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Introduction to forensic engineering

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Why do products fail and who finds out why? In this free course, Introduction to forensic engineering, we enter the complex world of forensic engineering and examine how scientists analyse product failure. From investigating a ladder accident to determining the reasons behind the failures in medical products, you will understand how the truth can be established.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • analyse the cause of failures in polymer products
  • recognise safety-critical polymer components in products
  • describe different failure modes, using conceptual and engineering diagrams, such as fault-tree analysis diagrams
  • distinguish between non-specification features and defects in polymer products. Suggest ways of reducing the effects of defects
  • extract key information from standards, specifications, codes of practice, or technical literature and apply that information to product failures.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 20 hours
  • Updated Thursday 17th March 2016
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Engineering
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Introduction to forensic engineering


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Forensic engineering has grown substantially in recent years as consumers have demanded ever-increasing levels of quality. Premature product failure not only deprives the users of that product, but can also lead to personal injury and other detrimental effects. This unit introduces you to a subject of interest to engineers, designers, patent agents and solicitors.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 3 study in Engineering [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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