Failing forward-construction failure case studies

Navid Nastar, Tara Cavalline, Laura E. Sullivan-Green, Paul A. Bosela, Norbert J. Delatte, M. Kevin Parfitt, Kenneth L. Carper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


To promote failure literacy of professionals in the sectors of architecture, civil and architectural engineering, and construction, and to reduce risk to the general public, the Education Committee of ASCE Forensic Engineering Division has published two editions of the Failures in Civil Engineering book since 1995, covering fifty short case studies of structural, geotechnical, environmental, and hydraulic failures. Eight additional case studies of steel structures failures, including the West Gate Bridge Collapse, I-35W Bridge Collapse, Pittsburgh Convention Center Expansion Joint Failure, and others observed between 1970 and 2013, are covered in the first volume of a new Failure Case Studies Series, to supplement the previously published case studies. Each case study briefly outlines the failure, summarizes lessons learned, and provides a list of references for further in-depth studies. This paper discusses the contributions of forensic engineering education initiatives to the technical and professional development of architecture/engineering/construction management (AEC) students and AEC professionals to learn from both successes and failures of civil engineering projects. It offers guidance on the use of case studies to recognize root causes of failures, which often are a result of multiple factors, including design errors, construction defects, material deficiencies, and others. Finally, the paper demonstrates how failure case study publications are an effective way to promote failure prevention based on lessons learned from previous failures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationForensic Engineering 2018
Subtitle of host publicationForging Forensic Frontiers - Proceedings of the 8th Congress on Forensic Engineering
EditorsRui Liu, Michael P. Lester, Alicia E. Diaz de Leon, Michael J. Drerup
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780784482018
StatePublished - 2018
Event8th Congress on Forensic Engineering 2018: Forging Forensic Frontiers - Austin, United States
Duration: Nov 29 2018Dec 2 2018

Publication series

NameForensic Engineering 2018: Forging Forensic Frontiers - Proceedings of the 8th Congress on Forensic Engineering


Conference8th Congress on Forensic Engineering 2018: Forging Forensic Frontiers
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Materials Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Failing forward-construction failure case studies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this