In 2011, UofT Professor Doug Perovic started teaching the first-of-its-kind forensic engineering course in Canada. 6 years later, it has now developed into something much bigger. Engineering students can now earn a Certificate in Forensic Engineering, another big step for the university and the engineering community.
What exactly is forensic engineering? The field has evolved a lot since its inception in investigating railroad accidents. Forensic engineering now investigates components in anything from surgical implants to athletic equipment. The field is applicable in product development, manufacturing, process control, and research. When a product fails for no obvious reason, techniques like scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X‑ray spectroscopy (EDX) can uncover pre-existing hidden chemicals that have left traces on the fracture or adjacent surfaces. Other forms of testing include spectroscopy (infrared, ultraviolet, and nuclear magnetic resonance) and radiography using X-rays.
The forensic engineering certificate will allow students and future engineers to solve problems using logic and by applying their knowledge of legal proceedings. At the same time, students will be taught to interpret results from advanced lab equipment from the Ontario Centre for the Characterization of Advanced Materials (OCCAM), jointly operated by the Materials Science & Engineering and Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry departments.
Don’t be fooled into thinking this certificate is only for MSE or Chem students. There are so many opportunities out there that anybody and everybody who is interested should take part in the certificate. Because of our technical training and our ability to solve problems, any engineer has the potential to work in forensic engineering. As engineers, our reputation as experts is on the line every time we give our testimony as expert witnesses. This why the Forensic Engineering Certificate is such an advantage for students. It will benefit you by giving you a look into the forensic engineering world before you are actually immersed in it. Ultimately, it will provide you with real life scenarios and steps to a solution that will be critical in the field.