Official Review: Forensic Engineering Experience & Ex...

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Anirudh Badri
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Official Review: Forensic Engineering Experience & Ex...

Post by Anirudh Badri » 10 Apr 2018, 12:34

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Forensic Engineering Experience & Example" by Conrad Hoffman.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Forensic Engineering Experience & Example, by Conrad Hoffman, is a book that aims to give the reader a taste of what the life of a forensic engineer is like. It does not attempt to ‘sell’ the reader on pursuing it as a career, though it provides helpful tips and resources for readers who plan to, and presents a balanced picture of the glamour of the courtroom and the dreary pursuit of examining a scene and writing reports.

The author makes it clear at the very beginning that this is not a textbook for forensic engineers. As a reader with no plans in that direction, the book remained both accessible as well as interesting. The focus of this book is for the author to go through and explain the various facets of forensic engineering. He describes the process chronologically from the client's call to the trial in court. Along the way, he gives a variety of tips and tricks that he has learned over a long and successful career in the field. In addition, there are case studies that serve to drive home specific points that he is making, like the importance of keeping your records. Each chapter ends with a summary highlighting the key takeaways from the section.

The book is a treasure trove of relevant information that is laid out with a very clean structure. I learnt a lot by reading this, even without any intention of becoming a forensic engineer. The author explains his case studies without delving too far into the engineering aspects that would be hard for a casual reader to follow. I found the case studies relevant, short and engaging and felt at the end of the book that I knew the author quite well.

Unfortunately, there were also severe formatting and editing issues with the book. Whole pages are left blank for no apparent reason. There are a variety of bizarre formatting errors and out of place line breaks. There was even an entire page where some of the text was obscured by a blank white box. In addition, there were quite a few typos and errors. A combination of these things made the book harder to read and enjoy and should certainly be fixed at the earliest.

As a result of these factors, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I would recommend this book to people who are interested in pursuing a career in forensic engineering or who are undecided. The ideas are expressed in plain English, and no technical background is needed. The book is also interesting by itself, so I would also recommend it for people who just want an overview of what forensic engineering is about.

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Editor's Note: The publisher states the formatting issues mentioned in the review do not appear in the published version of the book.
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Forensic Engineering Experience & Example
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Post by KLafser » 12 Apr 2018, 04:55

It’s always a bonus when an author can speak about a topic in layman’s terms. Looking forward to this read. Nice review!

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Anirudh Badri
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Post by Anirudh Badri » 12 Apr 2018, 06:28

Yeah that always makes the book easy to read without worrying about the jargon.
It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.

–Oscar Wilde

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Post by kandscreeley » 12 Apr 2018, 07:17

Perhaps this would be good for teenagers who are trying to find the right career path for themselves? I myself am not interested in Forensic Engineering, so I doubt I'll pick up the book. It's too bad, also, about the formatting errors, but it sounds like those could be easily fixed with some editing!
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Post by Libs_Books » 12 Apr 2018, 09:57

it does sound fascinating in its own way, but it seems kind of ironic that engineering is so precise and yet a book describing it has unprofessional errors. Not sure this one's for me, but I enjoyed reading your review.

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Post by Kalin Adi » 12 Apr 2018, 11:54

I've always thought we all need to learn about everything in life as much as possible. Therefore, educating ourselves about forensic engineering is a good idea. I like the fact that the author did not use the forensic jargon but instead he used plain English for anyone who reads the book, even without forensic knowledge, could understand it. Thanks for this interesting review!

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Post by stacie k » 12 Apr 2018, 18:43

It sounds like a great book for young people who are drawn to the field based on what they see on TV. Through this book they will surely gain a more complete and balanced perspective about what this career entails. Thanks for an informative review!
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Post by Mercy Bolo » 13 Apr 2018, 05:40

It really bugs me when informative books are riddled with errors. That alone significantly takes away from the reading experience. Because I know little about what forensic engineering entails, I might check it out.
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