The many thousands of incidents which occur in Australia each year give rise to many actions, including insurance claims, medical treatment, compensation claims, criminal charges for culpable driving, coronial inquests, product liability and other legal actions, injury research and so on. The list is large. At the heart of many of these actions is the need to establish, as clearly and accurately as possible, particular and relevant details relating to any phase of the incident.
With the great advances in computer analysis and graphic presentation techniques, it is more important than ever not to confuse technical sophistication with accuracy and quality. Sophisticated technology may merely transform poor-quality data and analysis into impressive-looking but still poor-quality results. It is our objective to encourage the full and effective use of modern forensic engineering investigation techniques in cases that are unique to Australia, and also to sharpen the focus on ensuring that expert opinions, procedures and results are subject to due and appropriate scrutiny. For example, there has been significant activity in all-terrain vehicles, mining, rail crossings in remote areas, vehicle impacts with kangaroos, road train vehicles in remote areas and go-kart testing, to mention a few topics.
It is expected that this special issue will appeal to academic forensic researchers, forensic engineers, biomechanics specialists, forensic scientists, materials engineers, incident investigators, safety auditors, expert witnesses, lawyers, police, safety responders and the like.
The issue will showcase forensic engineering activities and research in Australia that are unique in their scientific analysis of various incidents pertinent to Australian legal proceedings.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Incident investigation techniques
- Incident reconstruction
- Forensic evidence
- Engineering investigation of materials, products, structures or components that fail to perform
- Expert evidence and the courts
- Legal perspectives, ethical conduct and environmental concerns
- Codes, standards and guidelines
- System, product and operational failures
- Practices to reduce failures and disaster mitigation
- Planning for safety between industries and housing
- Forensic practices
- Investigation methods
- Expert witnessing
- Geoforensic and structural failures
- Material degradation and mechanical failures
- Forensic electrical engineering
- Post disaster damage assessment
- Remediation and rehabilitation
- Insurance and loss adjustment
Submission of manuscripts: 11 February, 2015