Chemistry Mechanical Engineer Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Chemistry, Materials Science, Thermo Mechanical Processing, Isothermal Forging, Titanium Aluminide Alloy, X-ray diffraction, Microstructure Analysis, Fractography,

Summary of Technical Expertise:

Diverse research portfolio management: broad new materials and mechanical systems development involving wide range of physical, chemical, and engineering disciplines.
Principle investigator responsible for internally funded $2.6M annual research budget.
2020 External funding: Co-PI ONR Contract: $1.65M, option for $1.35M; team member CESMI grant $764K; NSERC Canada CRD Grant $270K.
Industry & University teaming: building multidisciplinary consortia for technology transfer, transition, development, problem solving, and monetization:
Carbon-carbon aircraft brake life multi-scale model development: mechanics, University of Illinois; oxidation, University of Calgary; tribology, Purdue University, combined model, Honeywell.
Variable displacement axial piston jet fuel pump multi-scale lubrication model: Tribology, Purdue University; Cavitation, Notre Dame; combined model, Honeywell. Won ONR funding with no cost share.
Intrinsically damped electroformed bellows for hermetic sealing electromagnetic servo valves: mechanics multi scale modeling, University of Illinois; electrochemistry and coatings, University of Calgary; manufacturing, Stentech. Won NSERC CRD grant, partial funding.
Invited lecturer to universities, industry and government funding agencies on how to make these relationships work for all involved.
Applied research and development experience while co-located in an aerospace propulsion control and brake product development engineering organization. Developed materials for material enabled products for commercial (CF6, CFM56, HTF7000) and military (F404, F414, F100, F119, F135) engine fuel systems. Developed anti-oxidant coatings and structure property process models for Carbon-Carbon composite aircraft brakes for commercial and military applications (A380, A330, F-18, JSF).
Managed and performed multi-scale experiment & modeling: deterministic and probabilistic mechanical property (tensile, fatigue, fracture mechanics, creep), corrosion, thermophysical properties of metal, carbon-carbon composite, ceramics and coatings. Emphasized mechanisms to explain influence of operating environment.
Developed enabling tribological material and lubrication experiment and modeling for low lubricity wear and friction in valves, actuators, pumps, pistons, and bearings and controlled friction in C-C brakes.
Materials: superalloys (Waspaloy, Haynes 25, Inconel, Ultimate), aluminum (Al-Cu, Al-Si-Mg, Al-Sc; Al-Li,, Al-Fe-V-Si, Al-Be), titanium (alpha-beta, metastable beta, aluminides), refractory metals (W, Re, Nb, Mo), refractory carbides, magnesium (WE43), ceramics (silicon nitride, zirconia, zirconia toughened alumina, alumina, silicon carbide, ytterbium disilicate); glass (phosphate, lanthanide), carbon-carbon (CVI/CVD and pitch densified), coatings (TiN, Ti-C-N multilayer, B, Ni-Re, Ni-Co, Co-W, Co-P) processes (CVD, CVI, PVD, alloy electrodeposition, anodizing, spray forming, rapid solidification, sintering).


Master of Science in Materials Science & Engineering
University of Notre Dame, 1995
Thesis: Thermo-mechanical processing and crystallographic texture in super alpha-2 titanium aluminide.

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with Chemistry second major
Valparaiso University, 1986
Senior Project: Digital automation of a gas chromatograph for combustion product analysis

Ohio University, Fall 1986

Professional Engineer, Indiana


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (October 2020-present)
Adjunct Research Assistant Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering
Nuclear graphite post irradiation mechanical behavior research.

REXP2 Research LLC (August 2020-present)
Consulting services
Wettability and electro wettability of nano materials (ceramics, carbon/graphite, polymers).
Proposal writing: additive manufacturing of composites;
Pursuing SBIR/STTR grants for mechanical, biomedical, and chemical product R&D.

Honeywell Aerospace (1987 to May 2020)

Sr. Principal Engineer/Scientist (2001-Present)
Promoted based on demonstrated performance transitioning new materials from research to critical program winning products: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter STOVL actuation and engine (F135) control systems.
Industry-University collaboration
Fundamental objective: develop and tradition tech. from NASA TRL 1 to TRL 4, practical limit for Universities.
Mentored: 8 Post Docs, 11 PhDs, 7 MSs at 6 universities; 40 interns/coops and inspired 4 to pursue PhDs.
Proposed and won $1.65M from the Office of Naval Research for axial piston pump fuel lubrication and cavitation research. Collaboration with Purdue and Notre Dame.
Proposed and won matching funding ($270K) from Canada’s NSERC; partners: University of Calgary, Stentech; intrinsically damped electroformed nickel-cobalt bellows for servo valves; patented background technology; objectives: reduce part count; reduce null shift; hermeticity.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: multi scale modeling of carbon-carbon fatigue crack growth: establish process-structure-property relationships based on crack growth with DIC, nano-indentation, micro CT and molecular dynamics. Discovered new stress induced graphitization mechanism.
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: multi-scale modeling of fatigue crack growth using molecular dynamics of nano crystalline electroformed Ni-Co, based on TEM, EBSD and fatigue crack growth experiments.
University of Calgary: developed combined spark anodization and parylene coating process for corrosion protection of large cross section AA2219 aluminum. Eliminated 40 % fatigue strength loss inherent to conventional anodizing.
University of Calgary: developed spark anodization method for magnesium alloy WE43 with FOD resistant CVD Parylene-HT coating as a seal.
Purdue University; rolling element hybrid bearing life model for jet fuel vs. oil lubrication: 60 % less life reduction than bearing industry expectations; cut weight and size of axial piston fuel pumps and motors.
Purdue University: variable displacement fuel pump component lubrication models for surface pockets for robustness under starved lubrication; system dynamics of rotor port plate interface; multi student.
Southern Illinois University: developed new phosphate glass antioxidant coating for carbon-carbon brakes; doubled thermal and catalytic oxidation protection; reduced migration to friction surface.
University of Calgary: modeled oxidation mechanisms of carbon-carbon composites based on high resolution SEM imaging, electrochemical and gas phase oxidation data: established a nano-scale structural basis for coating transport and adhesion that explains differences in catalytic and thermal oxidation behavior in aircraft brakes, critical for optimizing AO and substrate chemistry/structure.
Notre Dame: developed cavitation bubble formation and collapse model for jet fuel to predict onset for design mitigation; predict bubble collapse to control erosion; variables: chemistry, geometry, nucleants.
University of Calgary: hexavalent chrome replacement coatings: Ni-Re, Co-W. Transitioned to Honeywell for scale up and extended to Ni-W and Co-P; aerospace and down hole applications.
Industry-National Laboratory collaboration
Sandia National Laboratory: constitutive model for braze alloys to join titanium to silicon nitride using a compliant interlayer structure; 60 % cost reduction using ceramic for wear and metal for structure.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory HTML user program: experimental design models for alumina ceramic tubular components.
Argonne National Laboratory: solid particle erosion of materials for contamination robustness in fuel systems; multi-year summer project, supporting BS Physics students between undergrad and grad school.
Internal research and development
Consistently won Honeywell Grants for Innovation and Growth ($75K, 6 months): COPNA resins for C-C densification (patented); hydrophobic coatings for phosphate glass and C-C (patented); vibration assisted particulate infiltration of C-C prior to pitch densification (patented); Lignin for carbon fiber precursors (2 project wins); Chemical cross linking of pitch for high throughput C-C densification.
Implemented Beta-C titanium spring technology in gas turbine fuel controls for reduced weight and size. Published first elevated temperature fatigue and elasticity study on Beta-C titanium springs. Developed JSF qualification test procedure still in use 15 years later.
Discovered and first published the mechanism for a new failure mode of severe (40 %) fatigue strength loss following anodization of large cross section rolled and forged aluminum-copper alloys.
Researched polymer (Parylene) sealing methods for anodized aluminum and magnesium, including cost vs. performance modeling as function of coating thickness.
Lead team developing ceramic antioxidant coatings for carbon-carbon capable of 1600 ºC performance in aircraft brakes and hypersonic vehicles. Patent pending.
Applied probabilistics to the specification method for ceramic materials to reduce discrepant material actions (MRB) over 95 %. Developed Probability of Detection (POD) verification procedure for non destructive testing of JSF fuel system raw materials.
Consulted (2 years) for Honeywell Turbo-Technologies (Garrett Motion) and Caterpillar on main journal bearing seizures in large engine turbochargers; determined root cause; developed chemical kinetics research plan with University of Dayton for mitigation; saved many million dollars in warranty expenses.
Led Honeywell engineering recruiting efforts at Midwest universities. Honeywell University Relations Campus Manager: University of Notre Dame, University of Illinois. Mentored interns, new hires, and graduate students. Site coordinator/mentor for a 20 person intern program. Collaborated with HR to develop training for engineers who would interview new graduate and intern candidates first round.

Principal Engineer (1999-2000)
Developed and transferred enabling tribological materials technology to design engineers for fuel powered actuation of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter STOVL aircraft engine (F135-PW-600) thrust vectoring three bearing swivel nozzle (3BSN) and roll post actuator; critical to contract win and retention (lost business twice on cost, won back after competitor failures). 3BSN was 2nd highest risk system in JSF in development.
Implemented probabilistic design methodology and infrastructure for highly stressed structural ceramics (silicon nitride, alumina) for use in prime reliable and flight critical components. Trained design engineers to design for ceramics considering fast fracture and time/cycle dependent fracture modes.
Lead production implementation and supplier development for ceramics, PVD coatings and advanced metallics in axial piston motors.

Senior Staff Engineer (1996-1998):
Developed design and tribological data for ceramics, PVD coatings and advanced metallics for tribological applications in jet fuel powered axial piston motors for engine actuation. Received AlliedSignal Technical Achievement Award for success.
Developed probabilistic design data for silicon nitride ceramics for pressure vessels. Lead probabilistic analysis tool selection, experimental performance evaluation, and training.
Saved $1M/year by solving critical hot short cracking problem in leaded bronze cast into steel through metallographic and early 20th century historical literature research. Developed mechanical and tribological property data for alternative alloys to bronze materials which were no-longer available.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory HTML; wrote accepted proposal to perform neutron diffraction at HFIR on bronze bonded to steel in aircraft hydraulic motors to measure residual stress and stop cracking.

Senior Engineer (1991-1995):
Designed functionally gradient electroplated refractory metal-nickel tribological and diffusion barrier coatings for NASP (hypersonic) hydrogen control valves. Built controlled atmosphere diffusion bond test capability.
Began a multi-year summer research collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory on particle erosion of metals, ceramics, and coatings. Recognized by ANL as an example of technology transfer leading to $100K/year cost savings on government contracts (F119 engine for F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter).
Automated the tribology laboratory reducing labor by 60%. Outsourced mechanical, thermophysical and crystallographic property testing for improved throughput and reduced cost.
Transitioned aluminum-lithium alloy AA8090 and high temperature aluminum alloy AA8009 from corrosion, fatigue, and fracture research to gas turbine engine fuel control and actuator pressure vessel applications.
Developed prototype zirconia toughened alumina and silicon nitride valves for gas turbine fuel controls.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory High Temperature Materials Laboratory User Program participant: high temperature cyclic, dynamic, and static fatigue in silicon nitride, X-ray residual stress to quantify machining damage, nano-indentation hardness of hard anodize coatings on aluminum as it related to solid particle erosion research performed at Argonne National Laboratory;
Initiated research on corrosion protection of magnesium WE43 with U. Calgary and Notre Dame. Developed mechanical property (tensile, creep, fatigue) data base for WE43. Developed FOD resistant coatings.

Engineer (1988-1990):
Principal Investigator of the Advanced Materials Internal Research and Development Program: Ceramics for fuel and gas valves, light weight metals, high temperature materials. Consistently achieved scores in top 5% of the business unit for government technical reviews of IR&D activity.
Developed mass spectrometer hydrogen gas seal test apparatus for use up to 840 ºC.
Designed and built high temperature tribometer for use to 1100 ºC.
Proposed and executed Collaborated with University of Massachusetts on hot erosion and strength loss in silicon nitride.

Associate Engineer (1987):
Wrote proposals for hot hydrogen and oxygen valves for the hypersonic National Aerospace Plane (X-30) Performed flow vs. size study to minimize system weight.


2020 STLE – Walter D. Hodson Award Richardson, D., Sadeghi, F., Rateick, R., Rowan, S., “Dynamic Modeling of Floating Valve Plate Motion in an Axial Piston Pump” Tribology Transactions, Vol 61(4), pp. 683-693, 2018.
2014 STLE – Walter D. Hodson Award: Cross, A.T., Sadeghi, F., Cao, L., Rateick, R.G., and Rowen, S.,”Flow Visualization in a Pocketed Thrust Washer,” Tribology Transactions, 55:5, 571-581, 2012.
2013 Honeywell Technical Achievement Award: Chrome replacement electroplate coating development
2012 STLE Tribology Transactions, Surface Engineering Best Paper Award: Wang, C., Sadeghi, F., Wereley, S. T., Rateick, R. G., and Scott, R., “Experimental Investigation of Lubricant Extraction from a Micropocket,” STLE Tribology Transactions, Vol. 54(3), pp. 404-16, 2011
2002 Honeywell Technical Achievement Award: “For outstanding and innovative contribution to the development of Three Bearing Swivel Duct,” 2002. 1997: AlliedSignal Technical Achievement Award, “For outstanding contribution to AlliedSignal Inc. in the field of Advanced Materials for Low Lubricity Metering and Actuation Applications.”
First Place and Highest Technical Content awards for senior project presentation, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Region VI Student Member Competition (1986). Topic: Computer Aided Chromatography.

Continuing Education (Teacher and student highlights):

Taught: Ashby methods for material selection and design (ASM)
Taught: Steel Making from 1850-1920 (ASM, Notre Dame Chapter)
Taught: Corrosion, a historical to state of the art approach based on the Evans’ electrochemical theory. (ASM, Notre Dame Chapter)
Invited lecturer at the University of Calgary and Notre Dame on creating win-win University-Industry collaborations.
Taught: Senior Design Project, Materials Science and Engineering, Notre Dame. Materials for diffusion barriers.
Fatigue and Fracture basic and advanced courses, early and late courses (University of Illinois)
Weibull & Log Normal Distribution Class (SAE)
CARES Probabilistic Design for Ceramics
Ceramics Mechanical Design (American Ceramic Society)
Lean Manufacturing (University of Tennessee),
Design for Six Sigma (Honeywell)

Professional Societies:

ASM International: Technical Books Committee (3 years); Notre Dame chapter chair (2 years), program chair, Short course instructor (Ashby methods for material selection); Meeting lecturer (Electrochemical corrosion theory from a historical perspective; Steal manufacturing history 1850-1920).

Outside Interests:

Experimental microbiology, histology, photo microscopy.
Metallurgical/materials science historian
Restoration of antique scientific instrumentation and bicycles, amateur machinist
Designed and built an audio sound restoration studio for preservation of historic recordings


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