ODonnell Consulting

Forensic / Expert Witness Services

Examples of Engineering Expert Witness CasesEngineering Expert Witness Services
The O’Donnell Consulting team provides expert witness services, litigation support, and forensic engineering – investigating product liability, structural failures, construction issues, fire/explosions and industrial accidents on a range of equipment including chemical, industrial, construction, electrical, transportation, and energy applications.

For over 30 years, we have supported legal firms in State, Federal & International Courts (on both Plaintiff and Defendant cases) as well as insurance companies – from simple to complex technical issues.

Our experience includes:

Read more about our Litigation Experience.

<<Images Above: Failed fork truck brake cable; Scaffold incident; Failed transmission shaft; Broken hunting bow>>

Coke Oven Battery
Finite Element Model of Coke Oven Battery
Finite Element Results on Coke Oven Battery

We were asked to provide technical expertise in a ($200 M) construction litigation regarding the structural integrity of a coke oven battery. Finite element analysis was used to calculate temperatures, deflections, strains, and stresses to evaluate the long term integrity of the roof and heating walls. The results showed that the battery oven walls would not deflect enough to induce instability. The construction imperfections had no meaningful effect on the structural integrity, robustness, or longevity of the battery.   Contact Us for a free quote.

Recent Projects

With a knowledge of materials, metallurgy, fabrication practices, finite element analysis, and codes and standards, we determine how materials and products fail, including mechanical integrity of equipment that has deteriorated due to corrosion, fatigue, damage, exposure to fire, abuse, or improper manufacture. For over 40 years, we have been performing engineering design & analysis, troubleshooting and expert witness testimony – providing quantitative results and effective visuals/ animations.

These results:

  • Are based on accurate engineering models
  • Clarify the root cause
  • Enables judges and juries to easily understand the technical issues

Engineering principles hold true, whether in energy, mining, manufacturing, aerospace or petrochemical applications.

See our Portfolio for a sample of the engineering and legal cases we’ve worked on.

If you do not see the equipment you wish to investigate listed in the various industries we have supported, please give us a call. We may be able to assist.

Adam Statue

A few examples include:

  • Consumer
  • Commercial
  • Petrochemical
  • Manufacturing
  • Energy
  • Appliances
  • Sporting Equipment
  • Furnaces
  • Assemblies
  • Conveyors

Metallurgy/ Testing
We offer a full spectrum of metallurgical testing in conjunction with our engineering analysis tools to evaluate the root cause of component failure. Our testing includes:

  • Chemical and mechanical analyses
  • Metallographic examination
  • Material testing
  • Corrosion testing
  • Electron beam microscopy


Producing Results
The right expert can offer a powerful advantage during litigation – what sets us apart is our multi-disciplinary experience in engineering design, analysis and troubleshooting. When performing forensic analysis, we thoroughly investigate the issues – from taking data at the scene, to analyzing drawings, material specifications, and supporting documentation. Our investigations range from the simple to complex. Quite often Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is used to evaluate design, materials and fabrication/ construction defects. Finite Element Analysis has been qualified for use in the aerospace, marine and defense industries – and has passed the Daubert Challenge. FEA models and animations produce accurate results which are used to help judges and juries understand the technical issues. In addition to determining the root cause of technical issues – we also provide engineering support to resolve them.

See Also:
>> Materials/ Metallurgy Consulting
>> Finite Element Analysis
>> Weld Consulting
>> Description of Finite Element Analysis

Learn from the experience of others. Especially when one such “other” is Dr. William O’Donnell, PhD, PE, Founder and President of O’Donnell Consulting Engineers, Inc., and ASME “Engineer of the Year” – his 50 years of experience in analysis of components including fatigue and fracture safety evaluations and failure analyses are now comprised in this volume.

If you are interested learning more in Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Construction, as well as Failure Analysis, then this book is a must have!


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Handbook of Lessons Learned