CASE

Full Session without Abstracts

339404 - Construction Dispute Resolution Through Forensic Engineering

Friday, April 20
1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Location: 201B

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 “whodunnit,” you’re sure to enjoy this discussion of forensic strategies and headline-grabbing construction claims.

Benjamin Cornelius

Partner
LERA Consulting Structural Engineers

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 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 $700 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 Emerging Leaders Committee, has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design, and is the chair of ASCE's Committee on Forensic Investigations.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Benjamin Cornelius

Benjamin Cornelius

Partner
LERA Consulting Structural Engineers

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 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 $700 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 Emerging Leaders Committee, has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Rhode Island School of Design, and is the chair of ASCE's Committee on Forensic Investigations.

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Benjamin Cornelius


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