Presented by

  • Dr Sean Brady

    Dr Sean Brady

    Dr Sean Brady is a forensic engineer who specialises in investigating the causes of engineering collapses and failures. Sean is interested in role played by human and system factors in failure, and he has recently completed a review for the Queensland Government into the causes of fatalities in the Queensland mining industry since 2000. He is a director of the Society of Construction Law Australia, a member of the Singapore International Mediation Centre's Panel of Experts, and a visiting lecturer at a number of universities.


All professionals possess some measure of expertise, and not only is this expertise useful, it is usually also necessary to do the job. In general, this expertise is viewed as a good thing. But what if there is an issue with expertise? Is expertise always a good thing? This presentation will discuss how expertise has limitations when it is applied outside its normal area of application, and how these limitations will typically not be evident to the individual applying the expertise. Further, even in situations where evidence suggests the application of the expertise is inappropriate, it is likely that an individual will continue to apply their expertise regardless of its inappropriateness. To explore these issues the presentation will examine the behaviour of a group of firefighters fighting a wildfire in Mann Gulch in the US in 1949, it will look at psychological studies that examine the concept of Priming, and it will discuss how the game of baseball can assist in unravelling why expertise can sometimes let us down. Linux Australia: YouTube: