April 18, 2016 by Establishing "Why" Since 1966
Mr. Pruemer is an experienced leader and civil engineer with over 15 years of extensive design, project management, and construction experience in the fields of site development and infrastructure. He has successfully worked and permitted projects within various local, state, and federal jurisdictions including DOT, Army Corps of Engineers, and Water Management Districts.
He is skilled in crafting technical proposals/reports and building trusted relationships with clients, government officials, vendors, and other design professionals. When you first meet with a Forensic Analysis & Engineering expert, one priority for the firm becomes immediately clear: customer service. You can count on our forensic experts go above and beyond to provide support and deliver results that help you “Establish Why” your loss occurred. Wherever you are in the world, we can help you overcome the challenges of solving the puzzling technical aspects of your case, whether it involves fire, explosion, a structural failure, product defect, or anything in between. Contact Forensic Analysis & Engineering today and launch a partnership for success.
We asked Kevin Pruemer, a civil/structural licensed Professional Engineer, and our Vice President of Engineering in Florida, to share some of his insights in the world of forensic engineering.
How did you get involved in forensic engineering, what inspired you?
“I have always been fascinated by figuring out how things work – and don’t work. This simple desire led me into the engineering profession and to forensics. I love looking for evidence and figuring out what happened and what needs to be done to fix an issue – big or small. It’s a challenge.”
Kevin goes on to say, “most of the building codes and design standards of today are based on the failures of the past. By analyzing failures, you learn a heck of a lot more about design and building than by studying successes.”
What is your favorite part of your profession?
“I like being in the field, meeting people, and solving problems. It’s great to piece together all the information and create a complete picture of what occurred, what factors contributed to the issue, and what needs to be done to correct the problem. No two incidents are alike and when I walk onto a new loss scene, you just never know what you are going to see. It’s very different than sitting at a desk designing what “should” be and this work forces you to deal with the reality of what actually happens in building structures.”
Do you have any crazy/funny stories from forensic cases you’ve done ?
“Ha Ha – yes. I recently went to a property (pictured above) for a client whose simple request was: determine if any damage has occurred to the home and if it needs repairs after a fire. When I arrived at property, over half the home was nearly burnt to the ground. Yes! The property definitely needs a lot of work!”
Do you have any favorite photos that you’ve taken?
“Here are two of my favorites. The above photo shows the results of an impact of a car on an internal wall of a home. The entire car landed in the living room.”
“This photo is of cracked floor joists which was supporting a bedroom floor in the home I was asked to examine. I thought the floor was going to collapse and I had to yell up to the homeowner to stop bouncing on the floors while I was underneath it, taking the picture.”
Do you have any advice to people (industry people or average citizens) about the importance of having qualified forensic engineers do inspections?
“A forensic engineer is trained specifically to find the root cause of damage and failure points for given situations. If you hire a specialty contractor to diagnose the problem, they will likely find an issue that needs to be fixed within their given specialty. You might end up paying to fix something that is not the root cause.
For example, I recently went to a loss site that had water damage to the floor. The homeowner believed the source of the water was from a leak in the window so she consulted a window specialist to fix the problem. The homeowner paid the contractor to reseal all the windows at a substantial cost. This did not fix the problem. Based upon my forensic evaluation, I determined the source of the water was coming from a failure in the door threshold and spreading under the flooring. The homeowner ended up paying for unnecessary repairs to the windows which failed to mitigate the amount of water that continued to damage her flooring.
The beauty of an investigation by a forensic engineer is that we are an independent resource and can get to the core of the problem, explain exactly what’s happening, and provide a path for fixing the problem.”
FAEC is fortunate to have Kevin on our team. Kevin is part of our extensive staff of engineers who our clients can count on for un-biased, technically accurate professional results. Call us if we can be of help to you.