Forensic Structural Engineering

Forensic engineering analysis is the study of materials, products, structures and/or components that fail or do not operate/function as intended. These failures or malfunctions can cause costly personal injury and damage to property. The Applied Element Method (AEM) can accurately analyze the same materials, products, structures and/or components through their different loading stages beginning from their linear elastic stage until element separation and collision with another elements. This gives users of AEM a unique capability while performing failure analysis. Using AEM, engineers can track the cause of a failure or malfunction beginning with the propagation of cracks to the separation of elements and on to elements colliding with each other.

The Applied Element Method was used in this application when investigating the August 2007 collapse of Minnesota’s I-35W Bridge.