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RE: How is an Engineer certified as a forensics expert?

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I agree with Engineer Polhemus that "It should not be surprising that I believe someone with plenty of design experience makes a far better forensic structural engineer than someone who started out with one of the big firms early in his career. "
Some of the best forensic engineers that I have dealt with cut their teeth, either in the design, new construction or rehabilitating fields. Many have a "MAKE-IT AND BREAK-IT" personality, they know how to build-it, break-it and how to repair their mistakes.
As a "Mechanical Engineer" I get call to see many failures. I have some 1 1/4" case harden bolts that failed due to fatigue on my desk right now.  Luckily no one was in the line of fire of cambering machine when these let go. Brittle failure at the edge of the thread, elastic through the center. The crack grew six time before the bolt totally failed.
Knowing what you are looking at is the key.  If you really want to become a forensic expert, you need more than design work, you need to be out there hanging steel, pour concrete, and placing rebar, and burning rods not watching or reading about it.
Richard M. Beldyk, PE, NSPE, CWEng, CPE
Professional Engineer - Delaware 6788, Maine 9987, Maryland 26594, Michigan 6201048734, Ohio 66691, Oklahoma 20523, Pennsylvania PE061240, Virginia 37138
Registered Member - International Registry of Professional Engineers - Certificate IR101
AWS Certified Welding Engineer - Certificate  0009Eng
AFE Certified Plant Engineer - Certificate 4582