To be able to answer these questions, which may have legal implications, our team of scientific experts must be aware of engineering principles and knowledge.

The solution to a cause of failure often requires the intervention of several scientific disciplines that MSEI can offer to its clients through its multidisciplinary team. Scientific experts are often excellent generalists because the assessment of the failure must be done by evaluating several aspects, like the pieces of a puzzle. At the beginning of the investigation, only the loss (the outcome) is known. Then, each piece of the puzzle is sequentially analyzed. At first, individual pieces may seem to provide little information. Several points will therefore need to be investigated:

  • What were the conditions in service?
  • Was the maintenance performed adequately and was the inspection schedule followed?
  • When were the last works done and who did them?
  • Were there any problems during the assembly?
  • Were there errors during the production?
  • Was the design adequate?
  • Were the materials used within specifications?
  • Was the heat treatment appropriate?
  • Was the environment in which the part was used problematic?

By analyzing each piece methodically, studying their interrelation with each other and assembling them, the cause of the failure will become clearer, and the ultimate question will be answered. Failure will have been reconstructed by the scientific experts, and the client’s file will move on.
MSEI scientific experts may, inter alia, be required to analyze the causes of failures occurring in industrial, institutional or residential environments as well as the causes of collapsed structures, car accidents, fires and explosions.

Sylvain Allard, Eng., MBA
Scientific Expert
Senior Project Manager
Metallurgical and Materials Engineering