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Lyceum Society - The Forensics of Structural Failure


for Members

Lyceum Society - The Forensics of Structural Failure

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Lyceum Society


The Lyceum Society is comprised of the Academy's retired and semi-retired members. Talks cover various scientific fields. All Academy members are welcome.

All Lyceum meetings (except December) are Brown Bag lunches. Brown Bag: 11:30 am; Lecture & Discussion: 1pm to 3 pm.

Major structures are assumed to undergo careful analysis, rigorous design checks, inspections, and other Quality Control/Quality Assurance protocols. Yet errors happen. When these are perceived as serious, we must determine the What, Why, and Who of the failure. Litigation is often involved.

James Cohen will discuss some of the cases he has worked on and the techniques used for determining the proximate causes of these disasters. Although current litigation projects cannot be presented due to confidentiality, questions will be welcomed.

James Cohen has been investigating structural failures for over 30 years, beginning with the 1978 Kresge Auditorium at MIT. Since that time he has been involved in both major and minor failures as an investigating engineer. He also serves as an Emergency Responder, and as an Advanced Structures Specialist on the New Jersey urban Search and Rescue Team.

A PE, Professional Engineer, he is an Associate Principal in the engineering firm of Ove Arup & Partners, a leading multi-disciplinary design engineering consultancy, heading the forensic engineering work. Among many current projects, he is also lead investigator for both of last year's 51st St. and 91st St. crane collapses. He also is deeply involved in the 2nd Avenue subway project.

Cohen received a BSc from Cornell University and an MSc from Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

Travel & Lodging

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Hotels Near 7 World Trade Center

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Club Quarters, Wall Street

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Other hotels located near 7 WTC:

Embassy Suites Hotel


Millenium Hilton


Marriott Financial Center


Millenium Hilton


Club Quarters, Wall Street


Eurostars Wall Street Hotel


Wall Street District Hotel


Wall Street Inn


Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park