Lessons derived from all forms of structural and equipment failure have been learned since the dawn of modern civilisation. Techniques and tools for investigating failure have been honed over time, by both scientists and practising engineers. However, until quite recently, failure investigation was restricted in that focus centre on material selection, design, product use/abuse, manufacture and failure mechanics within the part itself. Subsequent reporting therefore presented a somewhat narrow outlook, not fully exploring causes of failure or identifying potential problems that could follow. In more recent times the analytical discipline of forensic engineering has evolved, demanding a systematic approach to failure that will include any and all managerial and legal aspects surrounding an incident. The process will encompass and emphasise the whole system, rather than simply concentrating on the failure of a specific part. Service failure of any part or system will be accompanied by a clear potential for personal injury, monetary loss and/or damage to property. As such, forensic investigation and analysis are performed under an overarching umbrella of the legal system, with the consequences of failure being judged under the law of product liability. As a subject, forensic engineering is most commonly applied in civil law cases. However, its profile is also being raised in the arena of criminal law. In general, the objective of any forensic engineering investigation is to determine cause or causes of failure with a view to improve the performance or life of a component and/or to assist a court in establishing the facts of an event. The subject will also embrace the investigation of intellectual property claims, particularly patent disputes. Case study analysis has been identified as a prime route for promulgating failures in an attempt to limit (if not eliminate) further re-occurrence of identical failures. Furthermore, case study analysis has been accredited as a vehicle to inform a new generation of engineers of the downsides to new product development, and the serious consequences of product failure in the marketplace. Direct practical experience of failed products shows that 2there is still much room for progress in preventative engineering, and raising awareness among product designers and manufacturing personnel of the need to examine and analyse failures utilising appropriate tools which have been developed to a sophisticated level over the past decade.