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Mechanical Engineer Design Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Mechanical Engineer Design, Mechanical Design,Design Stress Analysis, Hydraulic, Tow Truck, Operation, Safety, Automotive Lift, Fabrication, Truck Body, Manufacturing Operation, Construction Equipment, Manufacturing, Steel Fabrication, Heat Transfer Thermal Analysis, Trash Truck, Garbage Truck, Forklift, Car Carrier, Car Hauler, Auto lifts, parking lifts, tow truck design, towtrucks

Expert Witness No.957

Education

BS Mechanical Engineering, 1969, Cornell University
MS Mechanical Engineering, 1970, Stanford University

Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honorary Society

Registration

Professional Mechanical Engineer, California

Patents

Available upon request

Areas of Expertise

Mechanical and Hydraulic Design
Design, Fabrication, and Operation of:
Towtrucks
Car carriers
Trailers
Lift gates
Construction equipment (clamshells, grapples)
Automotive and motorcycle lifts
Trash Trucks
Telescopic handlers Loaders
Scissor lifts
Crane loading fixtures
Steel and Aluminum Fabrication

Computer Capabilities

Solid Works, Autocad, COSMOS Works FEA for stress analysis, MS Office, MS Excel

Teaching Experience

Guest lecturer on Hydraulics in Mechanical Design at California Polytechnic Institute, Pomona CA

Articles Written

Available upon request

Industrial Experience

(Listed and described below.)

Professional Consulting Experience
(Owner and principal investigator of consulting engineering firm.)

  • County Vehicle Service Facility. Support of a marketing effort in the design and construction of a new service facility for county vehicles.  Expert 957 provided support as the industry expert for auto lift inspection and procurement.
  • Speedboat Trim Tab Malfunction. Inspection of the control system for the trim tabs on a speedboat.
  • Compressor Tank Relief Valve. Inspection of the air compressor, pressure tank and tank relief valve at a manufacturing plant to ascertain the cause of alleged injury.
  • Motorcycle Lift Accident. Inspection of a scissor type motorcycle lift in a repair facility to determine the cause of an injury.
  • Open Car Hauler Accident.  Inspection of an open car hauler involved in the injury of an operator when an upper deck loaded with a vehicle collapsed.
  • Trailer Failure and Accident. Expert testimony regarding the structural failure of a trailer used for towing All Terrain Vehicles and consequent injury to the operator of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Towtruck Pipeline Injury.  Expert testimony for a case involving the injury of a worker when a wire rope system failed during the construction of an underground pipeline.  Wire ropes from towtrucks were being used to support a pipeline hammer and to pull the pipeline through the ground.
  • Concrete Truck Hydraulic Accident.  Expert testimony regarding a hydraulic fluid leak from a concrete truck and a consequent injury accident as a result of the spilled fluid on a freeway.
  • Car Carrier and Underride Protection.  Inspection of a car carrier involved in a traffic accident wherein a driver collided with the car carrier at the rear of the carrier.
  • Recycling Baler  Performance. Analysis  of  the  causes  of  hydraulic  performance problems, including overheating and pump damage, for a machine that compacts waste materials for recycling.
  • Lift Gate Accident.  Forensic engineering analysis of the causes of an injury accident involving a hydraulic lift gate on a cargo van.
  • Auto Lift Accident (Several). Analysis of the design and installation of both above- ground and inground auto lifts which were involved in injuries or damage to vehicles. Accidents occurred when the lifts fell or tilted in such a way that the vehicle being serviced fell and caused, in many cases, severe injury and damage.
  • Ambulance Gas Bottle Injury.  Expert testimony involving the cause of an injury to a worker changing the pressurized oxygen supply tank on an ambulance.
  • Load Spreaders (Several).  Designed lifting devices to be used by crane operators for loading heavy cargo (up to 60,000 lb) onto cargo ships at LA harbor.  All devices were designed in conformance with ANSI Standard No. 30.20 and ANSI/ASME BTH-1-2008 for lifting devices.
  • Scissor Lift Accident. Inspection of a the condition of a manned scissor lift which toppled and killed a worker operating the lift at a construction site.
  • Hydraulic Clamshell. Designed a 5/8 cubic yard hydraulic clamshell for moving fill dirt at a construction site by means of a mobile crane.
  • Trash Truck System Overheating. Analysis of overheating problems resulting from the poor design of trash compactor truck bodies. The analysis included the development of a finite-difference thermal model of the compactor truck which accurately predicted the hydraulic fluid temperature variation through a daily cycle due to hydraulic heating and meteorological and solar effects.
  • Towtruck Injury. Analysis of trajectory and expert testimony in a case involving a customer of a towing company who was injured when a mechanism on the towtruck failed. Analyzed the trajectory of a part thrown from the towtruck and provided testimony regarding towtruck design, operation, and safety for deposition and for the subsequent trial.
  • Hydraulic Rock Saw Prototype Development Analysis. Provided expert testimony at trial in a case involving a contract dispute over development of a prototype hydraulic- powered saw for cutting thin veneer rock at quarries. Testimony called on Expert 957’s experience in prototype design and development and contract experience as a business owner.
  • Trash Truck Worker Injury. Provided expert analysis of the causes of injury to a trash truck operator when a wire rope system entangled and injured the operator’s hand. The analysis called on Expert 957’s experience and knowledge of hydraulic and hydromechanical systems and industrial truck body design.
  • Hydraulic Elevator Performance. Provided analysis of a hydraulically powered elevator at a multistory condominium facility on the California coast in support of the manufacturer.  The case involved claims against the design and performance of the elevator system.
  • Forestry Mower Performance. Analysis of the load induced on the prime mover engine by the hydraulic system for a compact track loader with a forestry mowing attachment used to cut and clear brush. The work included measurement of system pressures developed and calculation of the power demand of the hydraulic system used to power the attachment.
  • Telescopic Handler (Rough Terrain Forklift) Injury. In a case involving the death of an observer of an offloading operation at a construction site, Expert 957provided analysis of the design and assembly of the four-axis controller used on the telescopic handler for the hydraulic system powering the boom.
  • Parking Lift Accident. Analysis of the probable causes of an accident in which a hydraulic parking lift fell on the lift operator.
  • Rolloff Trash Truck Installation. Expert 957provided technical assistance to the purchasers of a rolloff trash truck body which was not installed properly.
  • Pipeline Padder Accident. Analysis of the design of a machine used to pad pipelines with small diameter fill material during pipeline construction projects. The padding machine was involved in an injury to a construction worker when part of the machine fell from its stored position and struck him.
  • Towing Accident. A heavy duty towtruck being used to tow a concrete pumper truck went out of control and damaged the towed vehicle. Expert 957provided analysis of the load interaction on the stability of the towtruck.
  • Car Carrier Traffic Accident. Expert 957provided expert assistance to the insurer of a towing company whose car carrier was involved in a traffic accident in which a passenger in a car was killed.
  • Car Hauler Accident. The operator of a covered tractor-trailer with hydraulically actuated lifts for hauling cars was killed when the loading ramp system fell and struck him.  Expert 957provided expert assistance in analyzing the hydraulic system for the trailer and identifying the cause of the accident.
  • Floor Jack Accident. An injury occurred during repair work on a vehicle supported by a floor jack. Expert 957provided expert assistance in determining the causes of the accident.
  • Compact Loader Accident. An injury occurred when repair work was being performed on a hydraulically actuated compact loader. Expert 957analyzed the cause of the accident.
  • Hydraulic Scissor Lift Table Accident. A repair technician was seriously injured while repairing a table lift in a manufacturing plant and the hydraulic velocity fuse for the lift fractured.

Manufacturing Experience as Company Owner
(Co-owner of manufacturing company.  Personally designed and supervised fabrication of all products.)

  • Towtrucks.  A product line of towtruck bodies and towing accessories.  Company provided complete service in manufacturing and installing the bodies on chassis-cabs, servicing and repairing towtrucks and car carriers. 
  • Clamp Buckets.  Buckets for wheel loaders from handling straw, trees, and greenwaste.  Clamps were hydraulically actuated and used for retaining materials in bucket while loading trailers.
  • Rock Tongs.  20,000-pound cable-actuated tongs for allowing cranes to move rocks weighing up to 45 tons for harbor construction. 
  • Scrap Grapples.  Hydraulically actuated two jaw grapples for moving metallic and nonmetallic scrap with excavators.
  • Swivel Buckets.  Buckets for cleaning agricultural ditches with integral hydraulic mechanisms for varying the angle the bucket makes with the ground. 
  • Excavator and Loader Buckets.  Various straight and V shaped buckets for excavators and wheel loaders.
  • Selfloading Crossarm.  This is a device which allows a towtruck operator to attach and lift a vehicle hydraulically from a remote position and is one of the few such devices successfully in use. 
  • Ground Level Loader.  This is a car carrier which has a bed that lowers to a completely horizontal position on the ground and is used for loading and carrying vehicles with extremely low ground clearances.
  • Motorcycle Carrier Wheel Lifts.  This device allows the towtruck operator to easily carry motorcycles on any common brand of wheel lift towtruck.  It is easily stored and easily deployed and allows the motorcycle to be securely carried in a manner consistent with the requirements for the California Highway Patrol contract towing companies.

BENWIL LIFTS, Inc

(Chief engineer for company manufacturing automobile lifts.  Responsibilities and special projects are listed.)

  • CAD System Implementation. Implemented the use of Solid Works solid modeling software for design and configuration control.
  • Lift Certification.  Pretested and coordinated the third-party testing of Benwil two post above ground lifts for certification by ALI, the auto lift trade organization, according to the ANSI/ALI ALCTV 1998, the CSA 68, and UL standards for design and operation of automotive lifts. 
  • In-ground Lift Retrofit. Diagnosed a chronic chattering problem with inground lifts, redesigned the lifts to correct for the problem, and designed retrofit kits for correcting lifts in the field.  
  • Lift Redesign. Responsible for design improvements for the Benwil product line.  All changes were made with Solid Works solid modeling software.  Stress analysis was carried out using both manual methods and COSMOS Works FEA software.

TRW  Inc
(Engineer and engineering manager at TRW Inc., Redondo Beach CA.)

  • Mirror Fusion Manufacturing.  Responsible for the $1.5 Million mechanical fabrication package for Mirror Fusion Technology Facility-B Project, in which five ten-foot diameter vacuum chambers were built for conditioning neutral particle beams prior to entry into a nuclear plasma.
  • Isotope Separation Responsible for fabrication of a vacuum chamber and peripheral hardware for a Special Isotope Separation unit for Los Alamos National Lab.
  • Superconducting Electron Beam. Responsible for mechanical fabrication for the CEBAF project which involves a superconducting chamber for electron beam acceleration.  This project required dieforming, machining, electron beam welding, and acid etching of niobium.
    • Offshore Platform. Project Manager for a $1.4 Million study to determine the structural integrity and effects of environmental loads on a drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico.  Under Expert 957’s direction, subcontractors were used for NASTRAN analysis of the platform structure and for onsite structural and environmental inspection and sampling both above and below the water line.  TRW personnel under Expert 957’s supervision analyzed test and inspection data to recommend use of the platform as a site for hazardous waste incineration.
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