Forensic / Engineering Expert Witness Services

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Examples of Engineering Expert Witness Cases

Engineering Expert Witness Services

Forensic Engineering / Expert Witness Services – investigating the root cause of structural failures, industrial accidents and fire/explosions. As engineering problem solvers, we investigate deficiencies and failures in applications including petrochemical, materials, manufacturing and energy.

We support law firms and major insurance companies in State, Federal & International Courts (on both Plaintiff and Defendant cases) – from simple to complex civil / construction issues. Our Clients have included US government agencies including the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Chemical Safety Board (CSB). As an independent forensic expert witness engineering firm, we provide unbiased, comprehensive technical results.

Our Engineering Expert Witness Experience Covers a Broad Range of Industries, Materials, and Equipment. For a Comprehensive List, see Industries Served.

Images above: Failed Forklift Brake Cable/ Scaffold/ Transmission Shaft/ Hunting Bow

Forensic Investigation of Coke Oven Battery Construction Issues
Forensic Investigation of Coke Oven Battery - FEA Model
Forensic Investigation of Coke Oven Battery -FEA Results

We were asked to provide engineering technical expertise in a ($200 M) construction litigation regarding the structural integrity of a coke oven battery. Finite element analysis (FEA) 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.

  • Recent Projects

  • Experience Summary

    For over 30 years, we’ve been performing engineering design, analysis and expert witness services. We assist in determining whether a component was used improperly (failure to warn), manufactured incorrectly (manufacturing defect), or initially designed improperly (design defect).

    Our engineers are quite familiar with codes including AISC, NFPA, ASTM, AWS, API, ISO, DIN and ASME. Whether it’s a statue base, a compound bow, a pressure vessel or an industrial turbine – our experience includes materials, metallurgy, fabrication practices and finite element analysis – offering comprehensive, accurate results. Our experience has proven to be quite successful in court, providing quantitative results and effective visuals/ animations that:

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

    Examples Include:


    • Construction Defect Lawsuits
    • Oil & Gas Accidents and Injuries
    • Fires and Explosion Origin and Cause
    • Extent of Damage/Repairs

    Read More About Our Litigation Experience.

    • Personal Injury Lawsuits
    • Products Liability Cases
    • Safety/ Workplace Safety
    • OSHA Compliance and Citations
    • Consumer
    • Commercial
    • Petrochemical
    • Manufacturing
    • Energy

    Producing Results

    The right forensic expert can offer a powerful advantage during litigation – what sets us apart is our multi-disciplinary experience in engineering design, analysis, materials/ metallurgy and troubleshooting. When performing forensic analysis, our team thoroughly investigates the issues – including taking data at the scene, and analyzing drawings, material specifications & supporting documentation.

    Our investigations range from the simple to complex. Quite often, the precise cause of equipment failure is difficult to quantify. In such instances, Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is used to determine and quantify design, materials and fabrication/ construction defects. FEA has been qualified for use in the aerospace, marine and defense industries – and has passed the Daubert Challenge.

    Call Tom O’Donnell, PE to Discuss Your Forensic Engineering / Expert Witness Challenges.

    Related Links

    >> Tom O’Donnell, PE
    >> Materials/ Metallurgy Consulting
    >> Industries/ Equipment Applications
    >> Portfolio of Engineering Projects
    >> Portfolio of Legal Cases

    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!


    * Does not include shipping, handling or tax

    Book Cover Image of Handbook of Lessons Learned

    (412) 835-5007

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