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Forensic Engineering

Expert Engineering Investigations, Testing and Legal Advice

Damaged gear teeth

Failed knee prosthesis showing wear and metal fatigue

The Forensic Engineering Group has been working for over thirty years to provide expert witness reports for legal and insurance purposes, including personal injury and product liability cases. Our expertise centres on the examination of failed products and structures to determine the cause of failure, including:

  • Engineering failure analysis
  • Metallurgy and materials science
  • Inspection and testing of products and materials
  • Mechanical failure
  • Corrosion and environmental attack
  • Legal advice


Prof. David Taylor and Prof. James (Jim) Dwan are professors in the Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Biomedical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. Between them they have over fifty years’ experience of materials engineering, product design and failure analysis. Our knowledge covers all types of materials including metals, plastics, ceramics, building materials and human-body materials. We have experience of a wide range of product sectors including domestic appliances, automotive parts, aerospace components, medical devices and civil engineering structures.

Mr Peter O’Reilly, Senior Experimental Officer, manages our extensive laboratory facilities for testing and analysis and provides advice on specialised test protocols for product assessment.

Mrs Sarah Reid, Barrister at Law, specialises in product liability, personal injury and medical negligence litigation. Since being called to the Bar in 2008 she has acted in cases involving medical devices and pharmaceuticals. In Trinity College she delivers lectures on all aspects of Courts litigation including expert evidence, forensic testing and compiling expert reports for trial.

Computer simulation of welded joint

Scanning electron microscope photograph of fractured metal


  • Microscopy and Electron Microscopy: for high magnification examination and imaging.
  • Mechanical Testing: a range of test machines for applying forces and vibrations to characterise materials and products.
  • Analysis of Materials: determination of material composition, defects and degradation; identification of unknown materials.
  • Stress analysis, strain measurement and computer simulation of products.


Professor David Taylor ([javascript protected email address]). Telephone +353 (01) 8961703