Pre-Congress Course

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'Forensic Structural Engineering: Causes, Investigations and Prevention of Failures'

Stockholm, Tuesday, September 20, 2016 (09:30 - 18:00)
Course Coordinator: Robert T. Ratay

Failures of structures occur in all parts of the world as the result of design deficiencies, construction defects, abuse or misuse, lack of maintenance, aging and deterioration, and environmental effects such as wind, flood, snow and earthquakes.

In several countries the investigation of the failures and resolution of the consequent damage claims have created an active field of professional practice, often referred to as forensic structural engineering, with well-defined technical and legal procedures.

In this scenario, the IABSE Working Group on Forensic Structural Engineering was formed in 2011. It aims to examine and mitigate failures, improve the professional practice of forensic structural engineering, and facilitate the dissemination and application of failure information to structural design and construction throughout the world.

Following the success of the forensic structural engineering sessions at the IABSE Madrid 2014 and Geneva 2015 Conferences and of the pre-conference course that took place in 2015 in Geneva, the WG is organising the course ‘Forensic Structural Engineering: causes, investigations and prevention of failures’ that is aimed at structural engineers who want to acquire a working knowledge of forensic structural engineering, practicing forensic engineers who want to learn from and share with other practitioners, and university students who wish to gain an advanced understanding of forensic structural engineering to underpin future research/career interests.

The course aims also to illustrate the concepts of failure causes and investigations as a general engineering tool for enhancing construction quality and failure prevention. In order to make the course interactive, time will be provided for discussion and for a ‘CSI’ (Crime Scene Investigation) moment where the lecturer will stop and the participants will have to analyse by themselves the provided information to come up with reasonable causes. More..