NAFE 2016 Winter Meeting


Sunday Special Seminar Program Details


Sunday, January 24 - NAFE Special Seminar (8 PDHs) 


9:00      “Forensic Engineering Ethics”:  Arthur Schwartz, Esq., CAE – NAFE Executive Director, Sam Sudler, PE   

NAFE Executive Director Arthur Schwartz will provide an overview of key issues relating to forensic engineering ethics and will conduct an interactive session involving a series of forensic engineering ethics cases based on the Opinions of the NSPE Board of Ethical Review during which conference attendees will review/discuss the case facts in small groups and offer their views and opinions to the broader group based upon their professional experiences. 

10:45    “The Intersection of Law, Forensic Engineering, and the Insurance Industry”:  Rebecca Levy-Sachs, Esq. 

Attorney Rebecca Levy-Sachs has worked both for and against the Insurance industry for many years.  She will review the roles of Lawyers, Forensic Engineers and Insurance companies as claims are investigated, litigated and resolved.

12:00    Round Table Discussion (includes lunch) 


Afternoon Session: Two Tracks of Educational Presentations

Track 1Accident Reconstruction 

1:30   “The Sequence of Event Analysis for Accident Reconstruction Computer Assisted - Practical Applications to Road Accidents and Follow up on Italian Train Accident and Trial Outcome Prof. Fabrizio D’Errico, Maurizio Dalla Casa, Esq.

            Professor D’Errico and attorney Dalla Casa presented their Train Accident Reconstruction at the NAFE Special Seminar in Minneapolis in July, 2013.  They are returning to update on the Sequence of Event Analysis (SEA) method computer aided for reconstruction of complex accidents. Their talk starts from brief overview on SEA method, to present practical application to complex road accident reconstruction. They will be presenting the SEA method applied in the Court as expert witness Mr.D’Errico has testified. Description of the SEA method in the train accident trial and the role that their reconstruction analysis and videos played in the outcome will be illustrated by the speakers.

2:30    “Forensic Engineering Analysis of Video-Captured Pedestrian Collisions” – Rachel Keller, PE

Most empirical methodologies for correlating vehicle speed with throw-distance have historically been developed and validated primarily with cadaver and dummy testing.  In order to rigorously validate empirical and statistical modelling, it is desirable to expand the body of knowledge in the collision reconstruction community by including the results of actual vehicle-pedestrian collision events into these data sets.  This presentation will discuss a methodology which can be used to expand the existing knowledge base about pedestrian collisions, and can also be used to reconstruct individual collision events.  Video-captured vehicle-pedestrian collision events provide a unique opportunity to gather data related to point of impact, point of final rest, vehicle speed, impact speed, and impact configuration.  By applying a rigorous methodology for extracting critical information from video footage of vehicle-pedestrian collision events and combining it with traditional accident reconstruction diagrammatic and physics approaches, the accident reconstruction engineer can complete a full evaluation of the sequence, paths, speeds, distances, times, lines-of-sight, and avoidance capabilities for involved vehicles and pedestrians. This presentation will present the raw data for 6 video-captured vehicle-pedestrian collision events for incorporation into existing analysis frameworks, and will demonstrate that they further validate the empirical reconstruction methodologies that have been presented previously in the literature.

3:30    Special Technical Presentation:  Bulldozer Visibility Impairments and Landfill Operations Defects Result in a  Serious Injury: A Case Study – Harold Josephs, PhD, PE

This case study reviews the hazards involved with the work procedures and work environment combined with large mobile equipment associated with a landfill operation. An active landfill is a very busy work environment. There typically is a constant stream of municipal solid waste (MSW) trucks of various sizes and dimensions approaching and dropping their waste load onto the landfill active work area, which is referred to as the landfill face or tipping area. In addition to the MSW delivery truck traffic, the active face in this case study was being traversed back and forth by two large industrial vehicles: one a bulldozer (or tracked vehicle) and the other a wheeled compactor vehicle. The injured party, who was just transferred to the job of “waste spotter,” or just spotter, had the responsibility of directing the incoming stream of MSW trucks as to where to dump their loads while also directing (and avoiding) the tracked loader bulldozer and the wheeled compactor vehicle as they operated on the landfill active face.  Additionally, due to the dumped MSW, the active landfill face topography is constantly changing, and the pedestrian spotter therefore must constantly be moving on the active face to avoid being struck by the vehicular traffic. The bulldozer manufacturer acknowledged that the bulldozer travels in reverse approximately fifty percent of its operating time on the landfill space. Hence, any static visibility impairments were further compounded when the bulldozer traveled in reverse over changing topography. Other issues that negatively affected the landfill face hazardous environment were a lack of any safety procedures for the landfill face and a lack of hazard training and instructions provided to the waste spotter working the landfill face. Another issue involving this case study was the existence of a vertically gas vent pipe located in the tipping area that had to be avoided by the tipping area truck traffic.

            Track 2 Developing and Maintaining a Forensic Engineering Practice 

1:30    “Ten Cardinal Rules for Forensic Engineers” – David Icove, PhD, PE

2:45    “Practical Advice for Resolving Problems That Occur in Forensic Engineering Practice”  – panel discussion:

Michael Leshner, facilitator.  Panel members: Smith Reed, Paul Swanson, Jeffrey Armstrong.

4:00      Q&A - All Speakers – All Topics - Both Tracks

4:30      Adjourn


About the speakers


Arthur Schwartz, Esq., CAE - In addition to serving as NAFE Executive Director, Arthur Schwartz is the deputy executive director and general counsel of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).  Schwartz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1977) and a Juris Doctor degree from the American University/Washington College of Law (1980). Schwartz is a member of the American Bar Association, as well as the District of Columbia, Florida, and Virginia Bar Associations. He is also an honorary member of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers and a certified association executive (CAE).

Schwartz writes both an ethics column and a legal column in NSPE's monthly publication, PE magazine, and a professional practice column for Structural Engineer  magazine. He has written extensively for various professional journals on matters involving ethics, professional liability, contracts, and engineering licensing and has participated as a guest lecturer at many colleges and universities, federal and state agencies, and national professional association conventions.

Schwartz has authored more than 400 published ethics decisions and has written dozens of articles and papers addressing such topics as the protection of the public health and safety, conflicts of interest, duty of confidentiality, professional competency, liability, risk management, contracts, insurance, and other professional practice issues.


Rebecca Levy-Sachs, Esq. - Attorney Rebecca Levy-Sachs has been a member of the New Jersey State and Federal Bar for 36 years and the Florida Bar for 12 years. She is Senior Counsel at Traub Lieberman, Straus & Shrewsberry, LLP. and was previously Managing Attorney for the Florida Office of Robinson & Cole, LLP, and a Partner at Podvey Sachs Meaner & Catenacci in Newark, N.J. She has litigated all types of claims and coverage issues and has made and defended numerous Daubert challenges of engineers, scientists, economists, and other professionals. She is a frequent presenter at bar and industry meetings and has made over 60 written and spoken presentations to the property insurance industry over the past 18 years.

She has presented CLE and CE lectures with respect to Daubert challenges on a number of occasions. She served as a National Board Member of DRI (Defense Research Institute) from 2001-2003, and received a DRI Leadership Award in 2001. She is member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and received the John Appleman Award as Outstanding Section Chair in 2010. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Florida Super Lawyer, and named as Top Lawyer in Sarasota, Manatee and Tampa Bay.


Prof. Fabrizio D’Errico, Politecnico di Milano, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Maurizio Della Casa, Attorney at Law

Rachel Keller, PE

Rachel E. Keller is a Professional Engineer in Mechanical Engineering and has practiced in Forensic Engineering for 15  years. Her primary practice involves accident reconstruction. She is currently a Managing Engineer for Focus Forensics LLC.

Harold Josephs, PhD PE

Dr. Josephs is a Professor Emeritus at Lawrence Technological University. Dr. Josephs is the author of numerous technical papers and is the co-author of two engineering texts. He has nine patents and he has presented numerous seminars to industry focusing on quality, safety, fastening and joining.

David Icove, PhD PE

 Dr. Icove is an internationally recognized forensic engineering expert with over 40 years of experience, Dr. Icove's expertise is based on a blend of university teaching, on-scene fire tests and experiments, and authorship of several peer-reviewed textbooks and articles. A retired federal law enforcement agent, he has testified as an expert witness in civil and criminal trials, as well as before U.S. Congressional Committees seeking guidance on key legislative initiatives.