National Academy of Forensic Engineers
NAFE Winter Conference 2020
January 10 – 12, 2020 at the San Diego Marriott, La Jolla, CA
Book your group rate for our meeting for any nights from 5 Jan - 16 Jan 2020.

Conference Program

NAFE Winter Meeting Registration 2020


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.
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.


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

I am looking forward to seeing each you and your guests at the upcoming 2020 NAFE Winter Conference. The 2020 NAFE Winter Conference will be held at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla, San Diego, CA on January 10-12, 2020. The Conference will include a Special Track on Marine and Aquatic Engineering Investigations along with special guest speaker Captain Jason Neubauer, Chief of the Office of Investigations & Analysis at US Coast Guard Headquarters.  During the past several months, NAFE President John Certuse and other NAFE leaders actively participated in and contributed NAFE’s important and unique forensic engineering perspective at the following meetings:

  • NCEES Participating Organizations Council (POLC) Meeting

  • Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards (CESB) Annual Meeting

  • National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Convocation

  • ASME Public Policy Forum.

  • NSPE Professional Engineers Conference (PECON)

  • NCEES Annual Meeting

  • Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Annual Meeting and Expo.

NAFE is currently implementing a series of recommendations approved by the NAFE Board of Directors in July 2029 to both strengthen and protect the Academy’s finances and also to identify ways to better serve and continue to grow the NAFE membership, improve the NAFE Journal and the NAFE Conference experience. NAFE headquarters continues to receive a flurry of inquiries from attorneys, NAFE members and others 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 members 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. NAFE headquarters continues to explore opportunities for improvements and enhancements as we seek better and more efficient ways to serve NAFE members. 

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 NAFE events for 2020 thru 2021: 

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

  • The 2021 NAFE Winter Conference will be held at the El Conquistador Tucson Hilton, Tucson, AZ, on January 8-10, 2021.

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].


To view a portion of the NAFE Fire Investigation Techniques Seminar from the 2019 NAFE Summer Conference in Denver, Colorado, please click the screen below:

If you would like a visual instruction of how to search our directory, watch this short video.

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:


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, PEJohn 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.


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.