011171 Senior Engineer – Complex Failures/Fires/Explosions

Senior Engineer – Complex Failures/Fires/Explosions

Summary

He is a practicing Professional Engineer, LEED Accredited Professional, Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, and consultant, with 35 years of experience in the responsible charge of planning, designing and constructing facilities for manufacturing, commercial, chemical and heavy industrial use. His experience as a design principal and project executive includes project development, facility siting and design, building/process design and construction, code compliance, high pressure piping and vessels, energy and utility systems, ventilation, air pollution control, HVAC, structural engineering, and bulk material handling. These activities have involved all phases of conceptual planning, design engineering and procurement, construction and erection, safety and OSHA compliance.

In addition to his direct engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) background, he also maintains expertise in complex systems and equipment failure analysis, accident reconstruction, process hazard and risk assessment, thermal and stress analysis, fire and explosion investigation and construction claims consulting. His investigations include boiler, piping and pressure vessel failures and explosions, structural failures and collapses, and equipment fires and explosions.

011143 Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineer

This expert specializes in fire and explosion investigation and accident reconstruction. He is a Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator and Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator through the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). In addition to passenger vehicles, his expertise in Motor Vehicle Accident Reconstruction includes heavy trucks and recreation vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and off-highway vehicles. He is nationally certified through the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR).

This expert is a Registered Professional Engineer in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He has significant knowledge of internal combustion engines and generators, residential and commercial mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, and structural water/moisture origin determination. He also is an expert in maritime industries and marine engineering, and has worked on cases involving recreational marine vessels, including power and sail operation, and propulsion and power generator systems (diesel and gasoline)

He has provided expert testimony as to his findings in various courts of law, including both local and federal venues.

011157 Fire Test Technician

Fire Test Technician

Summary

He is a Fire Test Technician with over 20 years of experience, specializing in testing and studies related to the performance of equipment and materials associated with fire and explosion related failures.  He is experienced in small and large scale testing, and evaluation to determine ignition sources, flame spread rate, failure modes, heat flux, temperature, heat transfer, smoke generation, and fire suppression. He is also knowledgeable in the evaluation of fire detection and suppression systems.  He has performed experimental and standard studies/testing related to product development.

He has provided expert testimony in the court of law.

011196 Fire Protection Engineering, Fire and Explosion Investigator

This expert has over 40 years of experience in fire safety science, having been the first person to earn a Ph.D. in Fire Protection Engineering in 1976. He currently specializes in lending fire safety science support to investigations of fires and explosions.   He is a Principal Member of NFPA’s Technical Committee on Fire Investigations, which develops the standard guide for investigation of fires and explosions, NFPA 921. 

He is also well known for having invented the Cone Calorimeter and the large-scale (furniture) calorimeter while he was doing research for NIST.  Both of these apparatuses are based on the oxygen consumption principle and are in use in laboratories around the world.  He has authored over 300 technical publications, regularly teaches groups of fire investigators, and lectures at scientific symposia.  He is currently working on a new book on Electrical Fires and Explosions.

011194 Senior Fire Scientist

Highly qualified fire protection engineer with extensive experience in fire safety and accident investigation.  He has participated in multiple studies and prepared classified reports on the effects of thermal radiation from nuclear weapons on military aircraft, military facilities, and civil defense facilities.  This expert is well published in the fields of fire science applications, fire safety and standards, explosions, and thermal damage.

001111 Principal Forensic Electrical Engineer

Joseph R. Reynolds, PE, MEWI, MAE
Principal Forensic Electrical Engineer


Summary

Joseph R. Reynolds, PE, MEWI, MAE is internationally recognized as a forensic electrical engineer and an authority regarding the investigation and evaluation of utility system incidents and equipment failures including electrical contact accidents, fires and explosions. He has served as the team leader and technical director, as well as principal testifier, in large complex investigations and research. Services to the industry have included: conducting forensic root cause analyses of major power generation, transmission, distribution, and telecommunications incidents, system failures, accidents, fires, and equipment condition and performance audit issues; providing recommendations for improved equipment reliability; assessing the expected life and condition of aging equipment for repair/replace options; and addressing prudence issues related to rate base and regulatory hearings.

Mr. Reynolds is the founder and president of RTI Group, LLC based in the US, as well as the founder and chairman of the London based UK firm Reynolds Technological Inquiries Limited, and RTI Ltd, with offices in South America and the Middle East. The RTI companies are an international consultancy of experienced expert witnesses with a new research centre to determine the cause of electrical, material, and mechanical failures. An advance multimedia studio provides the visuals to effectively present our findings. A highly diversified firm, RTI specialized in accident and failure analysis of various size matters involving aviation, marine, rail, telecommunications, power utilities, and high risk industries.

RTI also provides proactive consulting services from Safety Management and Security Risk Assessment to implementation of controls.

Mr. Reynolds has represented public and government utilities, state regulatory commissions, and insurers in numerous electric power matters, including the following examples:

• Appointed by a utility regulator to serve as lead investigator and team manager for the state’s analysis of a high profile and lengthy outage resulting in recommendations to improve system reliability, which were adopted through the legislative rule-making process.

• Provided testimony at a rate base hearing before a state public service commission involving the utility’s handling of unpredictable and highly unusual nuclear reactor component failure, and evaluation of the resulting repair costs.

• Authored several publications on behalf of the Electric Power Research Institute, EPRI, including a guideline to assist utilities in improving the reliability of power plant electrical equipment as an alternative to the cost of constructing new plants.

• Evaluated the options to restore the performance of a damaged hydroelectric generator station when compared with the availability of replacement power.

Mr. Reynolds has given expert testimony in arbitration hearings and courts of law, and has appeared before state and federal boards, commissions, counsels, press conferences, and international professional forums.

 

Product Liability

Thermal

RTI utilizes state-of-the-art tools and techniques to glean information from subject and exemplar products. Through report production and testimony, RTI analyses and communicates results so that we can conduct the best analysis possible in serving the insurance claims and litigation markets.

011260 Senior Fire & Explosion Investigator

Senior Fire & Explosion Investigator

This expert is a Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator, Certified Vehicle Fire Investigator, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Professional Insurance Investigator, and a Certified Fire Investigation Instructor. He specializes in determining the origin, cause, and circumstances of structural, vehicular, and marine fires. He retired from the position of Division Chief after twenty-six years of dedicated service with the local county Fire Department, which also includes eight years in the capacity of Fire Marshal. As an independent investigator, he specializes in conducting Origin & Cause Investigations primarily for the legal and insurance community. Over the past 35 years, he has conducted over 10,000 fire investigations.

This expert was an adjunct instructor for the National Fire Academy and developed a 56 hour training program with emphasis on NFPA 921 & NFPA 1033 which qualifies attendees to become Certified Fire Investigators. He has accumulated in excess of 4500 hours of training in the fields of Fire Investigation, Fire Protection, Fire Service Management, Fire Ground Operations and Law Enforcement.

This expert holds expert witness qualifications in Fire Origin & Cause Investigations, Fire Suppression, and Fire Protection. He has qualified as an expert in various Circuit & Federal Court venues.

 

011280 Senior Certified Fire Investigator

Summary

He is a retired Senior Special Agent and Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) with the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). He has 34 years of law enforcement experience at both the local and federal level and also served as a volunteer firefighter. He has participated in the examination and investigation of over 900 fire scenes. These scene investigations involved fires in motor vehicles, residential and commercial structures in various locations throughout the United States. In addition, he has observed and participated in over 260 test fires for investigative, research, training and demonstration purposes. He is currently certified by the IAAI as a Certified Fire Investigator. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from George Mason University and a second bachelor’s degree in Fire Science from the University of Maryland University College.


He has testified as an expert witness in fire origin and cause in both Federal and State courts and has extensive experience investigating a wide range of fires and conducting research and testing in support of fire investigations. In addition, he has served as the lead agent in numerous arson investigations that were prosecuted at both the local and federal level.


In 1979, he began his law enforcement career with the Fairfax County Police Department as a police cadet and later attended the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy and was assigned to the Patrol Division. In December of 1987, he accepted a position as a federal criminal investigator with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and attended the Criminal Investigator School at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) as well as other specialized training courses while working for IRS. In September 1989, he transferred to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) as an ATF Special Agent and returned to FLETC to attend the ATF Academy. In 1993, he was assigned to the ATF Arson Group in Northern Virginia and began to specialize in fire and arson investigations. These investigations included fuel/air explosions & fires, arson fraud schemes, serial arsons, revenge-motivated arson, and arson homicides. He also participated in several bombing investigations in the Washington DC area.


In 1997, he completed the comprehensive two-year ATF Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) program and was recognized as an expert relating to fire origin and cause. From 1998-2000, he coordinated an ATF Arson Task Force in Washington, DC and worked on a daily basis with the DC Fire Department - providing fire origin and cause support as well as investigative support in arson investigations.


From 2000 to 2005, he was assigned to the ATF Fire Research Laboratory (FRL) in Beltsville, Maryland as the CFI Program Manager. While at the Fire Research Laboratory, he participated in the analysis of dozens of complex arson investigations from across the United States. Many of these cases lead to full-scale forensic fire testing at the FRL in an effort to evaluate ignition scenarios, fire progression, burn patterns and statements made by witnesses and others.

In 2005, he returned to the field and was assigned to ATF’s Baltimore Field Division where he worked as a Senior Special Agent and CFI until his retirement from ATF in January 2014. While in the Baltimore Field Division, he conducted numerous arson investigations across the state of Maryland, many of which involved arson for profit schemes in both commercial and residential properties. He worked closely with state and local investigators as well as state and federal prosecutors which resulted in numerous prosecutions.


As a collateral duty, he was also a member of ATF’s elite National Response Team (NRT) for nearly ten years and participated in the investigation of numerous large-scale fires across the United States which also included a response to the Pentagon in 2001. He also served as the Assistant Team Leader for the NRT (Northeast Team) for a period of four years.


From 2010-2012, served as the president of the Maryland Fire and Explosive Investigators Association (MFEIA) which also serves as the Maryland / DC Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI). He remains an active member of that association as the training coordinator. he has also authored documents related to fire investigations and taught at various fire investigation conferences, the ATF National Academy and the National Fire Academy.

 

RTI Group, LLC

RTI is a pioneering, global accident and failure investigation and safety management consultancy serving the legal and insurance markets.  With origins dating back to 1975, our forensic engineering services span comprehensive high-risk industries and transportation operations disciplines, including aviation, marine, rail, utilities, nuclear, explosion, and construction.