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Civil / Structural

Forensics & Imaging Sciences

Civil and Structural Failure Analysis and Consulting

One of the first things lost in a calamity is objectivity.

Catastrophic accidents, storms, earthquakes, and structural failures make the news instantly. Very quickly, uninformed speculation as to the cause and fault follow in their wake.

The S-E-A team of engineers who can analyze all aspects of the resulting damage are by necessity a multi-disciplined group capable of taking the many factors involved and evaluating how they may have interacted in a structural failure.

The team is comprised of top professionals in a range of disciplines including: civil, structural, mechanical, electrical and materials engineering as well as architecture. They are also experienced in demonstrating and explaining the results of their investigations and testing with a clarity that brings understanding and objectivity back in the aftermath of a disaster.

A Swift, Integrated Response

In the often chaotic aftermath of a structural failure, particularly a major disaster, the close-knit, multi-disciplined S-E-A team moves rapidly and follows a strict procedure to uncover the cause.

Data Collection

The investigation begins with an extensive site visit, a scene evaluation, 3D scans and Drone footage, and comprehensive photographic documentation. Precise field measurements may be taken, diagrams drawn and interviews conducted.


S-E-A team members have the ability to initiate systematic investigations in their respective specialized areas using the scientific method. Civil engineers may conduct an analysis of the original design specifications, the soil and foundation, moisture levels, construction materials, wastewater, and the influence of external and/or natural forces. Mechanical engineers can probe possible mechanical failures. Materials engineers might conduct material composition and stress tests, comparing data they acquire to original design specifications. In addition to these investigations, finite element analysis can be performed to determine the cause of structural failure.


The S-E-A laboratory has the resources to conduct materials failure analysis as well as chemical analysis. The laboratory can determine if explosives were used at the scene of a structural failure or if some other damage-causing phenomenon occurred.

Related Services

Learn more about our Civil & Structural Forensic Engineering Services.

S-E-A is a Forensic Engineering Firm with corporate headquarters based in Columbus, OH. S-E-A is a true multi-disciplined failure analysis company with fire investigators, civil engineers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers. Basically, if it fails or breaks we figure out how and why.

With 16 offices and locations and over 300 professionals, S-E-A is able to provide an immediate response to our clients' needs regardless of location. Contact S-E-A at 800-782-6851 or via the website under Contact Us or Submit an Assignment.

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