Mechanical Engineer Structural Design Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Mechanical Engineer Structural Design, Engineer Mechanical, Structural Design, Maintenance Operator Issues On Cranes, Booms, Lifts, Rigging, Stability, Cribbing Issues, Dynamics, Stress Analysis, Finite Element Methods, Heat Transfer, Grain Dryer, Grain Storage Bins, Mechanical Testing, Materials Engineering,

Professional Practice

Consulting engineer in mechanical design analysis, structural design, structural dynamics, stress analysis including finite element methods, heat transfer, mechanical testing, materials engineering.
Forensic practice in mechanical design engineering and analysis, mechanical and material failure analysis, machine design and testing, structural design, stress and load analysis, heat transfer and power transmission equipment. Experience includes expert testimony relating to mechanical performance and function of a wide range of industrial, agricultural and consumer equipment.
Engineer, Mechanical: Structural design, maintenance and operator issues on cranes, booms, lifts, rigging, stability, cribbing issues, dynamics, stress analysis including finite element methods, heat transfer, mechanical testing, materials engineering.


Bachelor of Science Engineering Mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Graduate study, seminars and short courses in fluid flow, heat transfer, structural engineering and materials science, pressure vessel engineering and computer techniques.

Professional Practice

Mechanical design engineering and analysis, fracture and fatigue, stress and load analysis, mechanical testing, and heat transfer. Testimony relating to design practice, performance and function of power transmission devices, lifting equipment, pressure vessels, off-road and agricultural vehicles, production machinery and consumer products.

Forensic practice evolved out of thirty five years design engineering experience in aerospace, nuclear, undersea and robotics industries. Assignments included design, test and project engineering in machine assemblies, welded structures, lifting and hoisting machinery, pressure equipment, hydraulic and pneumatic systems, aerospace engine research, undersea operations support equipment and nuclear fuel storage and handling projects.

Typical Investigations

Fatigue and Fracture

LPG tank explosion and fire*
Bolted and welded connection fatigue and fracture*
Compressed natural gas tank rupture
Fiberglass water pipe rupture
Spring brake housing fracture*
Trailer tongue weld defect*

Power Transmission Devices

PTO joint rupture*
Power steering failures*
Flywheel burst
Hoist gear drive failure*
Air motor rupture

Lifting Equipment, Hoists and Ladders

Boom and truck crane tip-overs
Manlift tip-overs
Scaffold accidents*
Jack accidents*

Production and Material Handling Equipment

Grain dryer failure
Ethanol tank rupture
Grain bin collapse
Conveying equipment injuries
Power press and machine tool injuries*

Off-Road and Ag Machinery

Skid loader entanglement*
Tire explosions*
Wood chipper injuries
Bale conveyor bearing design*
Grain auger collapse and instability
Fuel pump design defect*

Consumer Products

Bicycle defects*
Coffee-maker electrical fire
Door entrapment injuries*
Tipping stability accidents

One of a Kind

Pizza cutter collapse
Water bed overpressure

Items denoted with an asterisk involved deposition or trial appearance. Clients include insurance companies and claims adjustors, and both plaintiff and defense attorneys. References and particulars of testimony are available on request.

Consulting and Contract Engineering

PAR Systems inc – dynamic analysis of nuclear and robotic equipment

Remmele engineering inc – deformation analysis of aircraft tooling

Xerkon inc – composite mold thermal analysis; pressure vessel design

Deltak inc -piping component analysis

Graco -mechanical stress and impact assessment

Colorspan inc -printer component mechanical and dynamic analysis

Vadeko international – static and dynamic design analysis of robotic equipment

Crown iron works co – structural analysis of commodity processing equipment

Donaldson corporation – structural design of dust collection equipment

Fmc – shock analysis of naval ordnance components

Proform inc – design and stress analysis of frp panel structures and tanks

Crane engineering & forensic services – expert testimony and mechanical failure analysis

Honeywell – dynamic analysis of avionics equipment

Alfa-laval thermal – asme code design of scraped surface heat exchangers

Ami industries – crash load analysis of space shuttle crew seating

Zero-max division (barry-wright)- design analysis of power transmission devices

Conagra – piping system piping analysis

Bfg/rosemount inc – dynamic and thermal analysis of electronic instrumentation

Direct Employment

Private Company

Structural dynamics; design analysis and project engineering for nuclear fuel handling equipment, storage racks and lifting devices; design analysis of industrial and military robotic equipment
United computing systems inc. Support of ucs engineering client firms in computer system and software application; sales support and customer presentations, and preparation of seminars and instructional materials. This position required technical breadth, good communications skills and knowledge of marketing.

Fluidyne Engineering Corporation

Structural design, stress analysis and materials engineering for aerodynamic test equipment, including a wind tunnels for the republic of korea, the nasa national transonic facility and others; structural design of high pressure high temperature heaters; safety evaluation of pressure systems.
Underseas engineering inc. Structural design, analysis and testing; materials engineering; process and test specification preparation; asme code design; design analysis and test of pc-3a2, plc-4, plc-4b, pc-5, pc-8, pc-9 and pc-16 submarines, tethered diving chambers; hydro-lab and tektite habitats; coast guard funded research into pressure testing methodology; structural design of large acrylic viewports; development of testing techniques for assessing structural safety.
Pratt & whitney aircraft corporation experimental and theoretical fluid flow studies relating to rocket engine performance; model studies of a fluidic thrust vector control valve. International business machines experimental studies supporting design of fluidic digital circuitry and components; component performance and characterization.

Professional Activities

Registered engineer in Florida and Minnesota
Member—Tau Beta Pi
ASME Code PVHO Committee
Director—Macintosh Scientific and Technical Users Association
Contributing editor—Science and Engineering Network News
Guest lecturer (fracture mechanics)—University of St Thomas Department of Manufacturing Systems

Publications and Patents

List available upon request

Selected Project Listing

Upper Tier Spent Fuel Storage Rack Design

(Yankee Atomic Electric Company/Yankee Rowe plant)
Project engineering and seismic design analysis for spent nuclear fuel storage modules. Development of unique seismic methodology and unique lifting fix­ture design.

Other Nuclear Fuel Storage Projects

All of the following projects required project engineering, structural design analysis and lifting fix­ture design according to NUREG 0612:

OPPD/Ft Calhoun Plant—PWR spent fuel storage
PSEG/Hope Creek Plant—BWR spent fuel storage
TVA/Sequoyah Plant—Re-analysis for consolidated storage.
PECo/Limerick Plant—Special fuel and equipment storage rack
LITCO/Idaho Falls—Replacement fuel storage racks
Refueling Bridge Seismic Analysis (Commonwealth Edison/Quad Cities Plant; Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation/Nine Mile Point Plant; Commonwealth Edison Company/Dresden Nuclear Station)
Detailed analysis of GE refueling bridge structure. (The refueling bridge is a large trusswork structure for moving spent nuclear fuel bundles. Reliability, stiffness and strength are major design considerations.) Tasks included seismic analysis, weld and bolted connection assessment, and detailed customer review.

Spent Fuel Pool Ser­vice Platform (Baltimore Gas and Electric Company)

Complete structural analysis of new refueling platform design. (System resembles a traveling overhead crane with special requirements imposed for safe handling of nuclear fuel) Tasks included detailed connection assessment, and customer contacts.

Refueling Bridge (Barsebäck Nuclear Station)

Structural analysis of modifications to an existing refueling platform design.

Peak Stress Assess­ment (Yankee Atomic Electric Company)

Assessment of peak stress at closely spaced holes in fuel storage rack side plate. Task required review of original qualification analysis; quick turn-around finite element analysis summarized in a brief report. This work saved considerable manufacturing effort to modify side plates.

Fuel Drop Accident Reassessment (Yankee Atomic Electric Company)

Reassessment of a fuel drop accident addressing a re-audit of the original design. Tasks involved review of original work, finite element analysis to assess buckling under impact and comparison of new and original results in detail.

Robot Manipulator Systems (WINCO/Idaho Falls)

Seismic structural analysis of four special manipulator systems. Tasks included computer input and interpretation, detailed weld and bolted connection assessment and detailed response to third party review by WINCO subcontractor. (The subcontractor reviewer was apparently inexperienced, and required considerable coaching in methodology and implications of dynamic analysis. Questions were addressed to reviewer’s satisfaction.)

Surface Preparation Robot System (Vadeko International/Hercules)

Design engineering for large precision robot structure for solid rocket motor construction. User imposed strict safety and deflection requirements requiring unusual attention to weight and stiffness.

Aircraft Robot Painting System Study (Vadeko International/McDonnell-Douglas)

Engineering study for refitting and automating aircraft painting hangar. Project involved assessment of existing overhead stacker crane structure with particular attention paid to stiffening supporting bridge truss work to insure precise positioning.

RDF Trailer Weld Failure Analysis (Norenco Corporation)

Assessment of weld failures in aluminum trailer/compactors for refuse derived fuel transport. Tasks included field inspection, diagnosis of failure, assessment of compaction loads, and formulation of remedial measures.

Failure Analysis (Various clients and direct employment)

Accident site investigation, analysis of mechanical or structural failures and expert witness testimony. Work involved machinery of all types, lift equipment, tanks, consumer and agricultural equipment.

Pressure Vessel Design and Analysis
(Various consulting assignments and direct employment)

Design analysis and test of ASME Code and special pressure vessels in steel and other materials. Experience includes external pressure vessel design and testing for submersible vessels and habitats, internally pressurized vessel design for decompression chambers and ASME Code committee work to develop standards for human occupancy pressure vessels. Other experience involves design and analysis of high and low temperature vessels and structures for aerodynamic testing. Systems include pressurized wind tunnels and high temperature heaters and gas systems including piping and internal structures designed according to Section VIII divisions 1 and 2. Consulting experience includes work with non-circular vessels, glass reinforced plastic tanks, failure analysis and testing of many vessel types and services. These assignments required broad expertise in pressure vessel engineering, materials science and metallurgy and frequently involved finite element analysis.

Structural Dynamics
(Various consulting clients and direct employment)

Experience includes assessment of dynamic response for aerospace, nuclear and robotic equipment. Projects have included frequency and displacement response of large robotic manipulator and lift systems using finite element techniques, and design engineering of such systems for improved dynamic stiffness. Other assignments concerning dynamic load bearing capacity include seismic analysis of industrial robots and manipulators, seismic, random and harmonic loading analysis of heavy mechanical equipment and electronic devices.


, ,