Our Engineering Team

O'Donnell Consulting Engineers, Inc. was originally founded to meet the specialized needs of the nuclear industry. We have since expanded to offer engineering design, analysis, troubleshooting and forensic services to clients throughout the world in such diverse industries as energy, petrochemical, metals, fabrication, construction, marine, mining, and aerospace. We enjoy technical challenges - from the simple to complex.

The following are resume summaries only. Please contact us for more information.

Dr. William O’Donnell, PhD, PE – founder and President of O’Donnell Consulting Engineers, Inc., began his professional career at Westinghouse Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, where he helped develop components for the nuclear Navy under Admiral Rickover. He has extensive professional experience in the analysis of components including fatigue and fracture safety evaluations and failure analyses. He has developed methods for evaluating fatigue, stress corrosion cracking and safety margins of components, and is an expert in complex failure modes which occur under cyclic loads.

For over 12 years, he was the Chairman of the Subgroup of Fatigue Strength of the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. The Pittsburgh Section of the ASME named him “Engineer of the Year” in 1988, and he is listed in the Engineers Joint Council “Engineers of Distinction” and Marquis “Who’s Who in the World”. Several of his publications are listed here.

A few of the cases he has testified in include the failure of ductwork in a Pittsburgh Public School, the structural collapse and fire of a rack structure, and serving as one of the technical experts over coke oven battery construction issues in the International Chamber of Commerce (Paris) in a $590 Million binding arbitration.

In addition to publishing numerous technical papers, and chapters on various topics as metallurgy, fatigue, fracture, pressure vessel design and solar energy – he recently published the book – “Handbook of Lessons Learned in Engineering, Design, Manufacturing and Construction from 50 Years of Failure Experience.”  handbookoflessonslearned_bookCover

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Tom O’Donnell, PhD, PE – performs complex thermal, structural, fatigue, creep, failure evaluation, and finite element analyses of numerous structures, including the design, analysis, and testing of medical prototypes. He is an expert in shock and vibration analyses of equipment. His engineering evaluations and expert witness investigations have included:

  • Shock and vibration analyses and design optimization of machinery and components on shipboard applications.
  • ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Boiler & Pressure Code analyses.
  • Environmental systems design and analyses.
  • Structural and thermal analyses of a 2000 psi steam end for a chemical facility
    power plant.
  • Design and analyses of nuclear waste processing structures.
  • Investigation of a failure of a water tower support leg.
  • Stress and fatigue analysis of high temperature bellows for a jet engine test
  • Structural analysis of a distillation vacuum tower after damage by a fire.
  • Non-linear elastic-plastic analyses of replacement steam generators.
  • Structural analyses of condensers and heat exchangers for use on submarines.
  • Creep, creep buckling investigations of steel vessels and refractory materials.
  • Generation and review of technical reports.
  • Test program oversight, Project management, and ASME NQA-1 Quality Assurance program oversight.
  • Seismic analysis of tanks, vessels and structures.
  • ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code analyses.
  • Tank evaluations according to API Standards.
  • Shock and vibration analyses on structural supports of oily waste systems.
  • Missile strike analyses for nuclear reactor vessel head replacement packages.
  • Seismic and LOCA evaluations of replacement nuclear plant components.
  • Structural reliability and risk assessment analyses of nuclear power plant welds.
  • Product design, development, prototyping, analysis, testing and optimization.
  • Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation Tool Prototypes – design, analysis, instrumentation, testing, optimization and procurement.
  • Litigation related engineering engineering investigations and testimony.

John Koltick, PE – has thirty-five years of experience in operations, design engineering, consulting, and mechanical equipment safety, spanning a wide range of industrial, institutional and utility projects. This experience involves the design, construction, startup/ commissioning, testing and safety of major mechanical equipment and facilities, including material selection, heat transfer, ASME Code calculations, combustion controls, level controls/ alarms/ cutoffs, corrosion/ failure analysis, and performance testing. Specific applications include fire-tube and water-tube boilers, multi-pressure heat recovery steam generators, gas turbines, steam turbines, and electrical generators. Specific power plant projects include waste-to-energy facilities, natural gas and coal-fired cogeneration plants, and retrofit projects at large coal-fired stations. Mr. Koltick also has a comprehensive technical background and consulting experience in the areas of combustion safety, explosions and fires. Various projects have involved:

  • investigation of overheating and premature failure of an 800 KW electric induction furnace upgrade
  • preparation of expert witness testimony for a scrubber system absorber vessel fire at a coal-fired power plant
  • cogeneration studies of the seven largest industries in Zimbabwe.
  • design concept/ cost estimate of total energy plant for Greater International Airport
  • retrofit of four stoker-fired boilers at a central power plant.
  • investigation of a coal bunker fire and resulting explosion at a power plant
  • preparation of expert witness testimony for a thermal oil heater explosion
  • failure mode analysis for a hydrogen-cooled utility generator involved in mechanical failure and resulting fire
  • investigation, expert witness report and testimony for a catastrophic failure of a 500 Mw / 24 kV generator in a coal-fired station
  • FM/IRI/NFPA compliance review of natural gas train and injection system controls for a coal-fired utility boiler low NOx “gas reburn” project
  • investigation, expert witness report and testimony for an engine room fire onboard a new merchant vessel
  • investigation and expert witness testimony for an alleged arson at a seafood processing plant
  • failure analysis of 500 MVA utility generator


Joe Turek – has over twenty years of experience performing material characterizations, failure investigations and research and development with a significant effort directed towards support of existing and next generation Naval Nuclear shipboard power generation. Materials of interest include stainless, refractory, reactive and conventional metals and alloys, along with a variety of polymer, ceramic and semi-conductor materials. He is the author of over 30 technical papers concerning corrosion, failures, oxidation, cost reduction, process development, defect analysis, and material characterization. He has been a leader in the development of advanced material processing, as well as the application of multiple analytical techniques to resolve complicated material issues. He also has served as the primary forensic materials investigator for numerous high profile liability litigations.
His forensic experience has included:

  • Reactor Pressure Heater Failures – identified SCC as the failure mechanism in Type 316SS sheaths
  • Underground Coal Mine Fall of Roof – identified cause of fractured roof bolt
  • Wrench Failure – determined improper material resulted in premature fracture
  • Tree Stand Injury – identified the cause of attachment chain failure
  • Steam Generator – identified the mechanosm of phosphate wastage and inhibition in Inconel 600 tubing
  • Steam Boiler Corrosion – identified waterside corrosionmechanism responsible for premature failure in oil fired cast iron steam boilers
  • Steam Turbine Nozzle Failure – identified defects from faulty repair was primary cause of failure
  • Drilling Platform Explosion – identified ignition source for methane explosion


Dale Dodds – Certified Weld Inspector, has 40 years experience in the welding industry, providing hands on inspection, consulting and supervisory services. This broad experience has provided the foundation for effective solutions to welding problems, code compliant issues, weld quality judgments and forensic investigations. He has worked on many large structural steel projects including Heinz Field, PNC Park and the Peterson Sports Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. He has worked on numerous building structures and bridges such as the Manhattan, Brooklyn and George Washington bridges in New York and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. He has also applied his knowledge of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), The American Welding Society (AWS), and the American Petroleum Industry (API), American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), and the International Building Code (IBC) Codes for the identification of non-compliant materials and workmanship issues in structural investigations. His forensic investigation experience involves large commercial roof collapses, failures of pre-cast concrete embedded steel members, total structural collapse of rack structure building, improper type, location and size of supporting deformed bar for concrete, defective welding, corrosion, and non-compliant materials.

Tony Hedderman – has over twenty-four years of professional engineering experience particularly in the areas of structural design and analysis, heat transfer, failure analysis, seismic analysis, and construction management. His expertise includes computer aided design and analysis using finite element analysis – he has designed cryogenic piping and engines for NASA, as well as storage tanks for LOX, LIN, LNG and LAR, including secondary containment, and insulation systems. He his expertise applies to a wide range of industry sectors including the petrochemical, aerospace, mining, and transportation industries.

He has extensive experience in the design and analysis of storage tanks, vacuum chambers, pressure vessels, mining equipment, materials handling equipment, and rotating machinery. This experience includes the design and analysis of structural frames and connections associated with stairways, platforms, storage racks, equipment support structures, and various anchorage systems. He has conducted a wide variety of analyses including: transient thermal, elastic-plastic, modal, harmonic, response spectrum, random vibration, fatigue, creep, and non-linear buckling analyses. These analyses included various complex mechanical and thermal loading such as: cryogenic spills, fire conditions, liquid sloshing, shock, seismic effects, and impact. Some of his projects have included:

  • (Thermal, structural, seismic, thermal upset, and liquid sloshing) Analysis of a Submerged Bed Scrubber Vessel for processing nuclear waste for the Hanford, WA Waste Water River Treatment Protection Program.
  • Fatigue evaluation of a Chemical Adsorption Vessel subjected to severe thermal transients. Work included providing recommendations on design modifications.
  • Evaluation of multiple process and storage tanks with severe fabrication distortions for an ethanol production facility. Evaluation included performing finite element analyses of as-built conditions and recommending modifications to ensure tanks met acceptable safety margins for fitness-for-service.
  • Investigation of multiple failures of a rotor for a whey permeate dryer.
  • Failure investigation of an autoclave explosion.
  • Modal and stress analyses and validation testing of a 24-inch feed water strainer for the nuclear industry.
  • Investigation into the cracking of a Fluoseal Vessel.
  • Evaluation of the failure of EPDM expansion joints for flue gas ductwork for a coal burning power plant.
  • Investigation into progressive movement of Tunnel Furnace Shuttle Area Crane Girders.


Principal Engineer – has more than thirty years of professional experience particularly in areas of: heat transfer, thermal, structural, and failure evaluation. He has performed many analyses and failure evaluations of components and equipment in accordance with National and International Codes and Standards, and has years of experience in forensic engineering and has served as the lead engineer in a number legal cases. When necessary, he has employed the latest technology to evaluate and determine the failure mechanisms involved. In his last court appearance in the US, he testified for the plaintiff in a step failure case which resulted in an 8 million dollar jury award, among the top 10 largest in the Allegheny County in 2010. His cases have included:

  • Failure and accident causation analyses of an automobile wheel separation in New York State.
  • Analysis of faulty design of seat belt and door locking mechanism in a semi truck.
  • Evaluation of series of Post Weld Heat Treatment performed in a Texas refinery.
  • Investigating the destruction of a priceless 15th Century Adam statue in the NYC Metropolitan Museum of Arts.
  • Determining the root cause of failure of Stabilizer System on Boeing 737 aircraft.
  • Represented Dragados, the second largest construction company in Europe, in a dispute with Empresas Publicas, the utility company in Medellin, Colombia.
  • Failure and causation analyses of an acid tank valve in a chemical plant in Ohio.
  • Evaluation of graphite heat exchangers failure in a chemical plant in Ohio.
  • Structural analyses of boiler tubes in a fossil plant in Pennsylvania.
  • Failure causation analysis of a chair resulting in personal injury.
  • Explosion investigation of aircraft defensive countermeasures (decoy flares) stored in Aluminum compartments.
  • Failure evaluation of high voltage transmission line poles.
  • Determining the cause of explosion of an air compressor in a Texas test facility.
  • Evaluation of the integrity of a large refractory oven wall.
  • Determination of root cause of fire origination in electrical cables aboard a cargo ship off the cost of South Korea.

Biomechanical Engineer
Received his Medical Doctorate in 1994 and went on to practice medicine in Iran for more than five years before attending the University of Pittsburgh where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Bioengineering) and Master of Science in Bioengineering (Biomechanics track). He also received a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) in Bioengineering (Biomechanics track) from University of Pittsburgh.

Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He conducts clinical research to understand the mechanisms through which repetitive strain injuries of nerves and tendons occur and investigate the acute and chronic changes in the musculoskeletal systems by collecting and analyzing biomechanical data.

He has more than twenty years of experience in the areas of clinical medicine, medical research, injury biomechanics, and injury causation. He has authored or coauthored several journal articles, abstracts and proceedings papers, and numerous extended reports in these areas. He is a member of the SAE International (formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers), Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and American Society of Biomechanics (ASB).

Dave Forsyth – has over 30 years experience in thermal, structural and seismic analysis, heat transfer, fluid flow, and computer programming. Several of his projects include:

  • Design optimization for industrial furnaces resulting in 15% efficiency improvements.
  • Analysis of gas turbine transition, with vortex shedding effects.
  • Analysis of fluid/probe harmonic action with design changes for successful operation.
  • Analysis of steam turbine bearing housing failure, with recommendations.
  • Litigation support calculations for industrial furnace expert witness testimony.
  • Design of five ejector stacks, including sizing and flow modeling.
  • Molten glass channel flow using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics).
  • Stress and modal analyses of turbine buckets.
  • TAF (vibrational torque amplification factor) studies of large gear/shaft assembly.
  • Structural and seismic evaluations on a Denitration/Mineralization Reformer pressure vessel for Idaho cleanup facility
  • Study of dynamic and electromagnetic forces and crack propagation for an electric arc furnace.
  • Analysis of slag pot creep-deformation and fatigue crack growth.
  • Thermal ratcheting analysis of an aluminum coil cart.
  • Failure analysis of furnace rolls.
  • Continuous stretch-roller leveler plastic elongation and power modeling.
  • Analysis of fatigue and plasticity of rolling mill housing.
  • Shape factor and thermal heating transient calculation of forgings.
  • Design and analysis of a 1 ton capacity robot arm.
  • Analysis of gas turbine transition with vortex shedding effects.
  • Study of weld life in furnace skid piping exposed to high temperature and stress.
  • Creep and fatigue study of high-alloy furnace hardware.


Principal Engineer – has more than forty years experience performing standard and special structural engineering services to architects, consulting engineers and contractors. Services provided include bridge and building designs, tunnel design and support, design of excavation support systems, structure underpinning designs, structure inspection and renovation design development, design of structure foundations, design of sewage plant structures and expert testimony in claims cases.

His experience also includes design and detailing of bridge rehabilitation schemes and excavation/ utility support systems. He has also coordinated the design development for subway systems as well as highway and railroad bridges.


Principal Engineer – has over 15 years experience performing transient thermal, modal, harmonic, fatigue, creep, buckling, limit load, shock, response spectrum, and elastic-plastic analyses. He has experience in industry Codes and Standards including ASME B&PV, AISC-ASD, IBC, and API Codes – to design and evaluate pressure vessels and related components, piping systems, and other structural applications. Several of his projects include:

  • Testing and analysis of a tail stabilization motor for Boeing aircraft.
  • Failure analysis and redesign of military space heater subjected to high temperature thermal transients and fatigue loading cycles.
  • Design and analysis of elevated temperature nuclear waste process vessels as part of the Idaho Cleanup Project.
  • Design and analysis of high temperature heaters. Finite element analysis results were used to predict the design life for creep rupture damage and creep fatigue damage interactions.
  • Design and finite element analysis evaluation of two test vessels and equipment subjected to thermal shock and impact loading for Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.
  • Main condenser evaluations for the CVN-78 Gerald R Ford – class nuclear aircraft carriers. Analysis included thermal, and structural evaluations.


Weld Engineer
Has over 35 years experience in heavy industrial construction specializing in Welding and Quality Assurance/Quality Control. Has had numerous positions as welding supervisor, welding superintendent, welding engineer, staff welding engineer, and chief and senior welding engineer. Has developed, implemented, and directly managed welding programs and field operations in the fossil, cogeneration and nuclear power industries, the steel industry, and the food, hospital, pulp and paper and natural gas transmission industries.

Has written and implemented quality programs dealing with: concrete, electrical, structural, mechanical equipment, pile driving, welding, piping, boilers, pressure vessels, masonry, architectural installations etc. and used those programs successfully on major projects. Additionally, Has written and implemented quality programs that utilized ASME’s “S”, “U”, “PP” “A”, “H”, “N”, “NA” and “NPT” Certificates of Authorization and also the National Board’s ”R” Certificate. Has also developed the Quality Control portion of ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 programs in the recent past. Has also been Chairman of the AWS B2 Committee on Welding Qualifications, and the AWS D9.1, Sheet Metal Welding Code.


Weld Engineer
Has over 44 years of experience in steam applications and the welding and repair of boiler tubes.  He has also developed procedures to weld pipe requiring argon gas backing. This welding was mainly on austenitic stainless steel but also included copper nickel for sea water service.  He is experienced in ASME Codes which deals specifically with Section I, Section VIII, Div.1 and Section IX and ISO requirements.  He has written and qualified welding procedures for numerous chrome-moly and carbon-moly tubing materials in steam turbine applications.  As Chairman of the AWS Filler Metal Committee, he introduced electrode classifications and testing for the welding of P91 and T91 high temperature 9% Cr-Mo boiler applications.  These materials are used in many central station boilers for power generation.

His experience also includes developing and qualifying welding procedures for compressor impellers and casings and methods for restoration of steam turbine rotor shafts for all makes of multistage steam turbines.  He has written and co-authored many publications including:

“Understanding AWS Filler Metal Classifications and Optional Supplemental Designators” Welding Journal, February, 1998

“Rotor Restoration” 6th Annual Pressure Equipment Industry Conference, Banff, AB, CANADA, February, 2002

“Snowmaking at XIX Winter Olympiad” PE Reporter, Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers, Harrisburg, PA, February, 2002

“Narrow Groove Welding of Turbine Rotor Shaft” 6th International EPRI Conference on Weld Repair Technology for Power Plants, Sandestin, FL, June, 2004

Safety Engineer
Has over 35 years of in-depth and varied hands-on experience in all aspects of safety and health from past positions as: Director of Plant Safety and Health in a heavy manufacturing environment, Safety Engineer for heavy construction and nuclear power plant construction, modifications, and decommissioning; Hazardous Waste Site remediation project.  He served as Consulting Engineer to the United States Department of Energy in areas of Health and Safety and Environment for the Shippingport Station Decommissioning Project.  As a fire Protection and Safety Consultant for insurance brokerage firms, clients ranged from small manufacturing to the largest steel producers in the world.  He is well versed in federal regulations including OSHA, D.O.E. Safety Standards, NFPA, ANSI, CERCLA, DOT and the Life Safety Code.


Provides, and has provided, coordination, implementation and supervision of safety programs for major construction projects involving industrial facilities, fossil fuel and nuclear power facilities, highway bridge construction and large commercial and institutional facilities. His experience is rich with industrial facility safety including, but not limited to, integrated steel manufacturing, chemical facility operation, specialty metal conversion, recycling and coke plant production, and hazardous waste incineration facilities.


Senior Engineer
Has over 35 years of experience in the field of building, construction, estimating and management. The following is a partial list of his construction related activities:

• A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering
• Has been a production and maintenance engineer on construction inspections with engineering duties including contract specifications, design and inspection.
• Manages a successful construction and remodeling business consisting of interior construction, roofing, drywall, painting, and landscaping.
• His engineering experience also includes structural engineering at number of local facilities.
• Is a construction and property development consultant and provides general contract services and residential and small scale commercial.
• Provides investigations of construction/contract work related to litigation.


Senior Engineer
Has analyzed vibration for machine failure analysis, machine health, and operational anomalies.
• performed operational deflections and mode shapes to find the structural element of a system sensitive to a system excitation and to calibrate finite element models
• performed dynamic field balancing and shaft alignment to directly reduce vibration
• worked at chemical plants, coal fired power plants, nuclear power plants
• oil fields, oil refineries, steel mills, oil shale mines, gravel quarries, paper mills, office buildings, auto engine plants, manufacturing plants, printing plants, waste water treatment plants, pharmaceutical plants
• fans, pumps, generators, pipes, compressors, floors, motor mounts, fan bases, heat treating furnaces, air handling units, and car and truck tires
• balanced compressors that go 30,000 to 40,000 RPM, cooling tower fans, and jet engine test fixtures

Bill O’Donnell, BSME – has more than 20 years engineering experience. This work includes supporting the Materials Research Division at Argonne National Laboratory, performing research, and developing material test protocols for submarine propulsion.

At General Electric, he supported the assembly, and vibration/ atmospheric testing of avionic equipment. At Pratt & Whitney, he worked on structural analysis and test support of components on the Space Shuttle Main Engines. As a Senior Engineer, he developed material design curves for military and aerospace applications.

With an MA in Communications from Carnegie Mellon University, he provides the Business Development efforts at OCE. View Bill O'Donnell's profile on LinkedIn