Engineering analysis

SEL’s independent scientific and engineering services are trusted by industry and clients, with decades of experience and rigorous scientific standards.

Contact Us Today

After the scene investigation is complete, SEL continues to apply our engineering expertise, experience, and knowledge to the analysis of the incident, conducting in depth research, both through physical testing and through the literature, into the potential issues.  When appropriate, we employ engineering models to examine the fire dynamics, gas dispersion, overpressure events, thermodynamics and other parameters involved in events, testing our hypotheses until we reach a sound conclusion that is based on science.

During an artifact examination, SEL’s engineers and fire investigators thoroughly document any materials or items retained from the scene, including x-rays and CT scans if needed. We ensure that any necessary testing and measurements are performed.

We may also document and perform analysis and demonstrative testing on exemplar devices or materials if appropriate. Often, the examination and analysis of exemplars can provide insight into how a device and its components function, if any potential ignition sources are associated with a device or material, and how materials perform when exposed to ignition sources.

Once our engineering analysis is complete, we can provide the details of the analysis and our conclusions informally, in a brief report of findings, or in an expert report. Our fire investigators and engineers are also experienced in providing expert testimony and have done so worldwide. Based on our scientific assessment, laboratory testing, and research, our professionals present the facts and our conclusions so that they are easily understood by the court, juries and interested non-technical individuals.

We can also prepare graphics and animations for trial exhibits, some examples of which can be found on our Graphics and Animations page, help clients develop litigation strategy, and provide information management systems for organizing, storing and retrieving large volumes of case, discovery and trial information.


Multiple engineers at SEL are experienced at executing fire models, including zone and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) models. These tools can help us examine the behavior of compartment fires as well as products of combustion under multiple scenarios including different burning and ventilation conditions. When executing a fire model, the user’s representation of the structure, its contents, and their material properties will determine the accuracy of the model and its output. When one of our engineers is working on a fire model, SEL’s graphic services can produce a three-dimensional models based on scan data, photographs, measurements, and other available information to represent the structure. This three-dimensional model as well as our careful consideration of contents and material properties allows us to be confident in the fire model’s results.


To make complex and technical scenarios quickly and easily understood, SEL provides demonstrative evidence services including:

  • Animation
  • Computer-generated graphics
  • Three-dimensional scale models
  • Video walk-through of simulated sites and scenes
  • Large-format engineering art and layouts
  • Site scanning by 3D ground systems and aerial drones
  • Analysis and deliverable graphics from point-cloud data and 3D scanning.
  • Analysis and correlation of video footage
  • Virtual access to scenes, preserving the ability to view and navigate the site after remediation.

SEL develops graphics not just to illustrate events but also to assist in the analysis of a fire or explosion. Our graphics designer can employ 3D scan and point-cloud data, or old-fashioned photographs and measurements, to render detailed three-dimensional com