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Aircraft Composite Materials Testing, Flammability, and Certification Expert

Technical Consultant #2041


  • Composite material characterization, optimization, testing and certification.
  • Manufacturing process development and quality control.
  • Surface preparation and structural bonding of composite structures.
  • Flammability testing of aircraft interiors.
  • Advanced composites, adhesives, sealants, and paints for aerospace applications.
  • Carbon and glass epoxy prepreg selection, characterization and application.
  • Composite destructive and nondestructive inspection development: ultrasonic inspection and optical microscopy.
  • Material and Process Specifications for composites, prepregs, adhesives, core materials and related manufacturing processes.
  • Test Plan and Report development for certification of aircraft materials and processes.
  • FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER), materials and processes and flammability.
  • Quality testing and auditing of composite materials and fabrication processes.
  • Manufacturing and engineering training and process improvement.

Expert Witness Experience

  • Provided written responses to legal questions in support of litigation involving fire protection materials.


Undisclosed Company, Owner, Consultant, 2014 - Present

  • Specializing in material characterization, testing, process development and inspection of composite materials for aerospace, marine, and industrial applications.

Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA), Designated Engineering Representative, 2001 - Present

  • FAR Part 23 and Part 25 authority to approve aircraft type certification data related to materials and processes, flammability and fire protection.
  • Interface with FAA Aircraft Certification Office (ACO) to manage projects and identify applicable regulations and compliance methods to achieve FAA certification.
  • Authority to approve specifications and data related to adhesive bonding, composite fabrication and repair, and nondestructive inspection to ensure that reliable design values and manufacturing methods are utilized.

Kestrel Aircraft, Superior, WI, Manager, Materials Processes - Test Engineering, 2011 - Present

  • Responsible for hiring and establishing the Materials, Processes and Test (MP&T) engineering group and research/test laboratory.
  • Responsible for developing test capabilities and test plans to complete material qualifications and structural aircraft testing.
  • Outline project requirements and develop and maintain budgets and schedules to support design and certification programs for a large turbo-prop aircraft.
  • Establish and maintain supplier relationships and oversee contract negotiations and completion process.
  • Develop, mentor, and facilitate training for staff to ensure capability and growth across relevant areas. Manage and allocate engineers and technicians for various projects and determine project feasibility.
  • Coordinate with other departments and senior management to ensure cross-functional teams operate effectively to efficiently to support corporate goals.

Cirrus Design Corporation, Duluth, MN, 1997 - 2011

Senior Materials and Processes Scientist - Composite Process Modeling and Simulation

  • Studied cure kinetics, viscosity, CTE, thermal behavior, and flow during composite cure to predict part shape and quality. Investigated science-based protocols and new technologies for cure/consolidation process simulation and optimization of composite materials.
  • Nondestructive Testing, (NDT).
  • Researched NDT techniques and equipment related to ultrasonics and thermography. Used probability of detection to substantiate defect detection methods. Worked with industry experts and QA to develop efficient and effective in-house testing capabilities.
  • Studied laminate porosity vs ultrasonic attenuation and correlated to mechanical properties. Presented work at Quantitative Nondestructive Evaluation conference.

Materials and Processes Manager

  • Managed group of 8 M&P engineers and test lab technicians.
  • Trained and mentored new engineers, interns, and test lab technicians.
  • Developed M&P guidance materials and offered peer-learning presentations for materials testing, process control and FAA certification.
  • Initiated training sessions in collaboration with outside expertise in metallurgy and NDT.
  • Prioritized and led engineering projects to support corporate business goals and production improvement initiatives. Managed risk while working to meet technical, cost and schedule targets.
  • Responsible for maintaining integrity and intent of M&P specifications and supporting internal customers.

Materials and Processes Engineer - Material Certification

  • Led certification programs for structural composite materials, thermoplastics, and adhesives.
  • Developed design allowable and batch testing acceptance values and procedures.
  • Materials screening, characterization and testing.
  • Instrumental in establishing M&P Test Laboratory.
  • Capabilities include mechanical, optical, and nondestructive testing for nonmetallics and metallics.
  • Developed and standardized test methods.
  • Conducted adhesion studies, thermal analysis, and mechanical testing on various materials.
  • Studied fire protection, flammability testing, and effects of heat damage on composite materials.
  • Utilized design of experiments and statistical analysis in test programs.
  • Evaluated composites, thermoplastics, metals, cores, adhesives, sealants, and coatings.
  • Composite fabrication methods.
  • Developed composites fabrication and repair methods. Experience with prepreg (oven and autoclave) and wet lay-up, VARTM, compression molding, injection molding, and roto-molding.
  • Supported high-rate production processes with cost and labor reduction initiatives.
  • Process control.
  • Worked closely with vendors and QA to ensure engineering requirements were clearly communicated and achieved.
  • Resolved issues and worked to achieve adequate process monitoring and continuous improvement using SPC tools.
  • Conducted production assessments and process capability studies.

University of Delaware, Newark, DE, Research Assistant, 1995 - 1997

  • Investigated the thermo-chemical and mechanical changes which occur in a thermosetting resin during cure.
  • Developed constitutive models describing viscoelastic material behavior and chemical shrinkage effects to predict residual stress and deformation development of thick section composite components.

Honors & Publications


  • FAA DER, Designated Engineering Representative, Materials and Processes, Flammability


  • FAA Certified Private Pilot

Academic and Professional Affiliations

  • Composite Materials Handbook, CMH-17


  • George W. Laird Merit Fellow - University of Delaware
  • Director's Award, Center for Composite Materials - University of Delaware


  • Author and Co-Author of several publications.


  • M.S. Material Science Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
  • B.S. Composite Materials Engineering, Winona State University, Winona, MN
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