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Forensic Engineering Expert Witnesses

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R. Kevin Smith, P.E.
President, R. K. Smith Engineering
1539 Chalone Ct.
Crown Point IN 46307
phone: 219-226-9510 (Office)708-790-1938 (Cell)
R. Kevin Smith PE, BSME, MMAE, has been a specialist in Engineering Forensic Safety and Design for 35 years. He has consulted on over a 1,000 matters nationwide.

Mr. Smith is a registered professional engineer and holds a BSME and MMAE from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He specializes in Material Handling Equipment Safety, including lift trucks, dock safety, truck loading, conveyors, and aerial work platform safety.

Mr. has been actively involved as a member of the committee that writes the Safety Standard for Low Lift and High Lift Trucks (ASME/ANSI B56.1) for over 30 years. He also serves on the B56.6 committee (rough terrain lift trucks) and the ANSI A92.5 and A92.6 subcommittees (self-propelled elevating work platforms).

Litigation Support - Mr. Smith formerly worked for Triodyne, Inc. for over 15 years as a forensic engineer/principal engineer. As President of R. K. Smith Engineering Inc., he currently has a laboratory for examination and testing, and owns or has access to varied testing equipment and tools.

Kevin Smith has testified at depositions and trials on several hundred matters. He has performed hundreds of investigations into product failures involving injury and property damage, and has reconstructed numerous accidents. His expertise is available to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defendant. Mr. Smith also is on the Adjunct Math faculty at Prairie State College.

Areas of Expertise:
  • Forklift Trucks
  • Aerial Work Platform Lifts
  • Product Testing
  • Material Handling / Lifting / Rigging Equipment
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Machine Guarding
  • Safeguarding
  • Warnings
  • Agricultural and Construction Equipment
  • Skid Steer Loaders
  • Stability Testing
  • Loading Dock Safety
  • Consumer Products / Testing
  • OSHA Citations
  • Codes & Standards
  • Standard of Care in Design
  • View R. Kevin Smith's Consulting Profile.
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    Peter R. Leffe
    P.O. Box 1331
    Venice CA 90294
    phone: 310-346-1116
    Peter Leffe offers Consultation services and Expert Witness testimony in Accident Investigation and Reconstruction. Mr. Leffe has 22 years experience conducting investigations and reconstructions for both plaintiff and defense firms. Deposition and trial experience in both state and federal courts.

    Areas of Specialization:
  • Skiing Accidents
  • Aviation Accidents
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Construction Defects
  • Sports and Recreation Accidents
  • Background:
    B.S. Mechanical Engineering with Metallurgy, Indiana Institute of Technology.
    Master of Architecture, University of California Berkeley.
    Diploma in Accident Investigation, University of Southern California

    Licensed and Registered Architect
    Member American Institute of Architects
    Diplomat of the National Counsel of Architectural Registration Boards
    FAA Airline Transport Pilot rating
    FAA Aircraft Mechanic License

    For detailed information, please refer to web site
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    William Acorn, P.E., FASHRAE
    10617 N Hayden Rd, Suite B-108
    Scottsdale AZ 85260
    phone: (602) 888-7250
    fax: 520-577-0851
    William Acorn Technology Analysis ExpertWilliam R. Acorn, P.E., FASHRAE, is principal and founder of Acorn Consulting Services, LLC (ACS). For over 35 years, he has been involved in the Engineering Analysis and Design of hundreds of projects ranging from Institutional Laboratories to Cleanroom Facilities for the semiconductor industry.

    Mr. Acorn has significant experience as an Expert Analyst of System Design, System Failures, Code Compliance issues and Cause/Effect relationships of problems related to the built environment. Mr. Acorn has received numerous awards for technical excellence and is recognized for his technical achievements, innovation and foresight by peers, associates and clients in the advanced technology industry.

    Mr. Acorn is an Adjunct Professor at Arizona State University; the author of the book Code Compliance for Advanced Technology Facilities; and a frequent lecturer to the industry and academia on a variety of technical topics related to building and cleanroom design, construction and project management.

    Mr. Acorn is registered as a Professional Mechanical Engineer in the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah. He is also registered with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying.

    Forensic & Litigation Consulting

    Analysis and evaluation of losses related to failed systems or other facility performance issues is provided on behalf of owners or attorneys. These services are provided with regard to deficiencies in HVAC Systems, Cleanrooms, Piping Systems, Refrigeration Systems, Construction Claims, Building and Fire Codes:
  • Litigation Consulting
  • Technical Analysis and Investigation
  • Claims Preparation and Analysis
  • Expert Testimony
  • Project Consulting

    ACS assists their clients to optimize the outcome of new and retrofit facilities by providing a range of high level services including:
  • Strategic Planning: Conceptual Design; Feasibility Studies & Evaluations; Value Engineering
  • Facility Retrofit and Renovation Strategies
  • Program Management: Project Delivery Strategies; Selection of Design and Construction Teams
  • Design Consulting and Design Review
  • Code Compliance Analysis and Negotiation
  • 4/11/2005 · Construction
    Introduction: In our first Volume of the Forensic Exchanger, we discussed some of the all too many reasons why HVAC systems fail. If you missed that edition and are interested in that topic e-mail us and we will gladly send it to you. We will follow up with more discussion of that important topic in later editions

    William R. Acorn
    Facilities which utilize hazardous liquids and gases represent a significant potential liability to the owner, operator, and general public in terms of personnel safety and preservation of assets. It is obvious that a catastrophic incident or loss of property or personnel is to be avoided at all costs. This book was conceived to give the reader a guide to understanding the requirements of the various codes and regulations that apply to the design, construction, and operation of facilities utilizing hazardous materials in their processes.
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    Adam K. Aleksander
    PO BOX 140558
    Boise ID 83714
    phone: 208-321-0200
    Adam AleksanderDr. Adam K. Aleksander, PhD, PE, CSP, has over 40 years of experience in the areas of Mechanical Engineering, Human Factors, and Safety Engineering. He combines both academic credentials and active work in industry to provide a grounded perspective in Product Liability, Industrial Incidents, Warnings, and OSHA related issues. He is also a VP of an Energy Services firm, with over 35 overseas assignments related to forensic services, power utility issues, and equipment failures.

    Dr. Aleksander has been a practicing engineer since 1972, focusing his Manufacturing, Consulting and Forensic investigations on Problem Definition and Root Cause Analysis of complex problems in confidential issues. His firm has experience encompassing an enormous variety of claims, from large $45 million dollar dam claims, to environmental clean-up claims, to small road construction claims. His litigation services often involve reconstruction, perception reaction studies, warnings, equipment operation, mechanical failures, industrial accidents, skiing, and bicycling injuries.

    As an Expert Witness, Dr. Aleksander has worked with many clients, including plaintiff's and defendant's attorneys, both civil and criminal, attorneys representing corporations, corporations in the power utility area, and corporations that produce products. His services are also available to insurance executives with complex claims issues that involve industrial or utility related losses. Dr. Aleksander has been retained over 125 times in a wide range of technical investigations.

    Litigation Expertise:
    • Product Liability - Design, Manufacturing and Marketing Defects, Involving Damage, Injury or Fatality
    • Equipment Failures - Proximal Cause of Failure with Contributing Factors
    • Human Factors, Visibility, Ergonomics, and General Research Issues - Product Usability, Warnings, Instructions, Perception, Reaction Time, Visibility and Conspicuity Issues
    • Construction, OSHA, and Safety Engineering - Regulatory and Safety Issues
    • Industrial Projects
    • Power Utility - Service and Equipment Failures
    View Dr. Aleksander's Consulting Profile.
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    Steven R. Thomas, P.E.
    Multiple Addresses (See Below)
    NJ, NH, ME, MA, VT ,RI, CT, NY, PA ,DE, USA
    phone: 877-267-7855
    fax: 973-401-0056 or 603-293-4142
    New Jersey Office:
    PMB 4066
    55 Madison Avenue - Ste 400
    Morristown, NJ 07960
    T: (973) 401-0010
    F: (973) 401-0056
    New Hampshire Office:
    Analytic Engineering
    105 Juniper Ridge Road
    Gilford, NH 03249
    T: (603) 293-4477
    F: (603) 293-4142

    Analytic Engineering combines Professional Engineering with Effective Communication. We offer Technical Analysis and Services in the Engineering field and provide experienced Expert Testimony to communicate the conclusions reached.

    Engineering Services:
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Safety Engineering
  • Vehicular Accident Reconstruction
  • Failure Analysis
  • Computer Animation
  • Premises Liability
  • Patent Claim Analysis
  • Product Design & Liabilty
  • Product & Equipment
  • Design Engineering Services
  • Steven R. Thomas, PE, the Principal Engineer at Analytic Engineering, earned his Bachelor of Science - Engineering (Mechanical and Electrical) at Widener University, Chester, PA in 1979 and a Master of Science in Engineering Science (Safety Engineering and Human Factors) at The New Jersey Institute of Technology in 1997.

    Professional Experience: Steven R. Thomas, P.E. has worked for such organizations as General Motors, Thomas & Betts, General Cable and Breed Automotive Corporation. He has worked in the engineering fields of Research and Development, Product Design, Machine Design, Manufacturing, Industrial, Tooling, Safety, Facility Design, Failure Analysis and Accident Reconstruction. Since 1991 Mr. Thomas has worked as an Engineering Consultant in the Forensic field and has testified in numerous jurisdictions.
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    ANNA, Inc
    David Alley
    626 Admiral Drive C537
    Annapolis MD 21401
    phone: 410-353-4976
    David Alley is a Consulting and Forensic Engineer with over three decades of Design Engineering Experience, Field engineering experience and financial analysis experience for power Generation Projects in Cogeneration, Nuclear, Hydropower, Diesel Engine, Combustion Turbine and Gas Turbine Powered Power Generation Facilities. Mr. Alley is a National Electrical Code NFPA-70 expert and an Hazardous area delineation expert.

    BSEE-Clemson, MBA-Darden

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    Travis J. Barkalow, AAS
    65 W. State Road, Suite C
    Newaygo MI 49337
    phone: 231-652-2228
    fax: 231-652-2299
    B.H. Barkalow & Associates, LLC (BHBA), has been established to provide consulting and support services in areas of Medical Technology, Software, and Devices as regulated by the FDA. BHBA provides services to a range of clients from healthcare organizations, other consulting firms, the FDA, insurance companies, medical device manufacturers, and law firms throughout the country.

    Litigation Support - BHBA provides expert assistance and consultation for matters related to medical technology and medical devices. Their services include confidential case review, incident simulations and investigations, export reports, and deposition and trial testimony when necessary.

    Healthcare Organization Related Expertise:
    • In-house, shared service, vendor, or other third party medical device support
    • Analysis of hospital medical technology profile, identification of problem areas, defining required support resources, compliance with JCAHO medical device related standards, identification of medical technology risk exposure, and case-related technical advice as to the quality and quantity of medical technology support
    • Medical Device support personnel job descriptions and performance review
    • JCAHO medical device related compliance
    • Federal and State compliance with medical technology codes and standards
    • Medical Device related User Training and Physician Credentialing criteria
    Medical Device Related:
    • Medical Device Failure Analysis
    • Medical Device Incident Simulations
    • Medical Device Labeling including: labels on the device; operator's manuals; and service manuals
    • Representations of the medical device function and suitability for use
    • User training
    • Warranty and after warranty service support
    • FDA 21 CFR related compliance
    Alan Lipschultz Clinical Engineering Expert PhotoAlan Lipschultz, MS, PE, CCE, CSP, Clinical Engineering Expert Consultant for BHBA, is a Professional Engineer (PE), Certified Clinical Engineer (CCE) and Certified Safety Professional (CSP). During his nearly 40 years of experience as a Clinical Engineer, he has served as Director of Clinical Engineering for two large hospitals on the east coast. Mr. Lipschultz is the co-chair of the AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) Standards Board and serves on several other AAMI committees (BI&T Editorial Board, Electrical Safety, Infusion Device, Medical Device Alarm and Technology Management).

    Mr. Lipschultz's Medical technology experience includes familiarity with the design, use and malfunctions associated with defibrillators, electrosurgical units (ESU), infusion pumps, patient monitors and many other medical devices found in hospitals.

    Matthew Baretich Clinical Engineering Expert PhotoMatthew F. Baretich PhD, PE, CCE, Senior Clinical Engineering Expert Consultant for BHBA, has over 30 years of clinical engineering and biomedical engineering experience. He has served as Director of Clinical Engineering for Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters as well as Director of Biomedical Engineering for the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He is a Certified Clinical Engineer (CCE), Certified Healthcare Facilities Manager (CHFM), as well as a Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM). Among Dr. Baretich’s credentials and professional activities are Founder and Past-President of the American College of Clinical Engineering and member of the World Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group on Health Technology.

    Dr. Baretich's medical technology experience includes familiarity with the design, use and malfunctions associated with a variety of medical equipment and building systems. Experience includes surgical equipment, dialysis equipment, critical care equipment, infusion pumps, pulse oximeters, emergency and isolated power systems, and other medical and building equipment and systems.

    Theodore Cohen Clinical Engineering Expert PhotoTheodore Cohen, MS, CCE, FACCE, serves as a Clinical Engineering Expert Consultant for BHBA. Mr. Cohen is a Certified Clinical Engineer (CCE) and Fellow of the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE). He has more than 36 years of hospital-based experience in the field of clinical engineering, and served as Manager of Clinical Engineering at the University of California Davis Health System.

    Mr. Cohen is familiar with the design, application and uses of most FDA-regulated medical devices and technology. This includes such areas of application as for patient monitoring, surgery, clinical laboratory, cardiology, radiology, pulmonary (including respiratory therapy) as well as compliance with Joint Commission, CMMS and FDA standards and regulations. Mr. Cohen is also familiar with, and has experience in, teaching application of medical devices for physicians, nurses, and technicians. Among his accomplishments and professional activities are a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Clinical Engineering, serving as co-editor of ACCE News, and subject matter expert for the AAMI HTM Benchmarking Solutions and AAMI HTM Levels projects.

    View BHBA's Consulting Profile.
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    40 Brambledown Road
    Wallington SM6 0TF
    phone: +442084012873
    Geoffrey Beresford Hartwell is a Chartered Engineer who practices as an Arbitrator, Adjudicator and Expert for Determination. Geoffrey is the former Senior Partner of Consulting Mechanical and Electrical Engineers BHA Cromwell House.

    A one time Chairman of the Expert Witness Society, Geoffrey Hartwell has experience giving evidence in court (in both civil and criminal matters) and in International Arbitration. He sometimes is retained as a Single Joint Expert or as a Tribunal Expert. His services are offered to both Plaintiff and Defense. Even when retained on behalf of a Client he, like all Experts, has an overriding responsibility to the Court or Tribunal.

    After his early career in aerospace and nuclear energy, Geoffrey entered private practice in association with the late Leslie Heap and Gerald Lewis of Heap and Digby, Consulting Engineers, in 1969. While with them he designed water and sewage equipment and also the bascule moving machinery for the Lowestoft Bridge, in Suffolk. He practiced also as Beresford Hartwell and Associates and, in 1971 established a separate office in Wallington, South London.

    In parallel with his design career, Geoffrey was first appointed as arbitrator in 1972 and his first foreign arbitration, an ICC appointment in Switzerland, took place later that year. He studied Law to Intermediate level and then transferred to the examinations of the Institute of Arbitrators (now Chartered) of which he became Chairman in 1996-1997 and for whom he taught in various countries on several courses, including the prestigious Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration.

    Technical Expertise:
    • Electrical Engineering and Design
    • Mechanical Engineering and Design
    • Instrumentation
    • Automation and Computer Control Systems
    • Maritime and Infrastructure Engineering
    • Process Engineering
    • Solid Waste Handling
  • Communications
  • Manufacturing
  • Computer Cartography
  • Moving Bridges and Lock Gates
  • Construction Project Management
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Water and Waste Water Treatment
  • Arbitration: Geoffrey Hartwell also acts as an arbitrator and adjudicator, as an expert mediator and conciliator, as an expert investigator and assessor for arbitral tribunals, and also as a Special Referee in the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man. His services have been required in the UK and internationally.

    Dispute Boards: Geoffrey Hartwell has experience both as Member and as Chairman of Dispute Boards?. He has been a member of Dispute Boards, retained from the beginning of a project or, alternatively, appointed on an ad hoc basis when a problem arises, Dispute Adjudication Boards to determine a binding decision, and on Dispute Review Boards to make decisions that are advisory but not binding.

    Adjudication: Similar to arbitration, Mr. Hartwell adjudicates domestic and international disputes which are only temporarily binding unless otherwise agreed upon by the parties.

    View Geoffrey Beresford Hartwell's Consulting Profile.
    12/4/2013 · Mediation
    International Commercial Arbitration, the chosen basis of the annual Willem Vis Moot, is arguably not au fond a process at law. It is quite simply the performance of an agreement between two parties to have a chosen third party hear and determine some difference between them.

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    Helmut G. Brosz
    President & C.E.O
    See Website for USA Office Address
    64 Bullock Drive
    Markham Ontario L3P 3P2
    phone: 905-472-6660
    fax: 905-472-6665
    Brosz & Associates are Electrical Experts headed by President and C.E.O., Professor Helmut G. Brosz, B.A.Sc., D.B.A., F.A.A.F.S., P. ENG., Adjunct Professor at Ryerson University, Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Toronto.

    They provide a wide range of highly specialized Forensic Science and Engineering, Accident Reconstruction, Testing, Commissioning, and Technical and Scientific Services. Their staff of specialists and experts have completed over 5,200 assignments since 1970 ranging from electrical accidents and electrocutions to electrical power system investigation and testing of equipment failures including circuit breakers, motors, switchgear, generators, transformers and appliances.

    Their engineering facilities at Brosz & Associates enables them to perform in-depth research, electrical testing, forensic laboratory testing, microscopy, macro photography and photographic documentation, X-Ray testing, infrared testing, high voltage testing, high current testing and more. Most of their testing equipment is portable and they are also capable of producing professional collages and scale models for reports, mediations, depositions and trial.

    Their clients include insurance companies, legal firms, adjusters, risk managers, manufacturers, contractors, utilities, governments and individuals.

    Services Include:
  • Cause and Origin Investigations
  • Failure Analysis
  • Loss Prevention and Mitigation
  • Subrogation Support for the Insurance Industry
  • Electrical Safety and Accident Prevention
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    Thomas H. Burtness, PE
    2195 Wagon Trail Rd.
    White Heath IL 61884
    phone: 217-687-2000
    Thomas Burtness Electrical Engineering Expert PhotoThomas H. Burtness, PE, is an Electrical Engineer specializing in both Electrical and Building Construction - equipment selection, specification, and installation (actually “working with the tools”), as well as cost control techniques.

    Background - Mr. Burtness has 40+ years of experience in the design, specification, construction contract administration, installation, startup, and troubleshooting of electrical power, on-site generation, distribution, control, and instrumentation systems and equipment for residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal occupancies. His experience also includes water, wastewater, and stormwater treatment plants, and military facilities.

    Additional expertise includes Illumination Engineering for street, roadway, and area lighting including photometric footcandle requirements, calculations, field verification, equipment specifications, installation, and analysis of failure, glare, overlighting and underlighting.

    Litigation Support - Since, 1981, Mr. Burtness has been providing forensic electrical engineering services to insurance companies and attorneys including accident and failure investigations, determination of cause and origin, litigation support, expert opinions, reports, and testimony. His services are available nationwide, with PE registration by comity available in most states.

    Cases Involve:
    • Industrial Accidents
    • Electrocution
    • Personal Injury
    • Fire
    • Equipment and Machinery Failure
  • Failure of Safety Circuitry
  • Grounding
  • Lightning Damage and Fire
  • Construction Defects / Contract Claims
  • Design and Specification Disputes
  • View Thomas Burtness' Consulting Profile.
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    Hal Deatherage, PhD, PE Civil Engineering
    David Chapman, PhD, PE Civil Engineering
    610 S. Gay St.
    Knoxville TN 37902
    phone: 865-566-0309
    Construction Engineering Consultants (CEC) is a corporation formed by individuals who are passionate about the study of the arts and sciences related to engineering and construction practices. They seek to provide a variety of advisory services to clients in need of design, construction and engineering knowledge and expertise in order to prevent, solve, and investigate problems and create enduring collaborative relationships with their clients.

    For problematic construction issues, CEC assists with evaluations of design quality and defects, claims analysis and preparation, property and casualty loss investigations, construction litigation support, and expert witness services.

    CEC’s client base includes litigation clients across the nation. They have provided litigation support in Michigan, Iowa, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.

    Hal Deatherage Civil Engineering Expert PhotoJames (Hal) Deatherage, PhD, PE Civil Engineering, has been a Licensed Professional Civil Engineer since 1973. Dr. Deatherage spent many years as Principal in a Consulting Firm specializing in engineering and architectural services. He then served as President and Chief Operating Officer of a regional construction firm specializing in design-build services. Dr. Deatherage is currently a Professor Emeritus in Civil Engineering and Partner in Construction Engineering Consultants.

    Over the last 20 years, he has testified more than 300 times in litigation issues involving design, safety, construction productivity, construction claims, forensic failure analysis, erosion and sediment control issues, maintenance, construction quality, and other structural and civil engineering issues. Dr. Deatherage’s areas of expertise as an expert witness are as follows:
    • Structural Engineering Construction Claims
    • Design Defects / Construction Evaluation Quality
    • Property and Casualty Loss Investigations
  • Forensic Engineering and Failure Analysis
  • Highway and Building Codes / Regulation
  • Design Defects and Construction Personal Injury
  • David Chapman Civil Engineering Expert PhotoDavid Chapman, PhD, PE Civil Engineering, earned a Master’s of Science of Civil Engineering with Construction Engineering Concentration, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering with Construction Engineering Concentration.

    Dr. Chapman has taught construction related courses at the graduate and undergraduate level at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Chapman has been involved with several TDOT (Tennessee Department of Transportation) sponsored research projects. Most recently Dr. Chapman managed the research efforts concerning the Massman Dr. Bridge in Nashville, TN.

    Since 2005, Dr. Chapman has created and / or maintained CPM schedules for approximately $550 million worth of highway and heavy civil construction projects. His primary contribution to Construction Engineering Consultants is creating and maintaining schedules for highway construction type projects, forensic scheduling and engineering related to litigation support services. Dr. Chapman's areas of expertise are as follows:
    • Project Scheduling
    • Forensic Scheduling
    • Structural Engineering
  • Property and Casualty Loss Investigations
  • Construction Claims
  • Construction Management
  • View CEC's Consulting Profile.
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    Harry G. Direen, PhD, PE
    Colorado Springs CO 80921
    phone: 719-270-1278
    Harry Direen, PhD, PE has over 30 years of experience as an engineer Designing and Developing Systems in the Electronics and Software Industry. He has taught engineering courses at the US Air Force Academy and at the University of Colorado. Dr. Direen currently works with a research group at the US Air Force Academy developing control systems and image processing using GPGPUs for UAVs. An inventor, he holds 3 United States patents.

    Litigation Support - Dr. Direen has significant experience as an expert witness supporting counsel and testifying in complex patent infringement cases. He has a broad base of knowledge in electronic and software systems gained from a long career developing a wide range of products and systems. His litigation experience also includes encryption / decryption methods associated with databases and signal processing.

    Dr. Direen has reverse engineered a variety of complex systems over the years, including: media players, modems, modem compression algorithms, coriolis mass flow meters, database systems, and a range of other products to support patent infringement cases generating detailed claim charts and writing expert reports to demonstrate infringement. He has successfully discovered and analyzed complex digital signal processing algorithms and pertinent operations within these products.

    Dr. Direen's expertise is available to counsel representing both plaintiff and defendant. He is highly proficient in explaining complex systems to laymen.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Electronic Systems
    • Control Systems
    • Embedded Systems Design and Development
    • Databases
    • Control of UAVs / Drones
  • Robotics
  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Product Reverse Engineering
  • Intellectual Property
  • View Dr. Direen's Consulting Profile.
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    Gerald O. Davis, PE
    4723 Squaw Valley Court
    Glen Allen, VA
    VA, DC, MD, WV, NC USA
    phone: 804-967-9129
    fax: 804-967-9130
    Gerald O. Davis, PE, President and co-owner of DM&ME, has over 40 years experience in Materials Engineering and Business. Mr. Davis is a Forensic Expert in Materials Usage, Corrosion, Metallurgy, Mechanical Failure, & Root-Cause Failure Analysis. His recent background includes work as a corrosion researcher, senior engineer, and program manager for Battelle Memorial Institute, DNV, Inc., Henkels & McCoy, Inc., respectively and, since 2004, as president of DM&ME.

    Mr. Davis has been offering Expert Witness Services for the past 10 years for product liability and personal injury evaluations. He is retained for his knowledge of Forensic Engineering and Root-Cause Failure Analysis. Mr. Davis is experienced with depositions and trial testimony. His services include specification and interpretation of metallurgical lab tests plus review of physical evidence and its meaning. His findings are presented in clear oral and written reports which can be communicated to judges and juries in non-technical language.

    Areas of Expertise:
    • Root Cause Failure Analysis
    • Laboratory Testing and Interpretation
    • Corrosion Analysis & Control Methods
    • Objective Comminucations
    View Consulting Profile.
    11/16/2015 · Corrosion
    A common cause of failures in various types of equipment is fatigue failure of bolts that secure parts together. Fatigue in any type of dynamically loaded mechanical component accounts for more than 80% of all failures. This post reviews some important factors in fatigue failure of metallic bolts.

    The working relationship between the attorney and their expert witness in a case can be more effective if a few simple guidelines are followed. These are common sense things but one or more can be overlooked in the frequent day-to-day rush that busy attorneys face. When that happens some of the potential contributions from the expert may be compromised or lost to the detriment of the attorney's client.

    6/30/2015 · Engineering
    Too frequently an attorney will begin to seek a potential expert witness only after having done considerable initial work. Often there is a last minute rush to locate and select specialized technical assistance. These approaches can have expensive consequences. Alternatively, securing a suitable expert early in the litigation process offers the following advantages for the retaining attorney:

    6/2/2015 · Engineering
    Many negative consequences can result from failures of a range of different products that often lead to property & casualty insurance disputes or product liability legal actions. The products may include consumer or industrial goods. Typically the private user or worker is injured or a business incurs significant financial loss. The injured individual, insurance carrier, attorney(s) or industrial manufacturer and user are all interested to confirm what went wrong – and who is liable. Resolution often depends on engineering analysis.

    5/7/2015 · Corrosion
    Clearly it is advantageous to know when corrosion is occurring in operating equipment to avoid future failure. There is extensive literature on this topic. This post is a brief summary of information selected from the four references cited below. Each source includes several other references.

    4/7/2015 · Manufacturing
    "3D printing" or the more descriptive term - additive manufacturing (AM) - has received much publicity in recent years. What is this technology and what are some of its practical features? This blog is a summary of AM and its on-going development to make actual service components using metal alloys. Presented are selected portions of information provided in the two references cited.

    3/3/2015 · Corrosion
    Most engineers know about the danger of galvanic corrosion caused by physical contact between dissimilar metals exposed to a corrosive liquid. However, this possibility is often overlooked and other features of this type of corrosion may not be widely known.

    1/21/2015 · Failure Analysis
    It is essential when beginning a root-cause failure analysis involving metallic materials to collect and maintain the as-found physical evidence properly prior to detailed examinations. This has two objectives. In all cases collecting and protecting the evidence in its undisturbed condition provides the best opportunity to derive meaningful good results from the subsequent analyses. Secondly, in a legal proceeding lack of attention to these matters can produce the accusation of spoilation of evidence. As a minimum this will cause presentation problems for the offending party in the suit. At worst such deficiencies by that party may cause the case to be thrown out.

    12/12/2014 · Corrosion
    Aluminum alloy materials are well known for their light weight and strength-to-weight ratios. They are also susceptible to several forms of corrosion. Relative to other metals, their natural electrochemical potential places them adjacent to other very susceptible (active) metals such as magnesium (Mg) and zinc (Zn) in a traditional galvanic series in seawater. However, Al alloys naturally form a very thin, protective (passive) oxide film on their surface when exposed to oxygen. This film prevents corrosion as long as it is maintained over the surface. Pitting corrosion is a common form of attack on aluminum. This is typically caused by exposure to halide ions, chloride ions being the most common type found in corrosive media, that breakdown the passive film at discreet spots. This permits pits to initiate and grow.

    11/7/2014 · Metallurgy
    Often when engineers consider mechanical fatigue they envision cyclic, reversing stresses in a spinning shaft or possibly the up and down flex of aircraft wings. Rolling contact fatigue (RCF) or the associated mechanical wear is an important, closely related process to the traditional mechanism of fatigue but with distinct differences. RCF is also often known as spalling.

    9/25/2014 · Product Liability
    This term raises some vital issues that the engineer should be aware of when using it. First several definitions are available and thus it is perceived differently by different groups and individuals. From a legal standpoint, in many states, using the term to describe a product that was involved in an incident involving an injury means that the designer or manufacturer of that product may be financially liable for the injury. Engineers sometimes use the term simply to indicate an imperfection in a product without intending its frequent legal use. Further the engineer realizes that no material and no finished product is perfect. However, these variations from perfection do not necessarily mean they were cause for failure and thus the injury that may occur in a given incident. Some product liability attorneys may not readily acknowledge or understand this distinction.

    8/21/2014 · Corrosion
    The optimal time to make decisions and take actions to minimize potential failures of equipment, facilities and components is during their design. This two-part blog post provides an overview of the types of issues involved and specific actions that can be useful to the design engineer. Archived blog posts (at that discuss specifics are provided parenthetically.

    7/15/2014 · Metallurgy
    Four, tri-lobe pumps were damaged and required extensive repair during the latter stages of construction for a modification in a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. The economic loss was significant and the general contractor for the work paid the plant's owner for the loss. The renovated units were installed and are in use. However, the general contractor then sued one of its subcontractors - a welding contractor that fabricated and completed weld joints between piping sections on the inlet side of the pumps. The general contractor claimed poor quality welds in the piping permitted loosened weld fragments to enter the pumps during the required water flow verification of the system and this caused the damage.

    6/9/2014 · Corrosion
    Most realize that damage due to corrosion of metals is costly - but what specifically is that cost and what is included in the total? A study completed in 2002 sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International) and implemented by CC Technologies Laboratories (now part of DVN) addressed those questions.

    5/2/2014 · Corrosion
    Material selection entails picking an engineering material - either metal alloy or non-metal - that is inherently resistant to the particular corrosive environment and also meets other criteria. Variables that will affect corrosion are established along with materials that may provide suitable resistance for those conditions. Obviously other requirements such as cost and mechanical properties of the potential materials must be considered.

    3/28/2014 · Corrosion
    Pin-hole leaks from a fire-control sprinkler piping system just above the false ceiling of multiple rooms in an office building resulted in a suit against three parties involved with supplying the system. The plaintiff - a financial service organization that owned the building - had much computerized transaction data stored on magnetic tapes in several rooms damaged or destroyed by the incident. The monetary loss was major. The leaks occurred within two years after the system was installed. This period is clearly far short of the expected life of the system. Defendants in the case included the supplier of the piping used in the system, the engineering firm that designed it and the installation contractor.

    2/26/2014 · Corrosion
    A variety of low-voltage electronic devices may fail to operate properly because of exposure to certain corrosive, gaseous environments. Susceptible items include consumer products such as microwave ovens, audio equipment, TV's and personal computers as well as many types of industrial sensors and automatic control devices. Failure generally occurs because of specific application factors. These include the severity of the environment, the presence or absence of atmospheric sealing of components within the device and the metals used at critical internal locations. Frequently complete failure doesn't occur but normal operation is erratic.

    A full size, cylindrical tank trailer pulled by a truck tractor/ cab split open on its lower section at mid-span and released hundreds of gallons of hydrochloric acid (HCl) onto a secondary highway in a northeastern state. When this occurred the truck driver jumped out of the truck's cab and sustained acid burns to his ankles because he was wearing low-quarter shoes.

    12/20/2013 · Failure Analysis
    A severe personal injury incident occurred as a recreational fishing boat was approaching a dock at approximately 20 mph after a day on the water. The large outboard engine (75 HP) on the stern of the boat struck a fixed underwater obstruction, flipped into the boat while still running and amputated the hand of a passenger seated near the engine.

    11/26/2013 · Engineering
    A licensed professional engineer (P.E.) is required to adhere to a Code of Ethics for Engineers in all work he undertakes. However, there are some special criteria when employed as an expert witness.

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    Leslie Noel
    Marketing Director
    Corporate Headquarters
    11321 Plantside Drive
    Louisville KY 40299
    phone: 800-482-5611
    fax: 502-267-6973
    Donan, a family owned company founded in 1947, provides full-service Forensic Engineering and Fire Investigation Services. For over 60 years, Donan Engineering has been providing unbiased answers to their client’s complicated questions. Their team of licensed and experienced forensic experts provides investigative services in the fields of engineering investigations, fire and explosion origin & cause, roofing investigations, and component testing. The diversity of their multidisciplinary staff allows them to provide not only a complete service, but a complete service whose conclusions can be successfully and completely supported.

    Donan Engineering has become a richly diverse, industry leader with over 250 employees operating from 50 offices in 27 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Texas, West Virginia, Virginia, and Oklahoma. Throughout their growth, Donan has maintained their commitment to providing exceptional customer service, unparalleled quality, unmatched integrity, and timely reporting. Most importantly, they pride ourselves on delivering their clients quality services at an affordable price.

    Services Include:
    Engineering Investigations
  • Bridges
  • Foundations and Basements
  • Geotechnical / Sink Holes
  • Lightning
  • Low and High Voltage
  • Mechanical Systems
  • Retaining Walls
  • Steel Construction
  • Trusses
  • Vehicle Mechanical Studies
  • Vibrations: Earthquakes and Blastings
  • Water Infiltration / Mold
  • Wood Frame Construction

  • Fire / Explosion Origin and Cause
  • Commercial Fires
  • Equipment Fires
  • Vehicle / Residential Fires

  • Roofing Investigations
  • Commercial
  • Residential - Asphalt Shingle
  • Residential - Slate, Tile, Etc.

  • Heavy Trucks
  • Motorcycles
  • Passenger Vehicles
  • 7/29/2016 · Forensics
    Most forensic investigation projects include a scope to determine the cause of some damage or condition. Project scopes often request determining the cause and origin of the damage. Since insurance policies contain descriptions of covered and non-covered situations, clearly specifying causes and origins is crucial for clients' coverage decisions. This article discusses the differences between and significance of these two important terms.

    4/18/2016 · Construction
    Brick masonry chimneys have been prevalent for centuries, but it wasnt until recent decades that brick-clad, wood-framed chimneys became common in residential construction. This trend resulted from the increasing popularity of metal insert fireplaces. While they may appear similar from the exterior, the structure and weather-resistant envelope of wood-framed chimneys are very different than masonry-built chimneys. Prior to studying damage, it is important to understand critical elements in the structural support and weather-resistant envelope of wood-framed chimneys and the types of damage that can result from improper construction.[1]

    Fires can be caused by devices that fail due to a manufacturer's defect. Quality assurance procedures have gone a long way to eliminate out-of-box failures but manufacturers sometimes bypass quality checks on consumer products for competitive reasons. Even the most ethical companies are susceptible to human error that can cause an almost imperceptible change in an otherwise flawless manufacturing procedure.

    As the days get shorter and temperatures turn milder, most HVAC systems are taking a well-earned vacation. For a short while, a cool breeze through open windows will be enough to keep us comfortable in our homes. But soon, homeowners will switch their thermostats from cooling mode to heating mode, and some of them will unfortunately discover their HVAC system does not heat. It's time to pull out those extra blankets and make the call to a service professional sooner than expected.

    12/21/2015 · Construction
    Wood bowstring trusses were used extensively in commercial buildings from the 1920s to the 1960s. Wood bowstring roof trusses provided long clear spans necessary in warehouse and industrial buildings. Many roofs supported by bowstring trusses are still in service today. Compared with other structural timber-truss types, bowstring trusses have exhibited more frequent structural problems. The structural deficiencies encountered are attributable to deficiencies in the original design of the trusses combined with damage due to exposure and age.

    9/28/2015 · Engineering
    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released a 2015 edition of NFPA 70E: Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. It covers and assists in complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Association's requirements, including changes to requirements since the last edition. For personal safety in forensic studies it is important to stay informed of these updates. NFPA 70E covers arc flash risk assessment, establishment of arc flash boundaries, requirements of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), use of PPE within the arc flash boundary, and equipment labeling requirements regarding arc flash hazards. The following examples illustrate the importance of staying abreast of the latest standards.

    7/16/2015 · Construction
    History shows us that building codes have been around for a long time - in fact, the earliest known was around in 2000BC[1]. Penalties were also much harsher for construction defects. If a builder constructed a house that collapsed and killed the owner, the builder was not fined, but was put to death. The United States has been a country with diverse codes - as many as 5,000 at one time. More recently, however, various states and municipalities have adopted "model" codes such as the International Building Code or International Residential Code. These provide a "base" and may be used as written or an Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may amend certain parts of the model code, making it more stringent and/or specific for a certain area.

    5/14/2015 · Forensics
    Whether it is helping us formulate our opinion or confirming an initial diagnosis, technology plays a valuable role in forensic engineering work. Following are a few examples of existing technology available to Donan's project managers. Though not standard issue, these tools are utilized when necessary to accurately determine or confirm a cause of loss.

    There are many types, manufacturers, and sizes of commercial HVAC systems which can make it difficult to create general guidelines for repair procedures and estimates for hail-damaged units. This guide uses the most common "light commercial" rooftop units (RTUs), which are 5-tons, 7.5-tons, and 10-tons in capacity, for estimating time to repair or replace.

    Imagine for a moment that you are sitting in your home, listening to the rain while reading your favorite novel. Then suddenly you hear a roar of thunder and your home becomes dark. What just happened? You may have just experienced a power surge. Although lightning is not the most common cause of this phenomenon, it is excellent for illustrating what a power surge is and how it can affect your home. A power surge is a term used to describe a condition where the voltage and or current increases beyond its normal levels. Power surges, when due to the elevation of the voltage being supplied by the electrical utility company, have the potential to change data streams, interrupt electrical control circuits, burn out components, cause arcs, create shorts between conductors, overload systems, and cause system failures. The most common causes of power surges are indicated as follows:

    1/7/2015 · Construction
    Concrete is a desirable construction material due to its inherent strength and durability, which make it well-suited for many applications in residential and commercial construction, especially foundations, floor slabs, driveways, sidewalks, and roads, among other things. In these applications, concrete that is properly designed, mixed, placed, and maintained will perform exceptionally well for many years. However, poor design or mix, improper placement, finishing techniques, or inadequate maintenance may result in concrete that does not perform as intended. Aside from cracking, which is probably the most common form of distress to concrete, since virtually all concrete will crack as it cures, surface distress due to scaling, spalling, and popouts are the most common forms of damage.

    12/2/2014 · Construction
    The relationship between wind, hailstone velocity, and impact energy is based on an understanding of fundamental physics. Over a half century of laboratory research and field studies have determined that the severity of hail damage to a roofing material is contingent on the kinetic energy at the point of impact and the roofing material's resistance to that impact energy. These studies have found that a hailstone must be of a certain mass (i.e., size), and it must be traveling at a certain speed (velocity) to result in functional damage to the roofing material. The kinetic energy is a composition of mass and velocity, defined by the following equation:

    10/17/2014 · Construction
    Chances are, it's happened to you. An unexpected period of cold weather occurs and temperatures drop well below freezing for an extended period of time. One morning you attempt to turn the water on in the kitchen sink and...nothing. Hot water? Nope. Cold water? Nope. What happened? Did you forget to pay the water bill...again? Chances are, your pipes are frozen. "How can that happen? They are inside the house!", you may say; however, just because your water lines are inside the building envelope, does not mean they are adequately protected from freezing.

    9/4/2014 · Construction
    If hail impacts a roof covering and the effects of this impact result in some loss in the material's overall integrity or functionality, this material is classified as "hail damaged." More specifically for cedar shakes and shingles, valid hail damage is typically a new fracture of the cedar corresponding to a clean spot or scuff mark from the hailstone impact.

    7/25/2014 · Construction
    Although sags along roof ridgelines can be discovered at any time, in northern climates they are often attributed to the effects of a past snow load. To make an educated analysis of the actual cause of this phenomenon, one must have a basic understanding of the structure and the loads to which it has been subjected.

    Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems consist of many components that work in unison to create the desired comfort level for our homes and offices. A well maintained system is designed to last around 15 years, but the life can be dramatically reduced when proper installation procedures and routine maintenance are not performed.

    5/28/2014 · Construction
    Ice dams and their resultant leaks are often a chronic and expensive problem in those regions where snow-covered roofs are a common occurrence. To understand their detection, cause, and prevention requires some understanding of the dynamics of a structure's construction, insulation, and ventilation.

    A space heater is a device designed to warm a small area. These devices are typically portable, but the category does include gas- and wood-fueled models that are permanently installed; however, these are not the focus of this article.

    3/12/2014 · Failure Analysis
    Washing machine failures can create significant damage, exposing insurers and their clients to property damage. These failures often involve a high volume of water and can occur without warning. Through the examination of several hundred washing machines, the DONAN Component Testing Laboratory has identified a statistically significant failure trend in General Electric (GE) washing machines. The amount of water supplied to the tub of the washing machine is controlled by a water valve (solenoid-controlled valve) and pneumatic controls. The washing machine's load selector is a pneumatic pressure switch, which activates and deactivates the water valve.

    2/10/2014 · Construction
    Shallow foundations are the most commonly designed and constructed structural foundation system. As opposed to deep foundations where structural loads are transferred to subsurface layers or multiple depth ranges, shallow foundations transfer loads to the earth (soil) relatively near to the ground surface. Some examples of shallow foundations include building components often seen in residential construction such as spread footings, continuous foundation walls and footings, slab-on-grade foundations, and mat-slab foundations.

    1/9/2014 · Construction
    After a tornado event, devastation and destruction are found along the tornado path. Due to the wood-framed construction predominant in Texas and Oklahoma, extensive damage to a house can occur. But how do you know whether visible cracks in the Sheetrock or brick finishes are just cosmetic damage or the signs of structural failure?

    12/10/2013 · Fires & Explosions
    Automatic fire suppression systems are by far the most effective and safest means of preventing extensive fire damage and saving lives. For this discussion, we will touch on automatic sprinkler systems (building systems) and kitchen hood suppression systems. These systems range from very simple to extremely complex.

    10/23/2013 · Construction
    Summertime rolls around and people start seeing condensation on ductwork. Their first thought is that something is wrong with their air conditioner. Actually, sweating ducts have several causes. Very few are attributable to defective air conditioners.

    10/4/2013 · Engineering
    In urban and suburban areas, stormwater systems are found everywhere. From surface waterways, such as rivers, streams, and ditches, to subsurface drainage systems, such as storm sewers and culverts, stormwater systems are as ubiquitous as concrete, which is one of the reasons they are so important (Figure 1). Impervious surfaces like concrete, pavement, and roofs prevent stormwater from naturally absorbing into the ground, and the resulting runoff can cause flooding, erosion, and subsequent structural damage.

    For many years, the fire investigation industry has seen numerous fires involving livestock buildings. These fires are often high profile, especially when masses of animals are lost or injured. Many times these losses are in older structures with neglected electrical and/or heating systems. Given the interior environment, corrosion and degradation to electrical and heating components are common.

    8/16/2013 · Construction
    Cupping, buckling, and crowning are three common problems encountered in wood flooring (flooring). These problems are caused by a combination of the normal material characteristics of the flooring and improper installation of the flooring.

    7/31/2013 · Waterproofing
    While shovels, snowblowers, plows, and deicing agents are used to clear snow and ice from driveways and sidewalks during the winter, removing frozen precipitation from the roof of a house is a bit more challenging. As snow and ice piles up on the roof and subsequently thaws out, the melt-water can sometimes result in damage to the interior of the structure.

    7/15/2013 · Construction
    "Hail has damaged my concrete driveway!" How many times have you heard this claim? A homeowner whose house has experienced a recent severe hailstorm starts to notice things they never noticed before around their house.

    A Donan fire investigator uses many techniques in order to determine the origin and cause of a fire. Chief among these are the investigator's observations of the scene and the conditions surrounding the scene.

    In this age of high energy costs, the price of heating the house will increase. People will be searching for alternate sources to heat their houses.

    4/24/2013 · Construction
    In our October 2010 newsletter, Bob Whelan, P.E., discussed how to approach a roof hail study by using the scientific method. In summary, one should perform a collateral study of the property, or neighboring properties, to gather information about the particular hailstorm in question.

    3/21/2013 · Construction
    Whether to build a residence on a concrete slab or conventional crawlspace foundation is a common decision homeowners must make.

    2/13/2013 · Construction
    By: DONAN
    Is construction vibration just an annoyance, or does it have the potential to cause aesthetic and structural damage to nearby structures?

    1/7/2013 · Construction
    Attic ventilation problems can cause elevated relative humidity in an unheated, residential attic. Elevated relative humidity in the attic can promote mold growth and increase the moisture content in the wood framing to a level that promotes fungal growth and rotting.

    11/30/2012 · Failure Analysis
    Every year, Donan Engineering is asked to look at dozens of basement walls that have failed. A wall is determined to have "failed" when the structural integrity is compromised - such as with the development of a horizontal or vertical crack.

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    Dr. Paul Eason, PE, CFEI
    4600 Touchton Road,Building 100, Suite 150
    Jacksonville FL 32246
    phone: 904-279-9300 or 888-504-5454
    Paul Eason is a Licensed Engineer, Nationally Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator and Forensic Consultant. His expertise comes from a strong background in industry and academia. In addition to his consulting practice, he is a professor in the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of North Florida, and maintains a graduate faculty appointment in the Materials Science and Engineering Program at the University of Florida.

    Dr. Eason has testified in numerous trials and depositions in the following practice areas: Product Design & Manufacturing Analysis, Metallurgy & Materials, Fire & Explosions and Industrial Accidents

    Areas of Expertise:

    Product liability and failure analysis, Product Defect & Safety Issues including: Metals, Plastics, Glass, Ceramics, Corrosion, Fatigue, Overload & Material Selection

    Fire and Explosion analysis including: cause and origin determination, product related fire causation, industrial process accidents, dust explosions, welding/brazing accidents
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