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Railroad Accident Investigation Reconstruction Safety Expert Witness

Keywords

Railroad Engineer Accident Investigation, Railroad Accident Investigation, Train Accident Reconstruction, Safety, Crossings, Design, Maintenance, Testing Of Rail Highway, Grade Crossings, Operations, Signaling, Derailment, Federal Employers Liability Act FELA, Video Computer Animation, Human Factors,

New York

Expert Witness No.1096

New York

Experience

1993–Present, A Private Company
Railroad Accident Investigator and Reconstructionist, specializing in the:

Design, maintenance, and testing of railroad/highway grade crossing warning devices and wayside signaling systems

Application of current research in the area of Human Factors as related to motorists approaching rail/highway grade crossings

Determination of Operating Rules compliance by train crews and other railroad operating personnel

Accurate determination of available motorist sight distance at grade crossings around fixed obstructions and through vegetation using various methods, including digital video

Application of professional digital video as a primary data acquisition and analysis tool for measuring train speeds, warning device timings, and other parameters common to railroad accident analysis

Use of cutting-edge computer-generated animation and video special-effects to clearly illustrate complex accident scenarios

Assistance of Counsel through each step of the investigation, including evidence preservation requests, interrogatories, requests for production, deposition questions for opposing witnesses and experts, evidence and testimony analysis, site inspections, technical issue research, and preparation of demonstrative evidence

1997–1998
Bryant & Stratton Business Institute       Cicero, NY
Adjunct Instructor

Taught courses DP240 “Systems Analysis and Design” and DP265 “Systems Development and Implementation,” in which students design and implement business computer applications and systems that efficiently meet the goals and objectives of management through initial and detailed investigation, systems flowcharts, written proposals, and reports. 

Students then construct a database management system using Microsoft Access and evaluate it for conformance to management and end-user needs.

1986–1995
Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail)  Syracuse, NY
Supervisor – Communications and Signals

Directly supervised 27 people responsible for the construction, maintenance and safety testing of mission-critical, computer controlled signaling and train control systems across a large portion of upstate NY.
Completed year-long “Engineering Management Training Program,” consisting of short-term
supervisory assignments in the Engineering Dept. system-wide.

Completed Conrail’s “Challenge of Supervision” seminar on management development in Philadelphia in March, 1991.

Signal Design Office in Philadelphia – designed railway signal systems and highway grade crossing installations.

Hired new personnel in dept. when required and assisted each with their professional career development.

Investigated many railroad accidents (including at crossings) and prepared detailed reports on my findings.

Worked closely with the Operations Dept. to facilitate train operations during the normal course of business and in crisis situations.

Made frequent head-end trips on both freight and passenger trains to observe the operation of the railroad’s infrastructure from the crew’s perspective, and to evaluate the train crew’s operating rules compliance.

Planned new signal construction and conducted safety testing (“cutovers”) required to place new signal installations and highway grade crossings in service.

Accompanied FRA inspectors on inspections of the property and handled any needed corrections/improvements.

Made frequent random inspections with signal maintainer and inspector at signal locations.

Completed Conrail’s Track Supervisor School in Pittsburgh – including qualification as a Track Inspector.

Participated in and directed numerous Quality “Process Improvement Teams (PIT)” designed to facilitate train transit reliability improvement.

Addressed Conrail’s annual Quality Congress at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City on December 1, 1992.

Gave a multimedia-assisted presentation on Continuous Quality Improvement initiatives taken during the past year and outlined challenges for the coming year.  Audience consisted of 500+ people, including Chairman & CEO James Hagen and Conrail’s Board of Directors.

Designed and delivered advanced multimedia technical training presentations to Signal Dept. personnel across the system detailing FRA testing requirements, and best maintenance and testing practices.

Advised superiors on cutting edge computer technology and how it could be practically applied to enhance railroad operations.

1981–1989
Tioga Central Railroad       Owego, NY
Member of Founders’ Team

Initiated freight and passenger service on Upstate NY shortline railroad

Participated in marketing, operations planning and management, Maintenance-of-Way and Equipment, customer contact, relations with connecting Class I carrier, etc.  Also qualified for all operating positions, including trainman, brakeman, conductor, locomotive engineer (steam and diesel locomotives), locomotive engineer instructor, and safety inspector.

Developed a solid “nuts and bolts” knowledge of the railroad industry.

1984–1986
Universal Instruments Corporation          Binghamton, NY
Engineering Co-op

Participated in two co-op work assignments while a student at Syracuse University

Assisted in R&D and manufacturing engineering design relative to the design and assembly of robotic circuit component insertion and testing equipment.

Education

1984–1986, Syracuse University
Bachelor of Science Degree – Electrical Engineering
Participant in Engineering Co-op Program
Dean’s List, named to Eta Kappa Nu Engineering Honorary

1982–1984,Alfred State College
Associate of Science Degree – Engineering Science

Additional Training and Certifications

2003, Collision Safety Institute, Inc.        Newmarket, Ontario
Certification as a Crash Data Retrieval (CDR) System Operator

2002, Northwestern University     Evanston, IL
Course – Traffic Accident Reconstruction I
Course – Traffic Accident Reconstruction II
Note:  These two courses meet the minimum training requirements prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for Police Accident Reconstructionists

2002   Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR)
Full Accreditation as a Traffic Accident Reconstructionist (No. 1285)
ACTAR Accreditation is recognized by  *  International Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists  *  Society of Accident Reconstructionists  *  American Society of Safety Engineers  *  National Association of Professional Accident Reconstruction Specialists  *  National Association of Traffic Accident Reconstructionists and Investigators  *  Canadian Association of Technical Accident Investigators & Reconstructionists  *  Midwest Association of Technical Accident Investigators  * 
Southwestern Association of Technical Accident Investigators  *  Central Missouri State University  *  Forensic Accident Reconstructionists of Oregon  *  Illinois Association of Technical Accident Investigators  *  Maryland Association of Traffic Accident Investigators  *  Michigan State Police  *  New Jersey Association of Accident Reconstructionists  *  Pennsylvania State Police  *  Texas Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists  *  Washington Association of Technical Accident Investigators  *  New York Statewide Traffic Accident Reconstruction Society  *  California Association of Accident Reconstruction Specialists  *  Colorado State Patrol  *  Rocky Mountain Institute for Transportation Safety – Colorado State University

2001   National Court Reporters Association    
Full Accreditation as a Certified Legal Video Specialist (CLVS)

Memberships (Past and Present)

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE)

Transportation Research Board (Friend of the Board)

National Association of Railroad Safety Consultants and Investigators (NARSCI) – President; Member - Peer Review Committee

New York State Traffic Accident Reconstruction Society, Inc. (NYSTARS)

National Association of Professional Accident Reconstruction Specialists (NAPARS)

Toastmasters International (Area Governor 1999-2000)

American Mensa, LTD.

Notary Public, Onondaga County, New York

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