National Academy of Forensic Engineers

    Come to the NAFE 2019 Summer Conference

July 26 - 28, 2019

Westin Denver Downtown

Denver, Colorado


Hotel - reserve your room at the  Westin Denver Downtown

 at the discounted rate of $189.00

Seminar Fees:   $500 per day
10% early-bird discount until May 10th 
First time NAFE Conference attendees and Life Members -  Half price!


     Register for the conference online        

Program and Schedule  


Welcome to NAFE®

The National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) was formed to identify and bring together professional engineers having qualifications and expertise as practicing forensic engineers to further their continuing education and promote high standards of professional ethics and excellence of practice. It seeks to improve the practice, elevate the standards, and advance the cause of forensic engineering. Full membership in the Academy is limited to Registered Professional Engineers who are also members of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). They must also be members in an acceptable grade of a recognized major technical engineering society. NAFE also offers Affiliate grades of membership to those who do not yet qualify for Member grade.  NAFE is formally affiliated with NSPE, but is an independent organization incorporated in the State of Virginia.

Meet some members

 (5 minute video)

NAFE Mission:
The National Academy of Forensic Engineers and its members are committed to:
  • Serving the public by advancing the ethical and professional practice of forensic engineering;

  • Serving the jurisprudential system by certifying individuals having achieved expertise in forensic engineering;

  • Serving Academy members and furthering the development of forensic engineers through education and the publication of peer-reviewed technical literature.


Remembering Marvin Specter, PE - NAFE Founder, Past President and Executive Director

...and Mark Whelchel, PE - NAFE Past President - Rest in Peace.


A Message from NAFE President John Certuse, PE

John Certuse

Dear NAFE Community;

I thank you for the opportunity to serve you as the 36th President of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers.

Starting out as a sole practitioner self-employed forensic engineer in the early 1990's, I remember my excitement during my first assignments as well as the anxiety I felt leading up to my first depositions and trials! Working alone, I had no resources to assist me in improving my craft which lead me to the academy for support and guidance in my new profession.

I remember my first conversation with our founder and Past President Marvin Specter about the benefits of membership in our academy and I was not disappointed.

The academy has provided me with mentors and colleagues generous enough to share their knowledge of forensic technical investigations as well as how to better prepare myself as an expert witness during the legal process we often participate in. From discipline specific forensic procedures, contract and business administration issues, engineering ethics and national licensure, the academy has provided guidance and representation to the forensic engineering community since it was founded in 1982. Our academy has benefited from the knowledge shared by many of our academy's original members who are still active in our profession today as well as the many new members that have joined us. As an expert witness having testified in forensic matters I have benefited from being the author of papers that I have written for our NAFE Journal in many ways and I urge all academy members to consider doing so themselves. I am excited for the future of our academy as new forensic engineering and investigation professionals continue to join our ranks from all disciplines of the forensic engineering and investigation communities from across the country, Canada and beyond! From our ranks of Affiliates to Fellows, our cumulative experiences make up an extensive knowledge base across all areas of forensic investigation areas.

I urge you to become active in our academy by attending our meetings and consider serving our profession by contributing through committee participation.  I know that as I found the academy to be an invaluable resource to our forensic engineering profession, you will as well.


A Message from NAFE Executive Director Arthur Schwartz, J.D., CAE    

An enormous amount of volunteer and staff planning resulted in a fabulous 2019 NAFE Winter Conference at the Wyndham Grande Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, Orlando, Florida on January 4-6. The Academy had record-breaking attendance with many “first timers” many of whom have since become new NAFE members.

Among the meeting highlights included a “behind the scenes” Disney Imagineering tour of the Disney Animal Kingdom Avatar Pandora ride (concept, design, construction, operation and maintenance) featuring Audio-Animatronics, 3-D Holograms and a 3D Flying Simulator.

The NAFE Winter Conference included such events as poolside receptions/dinners, the ASTM E-58 Committee Meeting where key forensic engineering issues were considered, excellent technical and professional presentations NAFE members on a variety of important forensic engineering topics, with breakfast, lunch and breaks providing additional opportunities for networking. The Winter Conference also featured several ethical and legal issues of interest to forensic engineers during the Sunday Special Seminar, including a “Mock Forensic Engineering Deposition Session” and a session on “Insurance Fundamentals for Forensic Engineers.”

Upcoming NAFE events in weeks and months ahead include participation in the March 2019 Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) Annual Meeting, the April 2019 National Academy of Engineering Convocation, the April 2019 ASME Public Policy Forum and the August 2019 NCEES Annual Meeting. All events are in the Washington, DC area.

NAFE headquarters continues to be very busy with membership inquiries and renewals, both nationally and internationally, CPD and other activities. NAFE headquarters continues to explore opportunities for improvements and enhancements as we seek better and more efficient ways to serve NAFE members. 

NAFE headquarters continues to receive a flurry of inquiries from attorneys, NAFE members and other interested in retaining the services of NAFE members for various professional assignments.  I routinely post these inquiries on the NAFE List Serve so that all NAFE members have an equal opportunity to review them, decide if they would be interested in pursuing the opportunities or recommend other qualified NAFE member for the assignments.  So, if you are not on the NAFE List Serve and you are eligible, you need to be since the List Serve provides members with access to this information, share valuable professional and technical insights and pose important professional and technical practice questions.  I am always very impressed how much NAFE members have been eager to share the benefit of their experience and expertise on the NAFE List Serve.

I am pleased that NAFE members continued use of and access to the NAFE website, updating their personal and professional information, using the NAFE membership directory and the NAFE document library. 

Please be sure to “Save the Dates” for the following events NAFE events for 2018 and 2019: 

  • The 2019 NAFE Summer Conference will be held at the Westin Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado on July 26-28, 2019.

  • The 2020 NAFE Winter Conference will be held at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla, San Diego, CA in January 10 -12, 2020.

  • The 2020 NAFE Summer Conference will be held at the Providence Hilton, Providence, Rhode Island in July 31 – August 2, 2020.

Thank you for your NAFE membership and your continued support!  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at any time at 703-684-2845 or [email protected]


NAFE Diplomate Forensic Engineer (DFE) Certification Reaccredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) 

Great news!  NAFE’s Diplomate Forensic Engineer (DFE) certification program has been reaccredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) until the end of 2021. 

In an April 13, 2017 letter, CESB Executive Director William C. Anderson, P.E., DEE advised NAFE Executive Director Arthur Schwartz, that the CESB Board of Directors approved reaccreditation of NAFE’s DFE certification program when it met on March 29, 2017 based on documentation NAFE submitted on September 2, 2016.   The CESB Board concluded that the NAFE DFE program was “adequately structured and is in substantial  conformance with the applicable CESB Guidelines” as adopted by CESB on May 1, 2010.  CESB advised that NAFE’s reaccreditation will continue until December 31, 2021 as which time, NAFE will be again subject to the scheduled reaccreditation process. 

NAFE Past President Ross Curtis, P.E. (who also currently serves as CESB Treasurer) oversaw the successful CESB reaccreditation application process on behalf of NAFE with the strong involvement in completing the application by NAFE Past President Jeffrey Armstrong, P.E.  At its recent March 29, 2017 Annual Meeting, NAFE President Michael Leshner, P.E., provided a seminar to CESB Program Administrators on NAFE’s transition to the MemberClicks membership database.

The Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) is an independent, voluntary membership body created for its member organizations who recognize, through specialty certification, the expertise of individuals practicing in engineering and related fields.  CESB, as an accrediting body:

  • provides criteria and guidelines for the establishment and operation of specialty certification programs for engineers, technologists, technicians, and related scientific;

  • serves as a recognized body for organizations that certify individuals;

  • represents its members in communications and in negotiations with public and private agencies, groups, and individuals with respect to matters of common interest;

  • informs employers, specifiers, public officials, the public, and engineering and related practitioners of the benefits of specialty certification.

For more information about CESB, please visit

Past NAFE Seminars

Twice each year, NAFE members meet in different locations around the US for two full days of Forensic Engineering seminars.  14 hours of continuing education credits are available, along with the opportunity to network with others in our field.  Programs for some past conferences are linked below:


Call for Papers

NAFE seeks Members & Affiliates that are interested in submitting paper abstracts for consideration as potential presenters and peer-reviewed published authors!

Topic: the application of engineering principles to legal matters  

Submit an abstract or idea

Contact: [email protected]

More information:

NAFE Journal Contents
NAFE Journal Guidelines

What is Forensic Engineering?

Forensic Engineering is "the application of the art and science of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the jurisprudence system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution.“

If you are interested in learning more about the broad and developing field of forensic engineering, and would like to have the benefits of professional association with the Academy's members, read the Joint NSPE and NAFE statement. Better yet, apply for membership   


Engineering Credentials

The various credentials for Engineers and Allied Professionals and the continued increase in the number of such credentials create confusion for practitioners and consumers alike. Many have recognized that this confusion compromises the effectiveness of these credentials. Some of the confusion is due to lack of understanding about credentials, their benefits and limitations, and credentialing terminology. To address these needs, the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) have collaborated to prepare this tutorial on credentials for engineers and allied professionals.

All NAFE Members, Senior Members and Fellows are Board Certified and credentialed Diplomate Forensic Engineers

 Read more by downloading the entire tutorial in PDF form.




All NAFE Members and Affiliates now have immediate free online access to all NAFE Journal articles -1984 to present