Expert Doug Perovic, leader of more than 500 investigations, will teach students how to analyze and prevent disasters
When the Sunrise Propane plant exploded in August 2008, killing plant worker Parminder Saini, police, fire and ambulance were called first – and then forensic engineers.
Forensic engineers are trained to find and analyse data from disasters, accidents and failures, and present an unbiased assessment of what the underlying cause may have been.
“Unlike some witnesses, physical evidence has no opinion, no bias and never lies,” says forensic engineer Doug Perovic, a professor in the department of materials science and engineering at the University of Toronto.
The Sunrise Propane explosion is one of the cases taught in Perovic’s Forensic Engineering course. Other cases include the Radiohead stage collapse in 2012, falling glass from the Shangri-La hotel in Toronto, and the painful fracture of an Ottawa woman’s prosthetic hip implant.
The course is the first of its kind in Canada and now core to a new Certificate in Forensic Engineering offered by the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. The certificate will be offered to undergraduate students starting in 2017-2018.