William R. Acorn is founder of Acorn Consulting Services, LLC, an engineering firm. As a consulting mechanical engineer, Bill provides project analysis, forensic reconstructions and litigation support services relating to the design, delivery, and functioning of high-tech manufacturing facilities, semiconductor fabrication facilities, institutional laboratories, data centers, health care facilities and a variety of commercial buildings. He is a recognized expert in the evaluation of deficiencies in HVAC systems, cleanrooms, piping systems, refrigeration systems, construction defects, building and fire code compliance, and patent and trade secret disputes. He represents both plaintiffs and defendants.
Bill has more than 40 years of experience as a professional engineer and is a recognized expert in assessing, evaluating, remediating and providing testimony on complex project design, construction and operational matters. His consulting expertise has been influential in shaping approaches to code compliance and life safety in semiconductor and similar advanced technology facilities.
Certifications and Designations:
Registered as a Professional Mechanical Engineer in the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Registered with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying NCEES (Certificate No. 6999)
Fellow in the HVAC industry leading organization ASHRAE
Visiting lecturer at the Arizona State University Del E. Webb School of Construction in Tempe, AZ
Advisor to CREATE, ACE – Alliance for Construction Excellence and the IAB – Industry Advisory Board, all affiliated with ASU
Building Systems Analysis:
HVAC and Refrigeration
Process and Power Piping
Standard of Care in Design and Construction
Chemical Exposures in the Workplace
Cleanroom Design and Performance
Codes and Standards
Patent and Trade Secret Disputes
Litigation Support: Bill’s pragmatic approach to both forensic and litigation consulting as well as project consulting is based on more than 40 years of real-world experience as a design professional, mentor and forensic analyst, as well as many years as an instructor in professional and academic settings.Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of jurisdictions throughout the US and Asia. Bill’s ability to explain complex issues to non-technical audiences, including juries, mediators and judges, is a key to successfully solving your litigation challenges.
Strategic Litigation Consulting
Acorn Consulting Services
Consulting Services: Services range from peer review to conceptual design to development of strategies and programs for expedited project delivery.
Bill frequently acts as an owner’s agent and mentor, functioning as an extension of the owner’s project team. On other projects, Bill serves as a subject matter expert assisting project delivery firms in their development of viable solutions and review of construction documents.
As a project consultant, Bill assures the project gets off to the right start and provides his expertise through completion and operation to maximize return on investment.
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
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.
Forensic Engineering Expert Witness Adam Aleksander
Dr. 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.
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
Fred P. Smith President - has retained over 600 times as an expert in intellectual property, and product liability cases where I have testified regarding claim construction, infringement, invalidity, breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation. He has testified in court over 40 times in multiple state courts, Federal Court, before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and the International Trade Commission (ITC).
Mr. Smith has over 70 patents on such products with a number of patent applications still pending. He received the Utah Genius Award for being one of Utah’s top inventors. He has directed the development and improvement of a wide variety of products including:
hydraulically operated equipment, trucks, and related equipment, trailers, aerial lifts, industrial equipment, farm equipment, mobile equipment, material handling, forklifts, boom trucks, suspension systems, man lifts, garbage trucks, cranes, lift gates, pneumatic dump, front loaders, side loaders, automated loaders, rear loaders, recycling trucks, patient lift system, lawnmowers, roll-offs, liftgates, ziplines, and many consumer products.
Karl R. Leinsing, MSME, PE, President of ATech Designs, Inc., is a Professional Mechanical Engineer who specializes in Medical Device Product Development from concept to production. Mr. Leinsing has been granted over 34 patents (needle free IV valves, laparoscopic devices, needlescopic devices, suture lockers, catheters, mitral valve repair devices, knitting machines) and excels in solving the most complicated problems and design challenges. His company has a fully equipped medical lab with calibrated measurement and test equipment and all is fully documented with high quality reports with pictures and video to provide credible results and easy to understand compelling data.
The winner of five design awards, Mr. Leinsing is recognized as one of the top 100 medical device professionals in the nation by MD&DI. For dedication to his industry, he was made the 2014 Chairman of the Medical Device and Manufacturing Conference in Anaheim, CA. Mr. Leinsing has also been acknowledged for his work in a publication by Life Magazine. Mr. Leinsing offers litigation support services to the legal community. He has extensive experience with Patent and Product Liability cases including report writing, depositions, and testimony.
Experienced Medical Device Experts can assist with a case in many different ways. First, they have industry knowledge of the medical device industry and can assist with prior art in patent litigation cases for example. They understand the technology and how claim terms are understood for one skilled in the art of medical device design, testing, and manufacturing. This firsthand information can then assist with proper claim construction and infringement analysis. Experience with medical devices product development can also assist in determining what is obvious in the field and what is not as it pertains to patent validation.
Michael Nranian, JD, MBA, MS has over 30 years experience focusing in Product Development, Intellectual Property, Patent Litigation, Legal and Technical Compliance, and Product Liability Litigation. He is a licensed attorney in Michigan, Texas, & the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Mr. Nranian is a Six Sigma Black Belt, Professional Engineer, & Certified Project Management Professional. He has an in-depth background and education in Law, IP, Electrical, Chemical & Computer Engineering, & Business. He has testified extensively as an expert witness in depositions, hearings, and trials in state & federal courts.
Mr. Nranian conducts Product and Technology Analysis, Patentability & Prior Art Research,and provides Technology & Litigation Support for Intellectual Property. His litigation background includes patent infringement / non-infringement under literal infringement and the doctrine of equivalents, patent validity / invalidity, prior art, & file-wrapper estoppel, for both ITC and Federal cases, including Inter Partes reviews. He conducts analysis of patents and products, prepares claim charts, & expert witness reports. This includes testimony and document preparation for cases before state, and federal court jurisdictions, and the International Trade Commission and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
Mr. Nranian is thoroughly familiar with all 101, 102, 103, 112, and other enablement and prior art arguments. His experience includes Technology Standards Boards and Licensing Authorities, Antitrust / DOJ, Technology Development and Transfer, Patents, Trademarks, Trade Secrets, and Copyrights, Licensing, Unfair Competition/Trade, False/Deceptive Advertising, & Lanham Act Actions, & Class Actions.
His Product Liability Expert Witness litigation background includes all types of Safety Systems, Electrical Systems, Fires, Accident Reconstruction, and Evaluation of Alternative Designs for Automotive, Medical and other industries. He has over 29 years of experience in Automotive Safety Systems, Sensors, Seatbelts, Airbags / Curtains, Seats, Diagnostic Systems, Crash Recorders, Crash Pulse Analysis, System Diagnostic, Fault Codes, Structure (including roof-crush and door) and front, side & roll-over systems (including sensing and algorithm development) for domestic and international corporations. He is thoroughly familiar with all regulatory (including FMVSS), and corporate due-care requirements, & preemption arguments, occupant kinematics, & injury causation.
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.
Electrical Engineering and Design
Mechanical Engineering and Design
Automation and Computer Control Systems
Maritime and Infrastructure Engineering
Solid Waste Handling
Moving Bridges and Lock Gates
Construction Project Management
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.
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.
Bonneau Dickson, P.E. is a sanitary engineer with forty years of experience in all aspects of potable water, wastewater and stormwater design and construction management. He has provided forensic sanitary engineering expertise and served as an expert witness for 25 years. He has been deposed approximately 100 times and has testified in trials, arbitrations or mediations more than a dozen times. He has worked both in the U.S, and abroad.
Mr. Dickson has designed approximately 300 water, wastewater, and stormwater projects. Has been resident engineer or otherwise participated in the construction phase of approximately 20 water and wastewater projects. Mr. Dickson has both project management and general management experience as project manager on approximately 175 projects. Mr. Dickson served as forensic technical consultant or expert witness on more than 100 cases. With his decades of experience, he understands not only the engineering aspects, but also the financial, managerial, political, and personal aspects of legal issues. Mr. Dickson's expert services include succinct reports with explanations of complex engineering matters in layman’s language.
Areas of Expertise:
Wastewater Facilities Design
Wastewater Facilities Planning
Water Facilities Design
Water Facilities Planning
Standard of Care
Stormwater Facilities Design
Stormwater Facilities Planning
Education - BS Civil Engineering, GA Tech; MS Sanitary Engineering, GA Tech; MA Sanitary Engineering, Harvard University; Master Of Business Administration, Harvard University View Bonneau Dickson's Consulting Profile.
Thomas 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.
Michael A. Pollock, PE, USPTO, is a Mechanical Engineer responsible for the design and engineering of commercial, industrial, manufacturing, institutional, and residential venues, as well as efforts relating to services and products used in and around these facilities. Mr. Pollock's full CV can be viewed at cogentexpert.com.
Business and industries include electronics, safety and construction, building materials, polymers and plastics, instrumentation manufacturing, petrochemicals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, colleges, athletic facilities, textiles, coatings and resins, food storage, biosciences, supermarkets, inks & pigments, automotive, facility and real estate operations, agricultural, transportation, nuclear, healthcare, nutrition, retail, distributors, pulp and paper, packaging, utilities, apparel, and R&D centers.
Litigation Support - Mr. Pollock is a subject matter expert in Commercial and Industrial Engineering Applications and Projects, as well as engineering standards and applicable codes (ASHRAE, ASME, NIST, NFPA, NBIC, ASTM, SAE, LEED, ASCE, GMP, ISA, BOCA, and EPA Regulations.) He has engaged with local, state, and governmental officials and agencies regarding numerous matters over his commensurate years of experience.
Areas of Expertise:
Investment Engineering Economics
Mechanical Engineering Standard of Care
Architectural Standard of Care
Construction Schedule Analysis
Instrumentation and Controls
Steam Systems and Boilers
Power and Utilities
Professional Engineer: PA (PE075410)
American Bar Association (ABA) – Construction Forum
United States Patent & Trademark Office Registered (USPTO)
Forensic Consulting Experience
Warehouse Distribution Facility – Maryland - Evaluated a $10M (million) claim relating to purported construction defect claims by the 600,000 sq. ft. facility owner against the facility construction contractor and an original equipment manufacturer relating to installed infrastructure in the facility. Developed an expert opinion and expert report regarding the analysis of the purported defects and a proposed repair solution to correct said defects.
Psychiatric Hospital Facility – North Carolina – Evaluated a $28M (million) construction claim by the general contractor against a hospital facility concerning a $100M facility construction project. Developed an expert opinion and report for general construction issues, constructability, design revisions, and corresponding delay analysis for mechanical, HVAC, electrical, smoke and fire, structural, security and building automation systems.
Forensics Consulting Work-in-Progress
2022 – International Trade Commission (ITC) Matter – Resin Manufacturing Facility Construction Delay / Completeness Analysis
2022 – Mechanical Systems Coatings Matter Analysis
2021 – Industrial Manufacturing Facility Standard of Care Matter, Construction Defect, Construction Delay
2021 – Electrical Distribution System Construction Defect Matter, Standard of Care
2021 – Hotel Facility HVAC Materials of Construction Related Defect Matter
Sanford C. Loy , CCM, B.Arch, MSCE, has over 40 years of experience in the Construction Industry. Mr. Loy has Degrees in Architecture and Engineering. A Certified Construction Manager (CCM), he is committed to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice established by the Construction Management Association of America. CCM is the ANSI accredited professional designation for construction management and is the gold standard for CM service providers in over 145 countries.
Background Experience - Mr. Loy's experience spans virtually every type of building and design process. His strength centers on his understanding of the dynamics and interactions of the various trades and professions unique to every building project. He has experience with Construction Management at Risk, Construction Management Agency, Design-build, and Design-bid-build. Having successfully managed the completion of over one billion dollars of construction, Mr. Loy served as a Regional Engineer for the American Institute of Steel Construction and as Director of Construction and Development for Belz Enterprises, the largest development company in Tennessee, before founding Construction Strategies in 1988.
Litigation Support - Mr. Loy provides Construction Claim and Dispute Analysis services, with special expertise in Concrete Design and Design-Build. Having been a teacher of many of the principles and processes used in the industry he knows how to explain the difficult technical aspects of the information and analysis in a way which makes the facts understandable and believable to opposing counsel, insurance companies, judges, and juries. Mr. Loy has experience and provides assistance with various dispute resolution approaches, such as Owner / Contractor dispute resolution boards, arbitration, mediation, and provides expert witness testimony if necessary.
The construction industry is gigantic.....it has been around for centuries in this country alone....an industry with that much inertia does not embrace change easily. Introducing new processes and methodology is much like trying to turn an aircraft carrier with a boat oar. You can get beat up pretty good and not even effect the ship!
Robert C. Hoffman Jr, PE, CFEI, is a licensed Professional Engineer certified as a Fire and Explosion Investigator. With 30 years of experience, the primary focus of his knowledge is a deep understanding and application of all aspects of Product Safety for the Consumer Goods Industry.
Background Experience: For 27 years, Mr. Hoffman worked with the Whirlpool Corporation in various roles. He served the company as a Drum Sub-System Design/Development Engineer, a Laundry Product Approval Engineer, and Dryer Platform Structures Sub-System Leader and Engineer. His final position with the company before retirement was Principal Engineer, a position he served in for 8 years.
Mr. Hoffman's primary areas of specialization are Heat / Combustion Containment strategies, and Electrical System Design strategies in expected customer abnormal use. His involvement in field investigation evaluations and product liability support allow him to understand how products react in the field and produce both relevance safety tests and design solutions.
Litigation Support: Mr. Hoffman works as an expert witness with clients needing to understand if a product in the field has some type of design or manufacturing defect, as well as clients needing support to defend their product against a potential field hazard allegation. His background in statistics and presentation of data allows him to take complex situations and break the information down into simple, yet accurate assessments of the situation.
Mr. Hoffman's services include product failure mode and effects analysis, root cause investigations, thorough reporting, depositions, and trial testimony as needed.
In most US households there are all types of consumer products used every day that add value to the people using them. The product performs a chore or other household task more efficiently, adds entertainment value to their lives, or delivers a basic necessity such as heat, AC, or hot water. Most of these products use some form of energy to produce the desired function.
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.
James Parker has over 35 years of relevant industry experience specializing in Electronic Security Systems & Sensors, Electronics R&D, and New Product Development. He has in-depth knowledge of electronic product design in both Wired and Wireless Technologies and outstanding knowledge of Environmental and False Alarm Immunity. Products, such as alarm systems, that Mr. Parker led the design of, have an installed base in the millions.
Litigation Support - Mr. Parker provides Patent Litigation support to counsel representing both Plaintiff and Defense and is experienced with civil liability, criminal and patent litigation, including Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs). He has the ability to explain complex technical material in a straight forward manner. Mr. Parker's past clients include Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Fish & Richardson PC, Alarm.com, 2GIG Technologies, and Nest Labs. His services are available nationally and internationally.
Areas of Expertise:
Burglar Alarm Systems
Wireless Alarm Systems
Wired Alarm Systems
Occupancy Detection Systems
Residential and Commercial Security
Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs)
Research and Development
New Product Development
Alarm Control Panels
PIR (Passive Infra-Red) Motion Detection
uW (Microwave) Doppler Motion Detection
Solar LED Flood Lights (Patio to Street Level)
Background - Mr. Parker is the Past Vice President of Engineering for Digital Security Controls Ltd. (DSC), a leading global manufacturer of electronic security systems and components with sales exceeding $400 million annually. He is currently the President at EE-Systems Group Inc. Canada (R&D) where he is responsible for overseeing new product and business development. A prolific inventor, Mr. Parker has been granted over 25 unique patents with approximately 100 patent documents published worldwide.
Over 35 years of experience in Mechanical / Structural Engineering & Design, Failure Analysis, Product Liability, Industural Asbestos,Pressure Vessel & Boiler analysis and evaluation of mechanical and structural components.
Extensive trial experience. Has been involved in multi-million dollar cases. Areas involved included: