Houston Forensic Engineer - Gerard Duhon P.E.

What is a Forensic Engineer & Why Choose Gerard Duhon P.E.?

The term forensic has broad recognition in criminal investigations and in structural engineering related court cases, and has been popularized in the television show CSI.  The term is also used to describe certain fields of work, such as forensic pathology (finding cause of death) and forensic investigation (documenting and collecting evidence).  There are many definitions for the term forensic, but the best and most general is the application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to a legal system.  The legal system in the US consists of criminal and civil subsystems.  The popular and above described usage for the term forensic is in the criminal field.  

But the civil justice system also has a need for forensics.  Some civil cases require in-depth understanding of technical issues not generally understood by a judge or jury, in those cases the court will entertain the use of experts.  Also, the two issues of greatest concern in a civil case are causation and damages.  Causation will determine the responsible parties, damage valuation will determine the amount of settlement.  

Both criminal and civil forensics are interested in the cause as it relates to the responsible party.


Fax: 281-404-9961

Email: gerard@texashomeengineer.com

But forensics, as practiced, encompasses more than criminal, more than civil.  Many causation investigations have no justice implications; people just want to know the source of the problems so they can remedy it.  The investigation, whether performed for legal requirements or not, is performed in the same manner.  Who may have caused the problem is of secondary interest.

Therefore, another good definition of the term forensic is of or related to the study of the cause of events.    

The second definition is more general and captures the use of forensics to find the cause of events, even if legal action is not contemplated.  This more inclusive scope captures fully the field of forensic engineering.

So, considering the definitions and the usage of the term by myself, my clients, and other forensic engineers that I speak with, a forensic engineer is an engineer who investigates the technical reasons for the cause of events.  

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Houston Structural Engineer & Consultant - Gerard J. Duhon, P.E.   |   12402 Copperfield Drive, Houston, TX 77031  |  gerard@texashomeengineer.com  |  Phone: (281) 788-7393