Forensic engineering is the investigation of materials, products, structures or components that fail or do not function as intended, causing personal injury or damage to property.
Generally the purpose of a forensic engineering investigation is to locate cause or causes of failure with a view to improve performance or life expectancy of a structure, or to assist a court in determining the facts of a failure, accident or other cause of property damage.
In the latter application, forensic engineering is essentially a failure analysis program for litigation support. The goal of such a program is to positively identify the sequence of events leading to ultimate failure. Such a program can embrace building control systems, building design and project management, structural engineering services and construction.