Power Plant Operations Engineer Expert Witness

Provides Opinion & Testimony In:

Draftsman, Project Engineer, Chief Engineer, Sales Engineer – Inside and Outside (Boilers, Pumps, Refractories, Controls, Mechanical Contracting), Water Treatment Salesman, Control Technician, Burner Start-up Technician, Boilermaker, and Pipe fitter, Boiler repair shop, President – ASME Fabrication and Mechanical Contracting Company, Instructor and Seminar Presenter, Combustion Safety Auditor, Boiler and Steam Systems Consultant and Auditor, Air Conditioning and Chiller Contractor

Types of Expert Witness Cases

  • Countersuit against contractor that installed faulty equipment & not honoring warranty.
  • Shut down of landfill caused odors
  • Plaintiff: Steam pipes damaged utility companies underground cables

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE


NOV 2018 – PRESENT

ADENA UTILITIES ENGINEERING, INC.
Partner, Chief Engineer, and CEO of this engineering firm which, for over thirty years, has specialized in the design of powerplant facilities, combined heat and power projects, landfill gas processing, and other energy intensive industrial, institutional, and governmental processes.

JUN 1988 – PRESENT
APPLIED THERMAL ENGINEERING, INC.
Principal of this specialty engineering firm whose forté is: industrial power plant engineering; utility generation and distribution; cogeneration; energy conservation and recovery; forensic engineering and expert witness in the above specialties. Boiler, air conditioning, and pump instructor. Worked as a relief utility operator at a local R&D facility.

Clients (direct or immediate sub) include:

  • ALCON
  • Honda America Mfg.
  • Spirax Sarco
  • Anheuser – Busch
  • Johnson Controls
  • State of Arkansas
  • ARCCA, Inc.
  • Level 3 Communications
  • State of Ohio
  • ATT
  • Mead Paper
  • Strategic Value Solutions
  • Cargill, Inc.
  • Nestlé
  • The Ohio State University
  • Ford Motor Company
  • NIBCO
  • US Dept. of Justice, BOP
  • General Motors Owens – Corning Fiberglass
  • Volcanic Heater
    Georgia Pacific PPG Industries
  • Numerous law firms internationally
  • Graphic Packaging Int’l.
  • Ross Laboratories
  • Numerous smaller companies

OCT 1983 – JUN 1988
THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Senior Mechanical Engineer:
Successfully managed a $7,000,000 steam line expansion project which encompassed 30,000 feet of superheated steam and condensate lines, several major road crossings, a river bridge crossing, and 15 building tie-ins / system upgrades, all on a crowded urban campus. Project management entailed:
Oversight of consulting engineers.
Review and approval of all plans, specifications, and change orders.
Coordination and liaison with all affected University departments.
Installation coordination and oversight.
Resolving conflicts between this and other ongoing projects.
Minimization of disruption to all University operations.

Spearheaded a $2,300,000 cogeneration project in McCracken Power Plant. Authored the feasibility study which withstood a peer review by outside consultants; overcame significant technical and political hurdles; supervised design, specification, procurement, and installation of the 3125 KW non- condensing turbine generator, and all associated piping and auxiliary equipment.

Assisted in the completion and startup of a 125,000 pound per hour coal fired boiler and its associated flue gas scrubber system.

Assisted in the preliminary needs assessment and scope of work development for a medical waste incinerator.

Earned the Mechanical Engineering Advanced Professional Degree.

NOV 1981 – JUN 1983
CUMMINS ENGINE COMPANY
Facilities project manager for maintenance and engineering at five large buildings. Provided engineering services for an additional twenty-five buildings, totaling over 1,000,000 square feet.
Major accomplishments:
Converted three boilers to dual fuel capability to minimize fuel costs.
Analyzed major electric accounts. Through a transformer purchase, brought a major facility into a lower rate structure, saving thousands of dollars annually.

JUN 1979 – OCT 1981
ALUMINUM CO. OF AMERICA
Mechanical engineer in charge of energy conservation for a large aluminum extrusion plant. Provided engineering services for the boiler house and billet annealing furnaces.
Major Accomplishments:
Initiated closing the doors of the homogenizing furnaces between loads to conserve energy and reduce furnace turnaround time. Zero cost, very large annual savings.
Discovered and engineered a heat recovery project for an aluminum chip dryer.
Designed and built a new boiler ash handling facility. Performed major equipment enhancements.
Analyzed the condensate return system in search of a solution to a vexing problem only to find that the difficulty was caused by a faulty control valve diaphragm.

JUL 1977 – MAY 1979
PURDUE UNIVERSITY
Project engineering including design and installation of retrofit HVAC systems on campus.

JUL 1976 – JUL 1977
ARMOUR – DIAL, INC.
Project engineer, then maintenance supervisor at a large soap manufacturing plant.

LICENSES

PROFESSIONAL ENGINEER: OH, TX, IL STATIONARY ENGINEER, 3rd CLASS: Ohio UNIVERSAL REFRIGERATION TECHNICIAN: USEPA STEAM SYSTEM SPECIALIST: USDOE
QUALIFIED AS AN EXPERT IN U.S. AND CANADIAN COURTS

MILITARY SERVICE

OCT 1968 – AUG 1972
UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
Parris Island – 1968. Completed Officer’s Candidate School at Quantico in 1969. Volunteered for and actively participated in Viet Nam as an artillery forward observer.

EDUCATION

OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY: Mech. Engineering Professional Degree, 1988.
PURDUE UNIVERSITY: BSME, 1976. Member – Pi Tau Sigma.

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

MEMBER – American Society of Mechanical Engineers
PUBLIC SERVICE WORK
MEMBER – Columbus District Heating Task Force, 1984 – 1986 MEMBER & PAST COMMANDER – American Legion Post #115, Delaware, OH
MEMBER – AMVETS, DAV, Marine Corps League, VFW

REPRESENTATIVE ENGINEERING PROJECTS

  • Corrected excessive gas consumption in an asphalt drying plant.
  • Performed a gas line capacity and cathodic protection study for a glass blowing plant.
  • Performed boiler house, steam, and condensate studies at various plants.
  • Performed engineering design reviews and assisted with depreciation studies.
  • Performed project engineering for an energy center upgrade.
  • Performed cogeneration studies for a major university, a major auto manufacturer, and a major nutritional manufacturer.
  • Wrote standard air compressor specifications for a major food products company.
  • Designed a steam reducing station for a large paper drying machine.
  • Resolved HVAC problems in a paper mill machine room air conditioning system.
  • Performed a cooling tower study for a large brewery.
  • Re-engineered the heating system for a bottle washing tank at a large brewery.
  • Walked down and re-drew the chilled water piping at a large auto assembly facility.
  • Walked down and re-drew the ammonia PID’s for a large food R&D facility.
  • Performed a compressed air study at a large steel mill.
  • Performed a cooling study for a large natural gas pipeline compressor.
  • Performed a boiler safety audit at a large food R&D facility.
  • Perform Coast Guard / ASME design review and certification for thermal fluid heater manufacturers. Developed a complex, interactive Excel based program to perform the calculations.
  • Have assisted in value engineering studies for the VA, New York City, and other entities.

TRAINING EXPERIENCE

Have taught hundreds of boiler, HVAC, and pump classes for American Trainco, Applied Thermal Engineering, Lewellyn, NTT, and Versa-Tech in the US, Canada, and the Caribbean.
University of Wisconsin – Engineering Extension, Industrial Boiler Controls Course Presenter.
Taught ME 625, a dual level course in Power Plant Engineering, while at Ohio State University.

REPRESENTATIVE FORENSIC / EXPERT WITNESS PROJECTS

  • Have assisted attorneys in over fifty cases, both plaintiff and defense.
  • Have testified in court six (6) times. Have been deposed twenty two (22) times.
  • Steam line failures and explosions.
  • Pressure vessel explosions.
  • Boiler explosions, both fire side and water side.
  • Boiler failures – non explosion.
  • Pump and valve failure analysis.
  • Cogeneration system failure.
  • Atmosphere oven explosion.
  • Carbon monoxide accidents and fatalities.
  • HVAC compressor failures.
  • Hydro testing explosion.
  • Large diesel engine cooling system failure.
  • Boiler refractory failures.
  • Investigate cooling tower freeze failure.

PUBLISHED ARTICLES
Available on full CV

PARTY DESCRIPTION
Plaintiff A flex joint in a phenol line between a reactor tank and pump suction failed at the Aristech (old U. S. Steel) plant in Ironton.  Plaintiffs were chemically burned after being sprayed with phenol spewing from the flex joint which ruptured as the joint was being cleaned with high pressure (HP) steam.   Plaintiffs alleged that HP steam was an improper cleaning medium.
Defendant Plaintiff was burned by high pressure steam escaping from a valve which ruptured during asbestos removal operations.  Plaintiff alleged that defendant was negligent in the heat up and cools down of steam lines.   Defense maintained that the steam line was improperly designed and installed.
Defendant A large, steam activated, concrete block curing autoclave exploded destroying the autoclave and other property.  Plaintiff sued when defendant refused policy coverage based upon an explosion exclusion.  A large part of the case turned on the definition of the word “explosion”.
Plaintiff Plaintiff was struck by a vehicle while crossing a street.  Intersection was obscured by a cloud of steam emanating from a utility grate in the street near the crosswalk.  Plaintiff alleged negligence on the part of the steam utility in the maintenance of its lines.  This case is similar to 1993-05.
Plaintiff Emissions from the smoke stack of a coal fired boiler damaged vehicles belonging to a nearby car  dealership.  Plaintiff alleged that problem was caused by coal which was above its specified range for sulfur.
Defense Plaintiff purchased a cogeneration system which never worked properly.  The firm which designed it went out of business.  Plaintiff sued the boiler manufacturer to recover part of its damages.
Plaintiff A heat treating furnace exploded when it was shut down for repairs, injuring the plaintiff.
Defendant Shortly before completion of the building, a sprinkler line froze in the new OSU Cancer Hospital.  Plaintiff alleged that this defendant (the State Architect’s Office) was negligent in its duties and could have prevented the accident.  Provided technical analysis which got the State Architect’s Office excused from the case.
Plaintiff Plaintiff was severely injured while attempting to valve off a leaking gauge glass on a large (630 MW), high pressure (2800 PSIG) utility boiler.
Defense Plaintiff’s relative was struck and killed by a GCRTA bus when crossing  a street.   Intersection was obscured  by a cloud of steam  emanating from a  utility grate in  the street near the crosswalk.  This defendant alleges, among other things, negligence on   the  part  of  the  steam  distribution  utility  in  the maintenance  of its lines.  This  case is similar to 1990-04.
Defense A  worker was burned when a pump  he was working on came apart and sprayed him with a hot water/ steam mixture.  This case is similar to 2003-07.
Defense Plaintiff’s employee(s) installed an incorrect part in a water meter serving the defendant.  Plaintiff did not discover problem for several years, and now alleges that defendant owes differential fees for the years in question.
Plaintiff Plaintiff experienced a rash of compressor failures and alleged that defendant supplied improper filter – driers which disintegrated, wrecking the compressors.
Defendant Plaintiffs were killed / injured when an end cap blew off an 8″ Victaulic coupled line undergoing pressure testing utilizing compressed air as the testing medium.  The specifications required water to be used as the test medium.
Plaintiff The diesel engine on a municipal utility generator set suffered a severe detonation event after a cooling water valve failed in the closed position.
Plaintiffs Plaintiffs were badly burned while working on an industrial heat treating furnace.
Plaintiff The plaintiff suffered neuro-muscular disorders after doing floor maintenance in a poorly ventilated office area of a railroad repair shop.
Plaintiff Plaintiff suffered lung damage when his pellet stove emitted large amounts of smoke into his living room while he was asleep there.
Plaintiffs Plaintiffs were injured when Kansas City Power & Light, Hawthorn Station, Unit 5 exploded.  The questions given to the attorney during verbal report were enough to enable him to extract significant concessions from defendants during depositions, thus precluding the need for an expert during trial.
Plaintiffs Plaintiffs were injured / killed when an antique (90+ year old) steam tractor they were on or near exploded during the Medina Co Fair.
Defense A county utility worker was sprayed and burned by hot water as he began to remove the hoses from a Gorman-Rupp pump.  This case is similar to 1993-06.
Plaintiff A regional medical center in Sedalia, MO, experienced severe steam and boiler problems after a building expansion was completed.  Plaintiff alleged that the boilers were undersized by the engineering design firm.
Plaintiff Underground telephone cables were allegedly damaged by heat and steam emanating from Detroit Edison’s underground steam lines which are adjacent to SBC’s cables.  Case was settled after I was selected, but before I did any work.  This case is similar to 2008-19 and 2011-08.
Defense Defendants contracted with Climatrol to design and install a hydronic heating system for their new home.  Climatrol sued defendants after they did not pay their last invoice.  Defendants maintain that Climatrol did not properly design the system or completely and properly install it.
Defendant Two people were killed and several others hospitalized from carbon monoxide poisoning, allegedly from a defective boiler in the basement of a Manhattan apartment building.  Defense maintained that the design of the boiler’s burner was defective.
Defense Several apartment buildings in North Bergen, NJ were experiencing boiler and heating problems.  The building owner alleged that the problems are of such a nature that the insurance company should cover the cost of repairing them.  HSB maintained that the problems were the result of a lack of maintenance.
Plaintiff Underground telephone cables were allegedly damaged by heat and steam emanating from Detroit Thermal’s underground steam lines which are adjacent to ATT’s cables.  This case is similar to 2004-01 and 2011-08.
Defense The rear wall of a Precision Boiler burned through.  The boiler was located at the Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago.  At issue was who was responsible, Precision or the engineer of record.
Plaintiffs Three people died after a heating boiler allegedly produced large amounts of carbon monoxide which entered their apartments.  Also at issue are the adequacy of the jurisdictional inspections and the maintenance and repairs done on the boiler.
Defendant Two maintenance men were burned when the bottom blow off piping of a C-B boiler separated.  NIBCO was brought in as a third party defendant.  DelVal claimed that the NIBCO valve was defective.  NIBCO’s position was that this was an improper application for subject valve.
Defense The nursery alleges that boiler problems caused lowered yields in its Oxnard, CA greenhouses.  The defense maintains that the problems were caused by improper design, specification, and control of the heating system and boiler.
Defense Three hot water boilers at the Federal Correctional Institute, Pollock, LA experienced a variety of problems.  At issue is whether the boilers were fit for service after repairs were made, and other repairs were offered to DOJ.
Defendants As two technicians were trying to start a boiler, it experienced a fire side explosion.  The rear access door blew out striking one worker in the head, injuring him severely.
Plaintiff As two technicians were trying to start a boiler, it experienced a fire side explosion.  The rear access door blew out striking one worker in the head, injuring him severely.
Plaintiff A high pressure, superheated steam line was constructed underneath a new bridge to serve buildings on the west campus.  After a year in service, a 1” vent line, placed near a steam line “anchor”, failed, essentially destroying the steam conduit system under the bridge.  At issue is the mode of failure, the adequacy of the “anchor” design, and who is responsible for the failure.
Defendant Plaintiff apparently has suffered damage from asbestos and is suing several companies, including Martin Marietta.  Plaintiff alleges that Martin Marietta manufactures / manufactured boilers for residential and commercial service.  Martin Marietta is an aerospace / building materials company who has never manufactured this type of boilers.
Plaintiff Underground telephone cables were allegedly damaged by heat and steam emanating from Detroit Thermal’s underground steam lines which are adjacent to ATT’s cables.  This case is similar to 2004-01 and 2008-19.
Defense Commercial litigation involving the failure of large Saskatoon boilers in a bankrupt ethanol plant.  The primary question was if the boilers were faulty, or if the plant design and operation were faulty.
Defense The boiler in an office building experienced a puff back.  Plaintiff alleges that this defendant’s actions were responsible for the puffback and his subsequent respiratory problems.
Plaintiff A mobile home furnace caught fire a couple of days after the Rhodes Heating technician serviced the furnace.  The question I was called on to answer was, “Did the technician make the furnace as safe as possible after he had worked on it and after the owner wanted to shut it down and replace it.”
Plaintiff A domestic hot water boiler was installed at the Akron Holiday Inn in late 2009.  Within six to eight months after installation, the boiler started to experience ongoing operational problems and was ultimately replaced in 2012.  Plaintiff’s position is that the boiler and associated piping were improperly installed, while defense maintains that the boiler was improperly operated.  The alleged cause of the failure was running the boiler with an incoming water temperature below 140°F.
Plaintiff A woman suffered exposure to carbon monoxide when the water heater in her condo allegedly malfunctioned and spilled carbon monoxide into the residence.
Plaintiff Underground telephone cables were allegedly damaged by heat and steam emanating from Veolia’s underground steam lines in Boston which are adjacent to L3’s cables.
Plaintiff A worker was welding inside the storage section of a large deaerator when a leaking valve allowed some hot water to enter the vessel.  While the worker was not burned, this event seriously aggravated an ongoing heart condition of his.  At issue is whether the vessel was properly isolated.
Plaintiff Broadrock operates a waste to energy plant in Providence, RI.  The plant was shut down by a local official due to an odor complaint from a neighbor.  At the time of the shutdown, the plant was nearly ready for commercial operation.  As a result of the shutdown, the biologicals in the sulfur removal equipment died, thus shutting down the entire plant.  At issue was the amount of the lost revenue due to the shutdown.
Plaintiff At the Valero Refinery, Port Arthur, TX, an operator was burned by steam and hot water while pulling a boiler water sample from a sample cooler.  At issue is the adequacy of the new sample cooler and its associated piping and valving.
Plaintiff Underground power cables were allegedly damaged by heat and steam emanating from Veolia’s underground steam lines in Boston which are adjacent to Eversource’s cables.
Defense Plaintiff invented a device which allegedly produces more energy than which it consumes.  Defendants have invested millions in the product, but refused the final payment based upon inconsistencies in the test setup, and data of the device validation process.
Defense Several Cleaver Brooks FLX boilers were installed in the Atlanta Starwood as part of a renovation project.  Boilers have experienced severe combustion issues resulting in several bad boiler puffs, some of which blew the casing off the boilers.  Plaintiff contends that defendants provided a faulty system design.  Defense contends that other factors caused the boiler failures.
Defense The boiler in a lean-to adjoining the indoor swimming pool caught fire and did major damage to the pool enclosure of a large vacation home in Sun Valley, ID.  Plaintiff alleges that the fire was caused by defective boiler maintenance.  Defense alleges that the fire was caused by a snow slide from the roof which collapsed the flue pipe.
Plaintiff Underground telephone cables were allegedly damaged by heat and steam emanating from Veolia’s underground steam lines in Boston which are adjacent to C.L.’s cables.
Plaintiff Many students and staff were sickened when a heating boiler in a school in Beaumont, TX malfunctioned and emitted CO into the occupied parts of the building.
Plaintiff Two Westar employees were fatally burned by steam leaking from a safety valve flange on a large utility boiler.
Plaintiff The taxpayer, a mechanical (piping) contractor has claimed Research & Development credits under Section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code.  The IRS contends that these are normal decision-making processes during the course of a mechanical construction project.

 

 

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