Metallurgical-Materials Engineer, Failure Analysis and Forensics, Expert Witness

Technical Consultant #2401


Expertise

  • Failure analysis and forensic evaluation of metal parts servicing the metallurgy and material science platforms.
  • Extensive experience with high-hazard chemical operations, maintenance and equipment reliability.
  • Studies of interactions between process and equipment to determine root cause of failures, or to improve reliability and capacity.
  • Root cause methodology (RCFA) for exploring alternative scenarios to problems.
  • Electronic package weld quality process improvement.
  • Process improvement, engineering, failure analysis, and metallurgical consulting.
  • High-hazard chemical operations.
  • Process analysis, root cause methodology, exploring alternative solutions specific to the metallurgy and material science industries.
  • Engineering multiple technologies, business and supply chain concepts for a multifunctional approach to root cause failure analysis and process safety.
  • Statistical and measurement systems analysis, multivariate industrial experimentation, data transparency and benchmarking to develop data driven decisions.
  • Data mining and analysis.
  • Multivariate statistical testing and analysis.
  • Industrial experimentation and process improvement
  • Maintenance and reliability analysis.

Expert Witness Experience

  • Principal investigator of a failure in personal injury case.
  • Successfully rebutted plaintiff's experts in a $6 million property damage lawsuit. Found key documents and identified fatal flaws in plaintiff's experts' analyses.
  • Document and deposition review.
  • Issues and document analysis for "fatal flaws.
  • Critique and analysis of opposing expert reports.

Experience

Notable Product Experience

  • Cyrel®
  • Kalrez®
  • Neoprene®
  • Invista®
  • Stainmaster®
  • Viton®
  • Butacite®
  • Freon®
  • Dowtherm®
  • Sorvall®
  • Titanium
  • Enriched uranium
  • Plutonium
  • Fluoropolymers and Fluorochemicals
  • Pigments and Mineral Products
  • Refractory bricks
  • Supersacks

Undisclosed Company, Proprietor, 2014 - Present

  • Providing engineering services for product development, process improvement, failure analysis, expert witness and litigation support. Example of work includes:
  • Performed manufacturing technology post-mortem analysis for major multinational aerospace company.
  • On-going: Analyses of failures in fire protection systems for property damage subrogation and litigation.
  • Process improvement studies for micro-electronic package welds.
  • Data mining and research in support of litigation.

DuPont Global Operations and Engineering, Process Improvement Engineer, 2004 - 2014

Lean Six-Sigma Master Black Belt

  • Led programs to improve manufacturing and chemical operations. Focused on reducing equipment failures, improving safety, cost reduction, product quality and capacity increase.
  • Performed metallurgical failure analyses, process root cause analyses (RCFA's), failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA's). Provided solutions for business, technical or operational problems. Example include:
  • Led project to reduce downtime and improve quality for fully fluorinated polymer reactor worth $4 million in additional capacity. Received Special Compensation Award for this work.
  • Improved product quality and identified process control problems through statistically designed multi-variable experiment in a $300 million Cyrel packaging graphics printing plate business.
  • Led project to identify cost reduction opportunities and improve quality in Kalrez O-ring manufacture.
  • Led program to debottleneck manufacturing and increase capacity with no capital investment in Viton fluoro-elastomer rubber manufacture. Improved coagulation, separation and reactor control.
  • Determined causes of poor initiation of polymerization reaction and improved process performance for Neoprene.
  • Led project improve waste heat boiler system reliability, improve boiler feed water quality, and reduce steam leaks in at a chemical manufacturing site.
  • Developed analysis and suggested operational improvements to reduce operating costs at a sulfonylurea agricultural chemicals manufacturing site in Puerto Rico.
  • Analysis of multi-business steam demand to review feasibility to idle or shut down power boiler.
  • Capacity analysis at a polymer film (Butacite) manufacturing facility.
  • Program Manager for $1 billion corporate inventory reduction to liberate cash during 2008 recession.
  • Led project to reduce past-due Accounts Receivables by $26 million during 2008 recession.
  • Led project to reduce $5 million fixed and variable costs in aniline production.
  • Failure analysis of H2SO4 manufacturing process equipment to determine causes of downtime.
  • Failure analysis and process studies of delamination defects in an electronic displays adhesive.
  • Led the investigation into failures of high-pressure (900 psig) emulsion polymerization reactor seal.
  • 3rd Party Technology Auditor for $10 million capital expansion project.

Senior Financial Analyst - Special Assignment, 2002 - 2004

  • Assistant to VP on assignment to DuPont's CEO during the $20 billion divestiture of DuPont's Textile Fibers (nylon), now Invista, part of Koch Industries.
  • Provided engineering, operations and business acumen to understand and manage cost reductions and personnel changes arising from the divestiture.
  • Received "Extraordinary Contribution Award" for Reducing Total Engineering Costs in Advanced Fibers.
  • Provided support for emerging corporate environmental issues and litigation.
  • Led metrics team for Corporate Customer Service effectiveness project with Deloitte.

Continuous Improvement Engineer - DuPont Titanium Technology, 2000 - 2002

  • Improved processes and reduced equipment failures to improve operational performance at manufacturing sites.
  • Principal investigator into the safety of one-ton "supersacks". Identified the triboelectric effect as the root cause of package instability.
  • Reduced downtime in the ore-feed system of a high temperature (1200 C) reactor.

Unit Technology Leader - DuPont Specialty Chemicals Business, (Carpet and Textile), 1998 - 2000

  • Reduced equipment failures, process upsets, poor quality and equipment downtime in the protection chemicals (Stainmaster) site.
  • Leader of Six Sigma project that delivered 30% additional capacity in a sold-out business without capital investment. Process modeling and multivariate experimentation concluded that a condensing heat exchanger was fouling requiring clean-outs and creating downtime. Studies of heat transfer showed that the temperatures were set inappropriately causing solidification of material on the tube walls. The solution was to change the inlet temperature of the heat exchanger.
  • Improved maintenance scheduling, maintenance service delivery, uptime while reducing maintenance costs.

Facility Manager - DuPont Fluoro-products, 1995 - 1998

  • Facility manager of the Freon Lab, a 40,000 square foot office and pilot plant facility.
  • Cost and capital manager for Fluorochemicals research pilot plant and office building.
  • Responsible for improving the maintenance and cost performance of the facility. Managed $14 million RD budget.
  • Eliminated HVAC compressor failures. Determined the problem was due to the control sequencing of the air handlers during an emergency shutdown of the HVAC system when there was a chemical release at the pilot plant. Each compressor re-build cost over $35,000.
  • Established preventive maintenance program for facility. Reduced building maintenance expense by 15%.
  • Environmental coordinator for pilot plant and manufacturing control laboratory. Responsible for New Jersey, RCRA, and Superfund reporting for the facility.
  • Led $1.2 billion SBU-wide Financial Data Quality project chartered by VP.
  • Reduced quarterly earnings adjustments by improving finished product cost-accounting processes, and valuation of inventory. Reported to SBU Finance Director.
  • Reduced monthly adjustments and account reconciliations by 80% in 6 months. Eliminated $1 million in accounting personnel support cost.

Research and Development Eng., DuPont Titanium - White Pigments-Mineral Products, 1990 - 1995

  • Responsible for materials specification, reliability engineering and root cause failure analysis for key pieces of process equipment. Received 2 patents and re-designed two key pieces of process equipment.
  • Designed improved ore-feed equipment resulting in decreased downtime by 4X. Resulted in deferred capital expenditures of $20 million. Received Special Accomplishment Award.
  • Identified process and operational changes resulting in 1% yield-loss reduction.
  • Led team that increased process heater capacity by 30%.
  • Identified process and operations changes to reduce refractory brick failures. (Patent developed from this effort).
  • Initiated process modeling that resulted in 30% reduced steam consumption for fluid energy mill and eliminated need for $12 million boiler expansion. Received Engineering Excellence Award for the work (and future patent).
  • Lead engineer on failure analysis of oxygen preheater, which sent 11 people to hospital. Coordinated studies with legal department and various technical groups. Analysis resulted in OSHA determining DuPont was not at fault, and no fines were levied. Testified during personal injury lawsuit arising from failure. Charges of negligence were dismissed based on testimony.

Engineering Associate - DuPont - Corporate Engineering Department, 1985 -1990

  • Member of the Corporate Engineering Materials Consulting Group, responsible for performing failure analyses and materials specification for DuPont's Electronic Materials, Medical Products and Fibers (nylon) sites.
  • Failure analysis of carbon fiber, filament-wound centrifuge rotor failures for Sorvall Medical Products. ~Resolved manufacturing discrepancies and improved performance with supplier (Boeing).
  • Failure analysis of a Dowtherm vaporizer tube failure which shut down a nylon plant. Studies resulted in major review of Dowtherm degradation mechanism and review of vaporizer operating procedures.
  • Competitive intelligence for British Telecom - DuPont (BTD) joint venture
  • Failure analysis of optical transceivers manufactured by the BTD joint venture.
  • Defined process upgrades in CD mastering and manufacture for Phillips - DuPont joint venture.
  • Resolved quality problems in electron beam writer for Phillips - DuPont joint venture.
  • Resolved manufacturing process problems in progressive die-stamping operation for DuPont's Berg electronic connectors.
  • Defined mechanical integrity, fitness for service and permission to operate high-pressure (6,000-7,000 psi) chrome oxide reactors.
  • Failure analysis and product development for ceramic metal-matrix composites.
  • Failure analysis of Hotel DuPont fire protection system standpipe failure.
  • Use of surface analytical techniques such as SIMS, Auger spectroscopy and ESCA.

DuPont Atomic Energy, Engineer, Savannah River Plant, Aiken, SC, 1982 - 1985

  • United States Department of Energy was operated by DuPont in Savannah River Site and charged with the manufacture of enriched uranium, plutonium and tritium for the U.S. nuclear weapons program.
  • Responsible for the specification of materials of construction and inspection of equipment used in the extraction and refining of uranium, plutonium and tritium.
  • Audits of pressure vessel fabricators, materials specification for corrosive service. Failure analyses, fitness for service and in-service inspections of chemical process equipment.

Educator

  • Operations Management - Univ. Delaware MBA Program - Lerner School of Business Adjunct Faculty
  • Metallurgy for the Non-Metallurgist - ASM Course
  • Senior Project - Widener University - Dept. of Mechanical Engineering Adjunct Faculty

Honors & Publications

Credentials

  • Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
  • Post Work, University of Florida, WO3 (tungsten trioxide) Electrochromic Thin Films

Licenses

  • Registered Professional Engineer: Delaware and Pennsylvania

Languages

  • Spanish-Fluent
  • English-Fluent

Awards

  • Recognized for the fluorinated polymer reactor improvements-received award
  • Extraordinary Contribution Award - Reduced total engineering costs in advanced fibers.

Publications and Patents

  • Author of articles for scientific journals and magazines
  • Two patents

Education

  • EMBA Executive Business Administration, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
  • M.S. Metallurgical-Materials Engineering, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC
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