San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
December 7, 2016 – SEC Seminar and Holiday Meeting
Four Key Strategies Forensic Engineers Use to Unravel Construction Disputes
Presenter: Mr. Benjamin M. Cornelius, S.E., P.E.
When structures perform poorly or collapse, when design or construction defects are discovered, or when a project is delayed or over-budget, there is understandably a rush to pinpoint the causes of the problems and assign blame. Unfortunately, these initial assessments can be biased, incomplete, or just plain wrong.
Legal teams turn to forensic engineers to help them clear the fog that often surrounds building collapses, performance issues, and other problems on construction projects. These experts rely on their training, knowledge, and experience, and on various strategies they have developed to identify the root causes of problems. Their goal is to give clients the reliable information they need to make good decisions and negotiate disputes from a position of knowledge and clarity.
In this presentation, structural designer and forensic engineer Ben Cornelius will use real and fictitious case studies to introduce four of the key strategies that forensic engineers use to analyze the mountains of project documents in order to illuminate the sequences of events that lead to problems on construction projects. Whether you are interested in practical techniques for your investigations practice, or just like a good “who dunnit,” you’re sure to enjoy this discussion of forensic strategies and headline-grabbing construction claims.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Structural designer and forensic engineer Benjamin M. Cornelius grew up with a passion for buildings and what makes them stand up—to people, the environment, and time. With that came a curiosity for why certain buildings fall short. At The Pennsylvania State University, Ben studied architectural engineering with an emphasis on structural systems design and went on to join the firm of Leslie E. Robertson Associates (LERA) Consulting Structural Engineers in New York. After nearly two decades of designing structures for a range of projects—including the Broad Museum in Los Angeles, the renovation and expansion of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in New York, and the supertall TransNational Place in Boston—Ben turned his full attention to investigating structural failures. For the past five years, he has led LERA’s Investigations and Expert Witness Practice and has conducted forensic investigations in North America, Europe, and Asia in disputes totaling more than $600 million. He has provided consultations in disputes involving tall buildings, residential structures, embassy complexes, historic buildings, sports and entertainment structures, and transportation facilities. He is passionate about bringing clarity to the often complex issues underlying problems on construction projects. Ben is a member of ACEC’s Risk Management Committee, the chair of ASCE's Committee on Forensic Investigations, and an adjunct faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design.
In addition, our agenda for the evening will include:
• Update from our Delegate and Alternate Delegate regarding the 2015 NCSEA Annual Conference.
• Update on current SEC committee activity.
• Treasurer’s report.
Attendance to this seminar is worth 1.0 New York PDH Credits
Dinner Menu: Baby Arugula, Radicchio, Grape Tomatoes, Pecorino Romano, Honey Citrus Vinaigrette; Vanilla Bean Cheesecake for dessert
1.) Herb Roasted Breast of Chicken, Grilled Braised Cabbage, Smoked Gouda Gold Potato, Sauteed Apple Parsnip and Lardons, Cider Vinegar Demi; or
2.) Pan-Seared Salmon, Butternut Squash Pasta Tossed with Lobster Butter, Cider Glazed Salsify, Shellfish Veloute, Beet Green Pesto, Saffron Fennel Mico Celery
3.) Vegetarian Napoleon
DATE: Wednesday, December 7th, 2016
PLACE: NEW HAVEN LAWN CLUB, 193 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT
5:30 – 6:30 pm Registration, Social Hour, Hors D’Oeuvres & OPEN BAR
6:30 – 7:30 pm Dinner
7:30 – 9:00 pm Program
SEC Members: $75.00 per person
Non-Members: $85.00 per person
RESERVATIONS: Reservations are required. Please reply by 4:00pm, Friday, December 2nd. The Lawn Club will not accept dinner reservations received after December 2nd, so please register early.
WALK-INS CANNOT BE ACCOMMODATED!