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 Expert  723119

Expert in Metallurgy, Material Selection, Corrosion, Mechanical Testing, Failure Analysis, Surface Engineering

Available for your Consulting and Expert Witness Needs

Oregon (OR)
Education Work History Career AccomplishmentsPublicationsConsulting Services Expert Witness Market Research

Summary of Expertise: Listed with other top experts in: 
Expert has over 25 years in industry, academia, and consulting that provides the background and experience to assist in solving your problems. He notes that corrosion is ubiquitous and overlooked; a rusty bolt is just a rusty bolt unless it is used to fasten two pieces of metal together that are traveling at 100 mph or supporting an elevated walkway. There are over a dozen types of corrosion; each with its own characteristics; crevice corrosion (at joints), stress corrosion cracking (in the presence of stress and corrosive environment), galvanic corrosion (at joints), pitting (non homogenous material), erosion corrosion (corrosion combined with strong fluid flow), etc. The effect that the environment has on corrosion performance is difficult to anticipate. A client once wanted to check the hardness of bolts that were failing for some unknown reason. Expert informed them that the cause for premature failure needed to be determined. The investigation pointed out that the bolts needed to be softer to prevent Stress Corrosion Cracking (SCC) from occurring, which was opposite of the initial layman's guess. Corrosion protection can be easily accomplished with techniques such as sacrificial anodes, painting, electrically insulating joints, etc. Corrosion characterization necessitates proper handling of the samples to preclude the introduction of chlorine and sodium through the ubiquitous fingerprints. Contamination and loss of traceability are always huge issues after they occur.


As the principal /owner of a small metallurgical consulting company these topics epitomize the focus of most of his efforts. The results of a properly conducted failure analysis are reported to the client with the main goal of reducing down time due to broken equipment. Integral parts of failure analysis are mechanical testing, alternate material selection based on composition and behavior, and microstructural analysis. Numerous investigations have been performed since forming his company in 1999. Clients have included industry, insurance companies, and law firms. Failures occur prematurely due to wrong material selection, improper processing, poor design, or abuse; another critical factor is assembly and fit-up. The types of failure investigated include cause of fire (electrical and mechanical), shafts breaking, bolts breaking, aluminum castings, steel rods, carburized parts, laser processed parts, etc. Range of time to conduct these investigations is 1 to 100 hours. He has over 25 years experience as an engineer in industry, educator in academia, and expert as a consultant to assist you in conducting a thorough and beneficial failure analysis.

steel failure analysis


metal failure


metal failure analysis

A metallurgist should have extensive knowledge of metallographic preparation, which includes etching, to characterize the microstructure of the component. Microstructure contains features that indicate general chemistry and prior processing. Features include grain size, phases, microconstituents, and defects (porosity, inclusions, lack of weld penetration). Using microstructural analysis Expert can evaluate weld quality, carburized case depth, heat treating parameters and cooling rates, quality of ingot processing or casting, etc. Care must be exercised in obtaining the samples to prevent temperature excursions during cutting. Grinding and polishing are important steps in removing deformation introduced during sample retrieval. Coating thickness (e.g., hard chrome) can only be properly evaluated using edge retention techniques. Quality of metallurgical bonds can be determined by searching for interface lines and porosity. Experience with a variety of etchants allows the analysis of an even greater variety of metal alloy systems. As an engineer that has worked in industry, academia, and consulting for over 25 years he is qualified to assist in solving your problems using microstructural analysis as one of many tools.

microstructure analysis

Metal testing helps to ensure that planes stay aloft, shafts continue to rotate, and case depths have adequate wear resistance. Mechanical behavior can be characterized during the design process or after failure; obviously the former is preferred, but might have been omitted due to scheduling or cost. Testing verifies tensile strength, hardness, ductility, proper processing (cold or hot work, heat treatment, etc.), fatigue life, wear rates, creep rates (when exposed to high temperatures), toughness (when suffering a blow at low temperatures), and compressive strength (where cast iron excels). He has over 25 years experience in industry, academia, and consulting where he has interacted with numerous test vendors, taught theory and conducted laboratories, and performed his own testing using tensile / compressive machines, Charpy V-notch, MTS fatigue machines, hardness, microhardness, and wear among other techniques. Sometimes unique test fixtures are designed to replicate the operating conditions the component experiences during service. His metallurgy and mechanical background qualifies him to use mechanical testing as one of many tools to solve your problems.

metal mechanical property


metal mechanical behavior


metal testing

Increased life of components is always desired. Factors include material selection based on published material properties, recognizing the operational environment, and an acceptable design. Material selection is based on composition, mechanical properties, and required subsequent processing steps to achieve the desired performance. Usually, there is more than one acceptable solution based on what is driving the decision: cost, availability, or performance. He has worked in industry, academia and consulting with many material suppliers, conducting research and performing failure analysis. This background has provided a breadth and depth of knowledge regarding a wide variety of materials. Proper material selection is at least as important as a proper mechanical design, but often overlooked due to schedules or only considering the familiar alloys. Operating temperature and stresses are usually at the forefront of design considerations. Corrosion often appears unexpectedly and causes premature failure. This might occur from lack of recognition of the role than environment has on performance. He has over 25 years of experience as an engineer in industry, teaching in academia, and expert in consulting to assist in solving your problems.

metal property


metal material selection

Show Secondary and Basic Areas of Expertise
Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Portland, Oregon;  Eugene, Oregon;  Salem, Oregon;  Gresham, Oregon;  Beaverton, Oregon;  Hillsboro, Oregon;  and Vancouver, Washington.

Often requested
with this expert:

Corrosion and Metallurgical Failure Analysis
Corrosion, Failure Analysis, Materials Selection, API 584,...
corrosion in plant,buildings, hvac, etc; Hi-Temp; surveys/...
Metallurgical Engineering, Materials Processing, Materials...

Year   Degree   Subject   Institution  
1991   PhD   Mechanical Engineering (Metallurgy)   Oregon State University  
1982   MS   Metallurgy   Georgia Tech  
1976   BS   Nuclear Engineering   Georgia Tech  

Work History:
Years   Employer   Department   Title   Responsibilities

2011 to





Senior Engineer


Expert performs metallurgical evaluations, mechanical testing, failure analysis for industrial support and litigation, forensic metallurgy. He develops material performance criteria and selection.

2000 to 2011


Expert Consulting, Ltd.





Expert performs metallurgical evaluations, mechanical testing, failure analysis for industrial support and litigation, forensic metallurgy. He develops material performance criteria and selection.

1997 to 2011


North Dakota State University


Mechanical Engineering


Assistant/Adjunct Professor


He teaches materials related courses. He performs research in materials related to surface engineering - corrosion, wear, surface modification.

1980 to 1997


Babcock & Wilcox




Principal Engineer


Expert provided technical support in materials and manufacturing. He studied manufacture and performance (corrosion, microstructure, diffusion bonding) of zirconium and nickel alloys. He studied surface modification techniques and performed failure analysis. He assisted in the design of underground waste storage tanks and was responsible for material performance. He served as customer representative at material supplier and resolved technical issues concerning process manufacturing deviations. He examined microstructure and determined resulting affects on corrosion performance. He participated in selection and monitoring of materials vendors. He solved technical problems and performed experiments characterizing materials at various process steps.

Career Accomplishments:

He is a member of TMS, ASM, NSPE.


He is a licensed PE (metallurgy).

Professional Appointments

He is part of an editorial review board - Materials and Manufacturing Processes, past Board of Directors - TMS, past chair of Surface Modification Committee - ASM.

Publications and Patents Summary

He has over 20 publications and 1 patent.

Selected Publications and Publishers  
 - Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention  
 - ASM Handbooks  
 - Practical Failure Analysis  
 - Advanced Materials and Processes  
 - Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention  

Consulting Services:
Selected Consulting Examples:
  • He provided expert opinions in a civil lawsuit where an extension cord was suspected of causing a $1.4M loss. The use of metallurgy determined the outcome.
  • Expert Consulting solved a corrosion problem where brass bolts were being used in a rural setting. Ammonia was present as fertilizer and caused Stress Corrosion Cracking in the bolts. Residual stress was present due to over-torque during installation and cold forming operations during manufacture of the bolts.
  • He determined the cause of fatigue failure on rotating shafts. Metallography showed the material to be adequate, but machining radius in transition at diameter change created a notch effect and premature failure.
  • Expert characterized shafts that were produced by a third party. The shafts were not properly responding to induction heating (resulting hardness was low). The metal was characterized via metallography and hardness. Results showed the shafts to be within the range of prior experience, so the client was satisfied in using the shafts.
  • A fire occurred in a RV. Using the knowledge of melting temperatures and metallography the vicinity of fuel source (highest temperature) was established after collecting samples from a variety of locations within the burnt vehicle.
Recent Client Requests:
  • Metallurgy expert for consulting on field site corrosion causation.
  • Corrosion expert in borehole cooling and piping corrosion issue.
  • Expert in stainless steel material for consulting on selection for custom bolt.
  • Expert in selection of construction materials for consulting on materials selection for corrosive environment.
  • Corrosion expert for consulting on theazeotropic distillation of acetic acid & materials selection.
  • Expert in metals for consulting on understanding corrosion cause of chemical reactor.
Click the green button above to contact Expert for a free initial screening call regarding your expert consulting needs.  Expert is available for consulting to corporate, legal and government clients.  Remember, your initial screening call to speak with Expert is free.

Expert Witness:
Expert Witness Experience Summary:
He provided a deposition - Tractor fire, Northeast Mutual Ins. Co. etal vs. John Deere Co. etal; Cavalier county District Court; Cavalier, ND; 4/29/02; Metallurgy; Lawyer - Charlie Stock; (Expert # 020101)

arbitration hearing - Chimney fire; Riverside Cemetary Assoc. vs. Sentry Claims Service; Hearing in Fargo, ND on 6/7/05; Letter dated 12/10/04; Metallurgy; Lawyer - Jill Augustine; (Expert # 020101)

Recent Litigation Client Requests:
  • Expert for consulting on Gas Pipeline leaks.
  • Trucking expert for consulting on a steer axle of a truck failure.
Click the green button above to contact Expert for a free initial screening call regarding expert testimony, litigation consulting and support, forensic services, or any related expert witness services.  A few litigation needs include product liability, personal injury, economic loss, intellectual property (patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright), and insurance matters.  Remember, your initial screening call to speak with Expert is free.

Language Skills:
Foreign Language   Description
German   Expert has taken German in high school and college. He can manage at a very fundamental level.
arabic   Expert lived in Yemen for 2 years and learned the fundamentals of the language.

Market Research:
Expert is currently working with his second client in bringing a product from sketch to prototype, to testing, to enhancing manufacturability.

Click the green button above to contact Expert for a free initial screening call regarding your marketing research, industry research, and company research needs.  For research needs involving multiple experts or secondary research, a Research Director can be assigned to coordinate the work into a custom report for you as a potentially quicker and more cost effective alternative to doing this work yourself or hiring a boutique consultancy.  Remember, your initial screening call to speak with Expert is free.

Additional Skills and Services:

Metallurgy 101 - basics of metallurgy (12 hours), lecture plus hands-on.

Welding and Corrosion of Stainless Steels (8 hours)

Elements of Failure Analysis (1 hour)

Fundamentals of RFID (1 hour)

Supplier and Vendor Location and Selection

He was heavily involved in vendor selection activities while at Babcock & Wilcox, which included potential suppliers, examining bid packages, monitoring contract performance, and auditing vendors.

Other Skills and Services

He worked in industry for 17 years, has taught (and continues to teach) at the university, and founded his own consulting business in 2000.


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