations, Analyses and Retrofit Procedures for Earthquake Damage Heritage URM Churches, Philippines
Palmisano, F. Perilli, P.
Interventions on existing buildings in 'aggregates': lessons learnt from some Italian collapses
Ratay, R.T. Duntemann, J.F.
ASCE/SEI 37-14 Design Loads on Structures During Construction Standard
Rawska-Skotniczny, A. Tylek, I. Nalepka, M.
The architectural and structural revitalization of an old cement plant in the south of Poland
Stucchi, F. R.
Italy Tower Collapse in São José do Rio Preto-São Paulo-Brazil
Tanner, P. Hingorani, R.
Risk assessment under temporary use conditions
Terwel, K.
Contributing human and organizational factors for the collapse of a temporary supporting structure for the B-tower in Rotterdam
Terwel, K. Hordijk, D.
Forensic Structural Engineering in Education
Godart, B. Lacombe, J.M. Aubagnac, C.
Failures of external tendons in prestressed concrete bridges: causes, investigations, remediation and prevention
Hwang, Y.C. Kim, S.J. Kim, H.K.
Report of an unexpected Vortex- induced vibration in an actual suspension bridge
Kardon, J.
Objectivity, bias and advocacy in expert forensic testimony concerning the standard of care
Palmisano, F. Vitone, A.
Changes in codes following structural failures: an Italian perspective on mitigation of structural vulnerability
Palmisano,F. Ratay, R.
The practice of forensic structural engineering in IABSE member countries: review of a survey
Soane, A.
Lessons from confidential reporting on structural safety
Terwel, K. Mans, D.G.
Exploring improvements in structural safety
Terwel, K. Van Waning, H. Hanssen, R.
Predicting structural disasters with radar interferometry
Wood, J.
Applying forensic investigations of failures of structural performance
Zwicky, D.
Forensics of a partial collapsed timber roof

Arya, B. Jain, A. Simsir, C.C.
A forensic study to apportion damage due to multiple sequential earthquakes
Bartlett, M. Mancuso, C.
Built-Up Wrought Iron Compression Member with missing stitch rivets
Borsje, H. Renier, B. Burggraaf, H.
Collapse of the roof of a football stadium
Brühwiler, E.
Investigations of fractures of RC twin-blocs of a fixed railway track
Duntemann, J. Sfura, J.
Connection failures in concrete construction
Godart, B.F.  Berthellemy, J. Lucas, J.-P.
Diagnostic of a large steel bridge close to collapse during a fire
Kardon, J.B.
The "standard of care" and negligence of the forensic engineer
Mans, D.G. De Jonker, M. Wijte, S.
Assessment of the structural safety of reinforced concrete balconies
Palmisano, F. Vitone, A.
The partial collapse of the 'Palazzo Edilizia' in Salerno
Ripa Alonso, T. Gonzales Duenas, E.
Cracks analysis in onshore wind turbine foundations
Tanner, P. Hingorani, R. Bellod, J.L. Sanz, D.
Learning from incidents during bridge erection
Terwel, K. Mud, M. Frijters, A.
Structural safety during construction
Terwel, K. Jansen, S.
Quick assessment tool for assurance of structural safety in the building process
Trombetti, T. Tattara, S. Palermo, M. et al.
The first year of activities of the "Observatory Claudio Cecoli
Vumbaca, V. Brando, F. Pinto, J. et al.
Forensic investigations in the age of the internet of things

Operating since fall 2011, the WG’s first activity has been the research and production of the paper, An Initial Survey of Forensic Engineering Practices in Some European Countries and the USA,  that was prepared by members of the WG and presented by one of the members, Karel Terwel, at the ASCE 6th Forensic Engineering Congress in San Francisco on November 2, 2013. This activity is continuing now, expanded to other parts of the world.  Another specific activity we are considering is providing seminars/workshops in as many countries as reasonable on forensic engineering practice. Others of our intended effort include organising sessions on forensic engineering at IABSE conferences and encouraging the publication of articles on the subject in Structural Engineering International.

to the Technical Committee

1 - 2 per year, contact Chair


NameCountryPositionTerm StartTerm End
Mr. John F. Duntemann, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc.United StatesChair20162020
Dr. Ir. Karel Terwel, TU DelftNetherlandsVice Chair20162020
Prof. Dr. Eugen Brühwiler, EPFL Ecole Polytechnique FédéraleSwitzerlandMember20112019
Dr. Denes Dalmy, Propontis KftHungaryMember20112019
Mr. Bruno Godart, IFSTTARFranceMember20112019
Prof. Tong Guo, Southeast UniversityChinaMember20112019
Prof. Dik-Gert MansNetherlandsMember20112019
Dr. Fabrizio PalmisanoItalyMember20112019
Dr. Robert T. RatayUnited StatesMember20162020
Prof. Jonathan G. M. Wood, Structural Studies & Design LtdUnited KingdomMember20112019