001114

Expertise: 
Aircraft Accident Investigator...Failure Engineer...Fire and Explosion Investigator...Materials Failure Analyst...Mechanical Engineer...
Discipline: 
Utilities . . .Nondestructive Testing. . .Fire and Explosion . . .Litigation Support . . .Aviation . . .

A Doctorate of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on the engineering performance of materials.  This expert has over 20 years of forensic engineering experience encompassing a broad range of topics under the umbrella of mechanical engineering and materials performance accidents and failures.  His investigations include challenging problems in such areas as: aviation; construction; electric power generation and distribution; electric energy storage; fuel gas storage and distribution; industrial/manufacturing processes and equipment operation; maritime transportation and marine recreation; medical device design and operation; metal alloys fabrication and processing; and the design and operation of all manner of products used in commercial and consumer applications.

He has experience investigating the role that materials and mechanical components play in such multidisciplinary events as fires, explosions, transportation accidents, business interruption, and personal injury and loss of life incidents.  He conducts, and manages, analyses of: aircraft accidents; construction defect assessments; UAS (drone) operational risk assessments for FAA Part 107 waiver applications; electric power distribution equipment failures, fires, and explosions; lithium battery fires; pressure vessel explosions of aerosol paint cans and SCUBA equipment; maritime allisions; nuclear and fossil fired electric power plant equipment failures; and fires and explosions involving propane and natural gas distribution systems, among others.

His investigation experience also includes: adhesives, air scrubbers, aircraft structural components, aircraft sensors and electromechanical components, automobile components, bicycles, boilers, boiler piping and tubing, ceramics and glasses, commercial and residential pressure pipe failures, continuous casting equipment, cranes and booms, electromechanical relays, electronic engine controls failures, exercise equipment, gasoline and diesel engines, HVAC systems, impact damage assessment, induction furnaces, lifting equipment, mechanical fasteners, metals and welds, oil and gas pipelines, paints and coatings, patent infringement, polymers, pressure fryers, product designs and defects versus misuse, steam generators, thermal analysis of electronics and fire scenes, and vehicle lifts.  In addition to his state and federal level expert testimony experience, he regularly participates in deposition training and trial tactics workshops as an expert witness.

He is experienced in field investigation as well as laboratory research where he utilizes state of the art analytical equipment and tools.  He is proficient in the use of multiphysics-based engineering software to conduct complex computational stress and strain analyses that often incorporate fluid flow and thermodynamics components.  His research expertise includes the investigation of structure-property relationships in polycrystalline materials.  In the academic world, he has impressive credentials as a lecturer and researcher, and is a published author in his fields.

 

Academic Background

  • Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, December 2002
  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, August 1999
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, May 1996

 

Professional Experience

  • Mechanical / Materials Failure Analyst and Industrial / Utility Accident Reconstructionist, RTI Group, LLC, Annapolis, MD, September 2008 – Present
  • Independent Mechanical/Materials Failure Consultant – Investigations included marine outdrive bolt failure, natural gas piping failure, automobile trailer hitch failure, residential plumbing failures (copper piping and valves), residential HVAC failures, March 2005 – September 2008
  • Independent Researcher – Efforts focused on developing grant proposals to fund research on the use of dislocation mechanics and dynamics to improve the mesoscale characterization of polycrystalline material behavior for multiscale, physically-based fracture models.  This included both heterogeneous plasticity characterization as well as its influence on the initiation and propagation of cleavage fracture, September 2006 – September 2008.
  • Senior Scientist, Phoenix Engineering Associates, Inc.  – Research focused on the development of a mesoscale computational model of the material behaviors of ferritic steels in an effort to create a viable, physically-based model that could capture the transition region fracture behavior of said metals.  Within the framework of cracked infinite body geometry, dislocation mechanics techniques were used as a basis for quantifying mesoscale phenomena and generating stress and strain fields while local macroscale failure criteria combined with equilibrium analyses were used to compute fracture loads, October 2002 – August 2006.
  • Lecturer, University of Maryland – Taught one section of ENES 100 Introduction to Engineering Design.  Responsible for teaching first semester engineering college students the principles of product design and guiding them through the process in small teams to create a product prototype.  Course is required for all engineering students at the University of Maryland, Fall Semester 2005.
  • Engineering Consultant, Structural Integrity Associates – Engineer responsible for supporting existing projects and managing new projects related to core business of non-destructive evaluation and failure investigation of steel componentry used by the energy industry, especially power plant welds and piping.  Responsible for analyzing existing technologies and developing new technologies to expand core services.  Participated in field work at power plants and pipe lines in Maryland, North Carolina and Utah, May 2004 – March 2005.
  • Project Engineer, Mechanical, SEA Limited – Mechanical Engineer specializing in the deformation and fracture analysis of objects made of metals and polymers.  Investigations included continuous caster bearing failures; patent validity and infringement issues; plastic component failures; submarine propeller bolt failure; logging truck boom failure; corrosion failure of circuit breakers; and automotive engine failures, October 2002 – January 2004.
  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Maryland – Doctoral research involved the development of a physically-based, quantitative characterization of the fracture toughness temperature dependence of ferritic steels as exhibited in the empirically based statistical method described in ASTM E1921.  Structure-property relationships were investigated for typical transition region temperatures and a full range of loading rates.  Modeling was performed on the microscale at the lower size limits of continuum plasticity and utilized a dislocation-based approach for explaining the temperature dependence, January 1999 – October 2002.
  • Master’s Thesis Research, University of Maryland – Involved the investigation of temperature and rate dependent structure-property relationships in aluminum-magnesium alloys and the influence of various material behavior phenomena on the applicability of constitutive relationships for these materials, September 1996 – December 1998.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Maryland – Taught weekly discussion and laboratory classes for the following undergraduate engineering courses: Statics, Engineering Materials and Manufacturing Processes.  August 1996 – December 1998, September 2001 – May 2002.
  • Undergraduate Research Assistant, University of Maryland – Investigated cause of failed Ni-Cu alloy K500, low-temperature, stress-rupture specimens. Methods included analysis of mechanical test data, preparation of metallographic specimens, completion of optical and electron microscopy (SEM, ESEM), May 1995 – August 1996.
  • Assistant Systems Administrator, University of Maryland – Responsible for maintaining Aerospace Engineering Department’s computer facilities. Ensured reliable operation of networked hardware and software for Macintosh and PC platforms, October 1997 – October 1998.
  • Engineering Aide, Advanced Engineering and Research Associates, Inc. – Reproduced technical documentation for U.S. Navy Propulsion Systems Division. Reproduced engineering drawings and schematics in AutoCAD, refinished low quality part drawings and revised manual text, May 1994 – December 1995.

 

Professional Associations and Activities

  • American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
  • American Society for Metals (ASM International)
  • The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS)

Registrations

  • EPA Section 608 Type I certified to practice Refrigerant Recycling, Recovery, and Reclamation
  • Engineer-in-Training, State of Maryland, Certification
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