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Workshop on Forensic Investigation of Engineering Failures: Avoiding Design Errors - Lessons from Forensics and their Application to Design *SOLD OUT*

  • Date(s)
    Thursday, 28 September 2017
  • Time(s)
    9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Venue
    Engineers Ireland, 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, Ireland
  • Fee

    Member: €345.00
    Non-Member: €395.00

  • CPD Credit
    6 hours   C1

Workshop Overview

The objective of this one day workshop is to provide structural engineers with insight into how to avoid the design errors that ultimately lead to unsatisfactory performance or failure in engineering structures. The workshop explores how structural failures occur in reality, how the errors that lead to them can be prevented, and culminates in practical approaches on how to manage these risks in a design office.

Workshop Programme

  • Session 1: How Structures Fail
The seven categories of structural failure are introduced, and the common failures that can occur throughout a structure’s lifetime, from construction to daily operation, will be discussed. Failure modes specific to various types of structures, such as bridges and buildings, will be explored, along with the typical failure mechanisms of individual structural elements, such as beams and slabs. This session provides participants with an understanding of how structures fail in reality.
  • The Structural Design Process 
The session explores design as a process of synthesis, its limit state approach, the role of simplified analysis methods, its use of design assumptions, and examines how, despite sophisticated design codes and software tools, errors can still occur and failure ensue. This session provides participants with an understanding of the robustness and versatility of the structural design process, as well as its limitations in representing the behaviour of structures in reality. 
  • The Non-Technical Factors
History shows that nontechnical or human factors play a key role in allowing failures to occur, despite our technical knowledge. This session will examine some of the common human factors, including the dangers of Expertise Bias and Implicit Assumption, how Design Fixation can prevent the identification of optimal solutions, and how Confirmation Bias and Normalisation of Deviance can obscure the early warning signs of impending failure.
  • Failure Prevention
This session explores the Swiss Cheese Model of failure prevention, and how Latent Errors can contribute to failure. The importance of the use of Near Miss theory as a warning system is highlighted, and the benefit of utilising a Forensic Process to identify errors and potential causes of failure is discussed. This session provides participants with practical techniques that can be applied in the design office to assist in error detection and failure prevention.

Who should attend?

The workshop has been designed to give delegates from a civil engineering or construction bacground a perspective a practical introduction to the subject of engineering failures and how they can be avoided in the design and construction process.  

Facilitator's profile

Dr Sean Brady is a forensic structural engineer specialising in identifying the cause of engineering failures and unsatisfactory performance in steel and concrete structures. He is the managing director of Brady Heywood Pty Ltd and has investigated the cause of engineering failures on a wide range of structures both in Australia and internationally. He has over 15 years of experience as a structural engineer, and he has published and presented internationally on the subject of engineering forensics. He is an Editorial Board Member of the ASCE Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities and the ICE Forensic Engineering Journal.

Make a Booking

28 September 2017