Emphasis in Forensic Engineering

Forensic engineers are trained to logically investigate and analyse data from disasters, accidents and failures, and present an unbiased assessment of what the underlying cause may have been using deductive methodologies.

Wreckage of a propane tank explosion

Forensic engineer Professor Doug Perovic dismantled propane tanks involved in the Sunrise Propane plant explosion to look for the cause of the accident. (Courtesy: Doug Perovic)

The Emphasis in Forensic Engineering creates a unique opportunity for students to gain specialized expertise and recognition for a personal and professional commitment to enhanced engineering investigation skills that will compliment design skills learned in other courses. Forensic engineers investigate accidents and failures commonly causing personal injury and/or monetary loss—the consequences of which are normally dealt with in a court of law.

Forensic engineering training goes well beyond the expert witness in the courtroom, and is a part of professional engineering practice that intersects all disciplines of engineering. Forensic engineering skills are highly valuable in the assessment of deterioration in infrastructure, product quality and procedural practice improvement as a result of investigations, direct impact on improving engineering design practices, and revision of codes and standards to improve public safety.

The Emphasis in Forensic Engineering is available to MEng students in five departments in the Faculty (Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical & Industrial Engineering).

Students who complete the requirements of the Emphasis in Forensic Engineering will be provided with a certificate of completion.

Ontario Provincial Police crash tests used to teach collision reconstruction principles.


MEng students can earn an Emphasis in Forensic Engineering by completing four courses, including one core course. The remaining three elective courses may be selected from an extensive list.

Students who complete the requirements of the Emphasis in Forensic Engineering will be provided with a certificate of completion. The certificate may be claimed by contacting the Department of Materials Science & Engineering (materials.engineering@utoronto.ca).

Some courses may satisfy the requirements of multiple certificates (also called “emphases”). Students may double-count a maximum of one course towards the requirements of any two certificates.

Core Courses

MSE 1031H-Forensic Engineering

Elective Courses

APS 540H-Making Sense of Accidents
APS 1034H-Understanding Technological Catastrophes
APS 1039H-Enterprise Risk Management
APS 1040H-Quality Control for Engineering Management
BME 1802H-Human Factors in Medical Device Design
BME 1800H-Biomedical Product Development I
BME 1801H-Biomedical Product Development II
BME 1480H-Experimental Design & Multivariate Analysis
CHE 561H-Risk Based Safety Management
CHE 568H-Nuclear Engineering
CHE 1213H-Corrosion
CHE 1431H-Environmental Auditing
CHE 1432H-Technical Aspects of Environmental Regulations
CHE 1434H-Six Sigma for Chemical Processes
CIV 510H-Solid Mechanics II
CIV 518H-Behaviour and Design of Steel Structures
CIV 1163H-Mechanics of Reinforced Concrete
CIV 1171H-Principles of Earthquake Engineering and Seismic Design
CIV 1174H-Finite Element Methods in Structural Mechanics
CIV 1190H-Structures Under Blast and Impact
CIV 1201H-Concrete Technology and Non-Destructive Testing Principles
CIV 1279H-Construction Contract Documents
CIV 1282H-Case Studies in Building Science
CIV 1422H-Dynamic Response of Engineering Materials
CIV 1429H- Advanced Rock Engineering: Fractured Rock Masses
JMB 1050H- Biological & Bio-Inspired Materials
JNC 2503H-Environmental Pathways
MSE 1015H-Mechanical Properties of Solids I
MSE 1016H-Mechanical Properties of Solids II
MSE 1022H-Materials Issues & Application of Advanced Materials in Nuclear Systems
MSE 1032H-Atomistic Modelling of Materials
MIE 566H-Decision Analysis
MIE 1224H-Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning
MIE 1301H-Solid Mechanics
MIE 1303H-Fracture Mechanics
MIE 1411H-Design of Work Places
MIE 1414H-Human Factors in Transportation
MIE 1616H-Research Topics in Healthcare Engineering
MIE 1713H-Analysis and Design of Joints in Manufactured Products
MIE 1714H-Failure Analysis
MIE 1721H-Reliability
MIE 1723H-Engineering Maintenance Management
MIE 1727H-Statistical Methods of Quality Control
MIE 1804H-The Finite Element Method in Mechanical Engineering


Department of Materials Science & Engineering
materials.engineering@utoronto.ca | 416-978-3012