Our Projects

ESi has assisted clients in many different industries with the full range of technical support services - from design review and assessment to failure investigation and analysis. Our multidisciplinary team of engineers and technicians performs a comprehensive assessment and provides pragmatic, effective recommendations for mitigating risks, redesigning procedures, and remediating deficiencies and failures in systems, structures, and/or equipment.

Areas of Expertise

Structural Evaluation and Repair of Hurricane Damage

Structural Evaluation and Repair of Hurricane Damage

Technically accurate, fast, and comprehensive support of CAT claims is essential for insurance carriers maintaining good relationships with their insured.

Barge Mounted Critical Lift Plan and Barge Retrofit

Barge Mounted Critical Lift Plan and Barge Retrofit

In a challenging and technically diverse project, ESi and our partner Oceanus provided engineering and marine survey support for crane barge operations.

Emergency Shoring in Support of a Fire Origin & Cause Analysis

Emergency Shoring in Support of a Fire Origin & Cause Analysis

Technically accurate, fast, and comprehensive structural engineering services allowed the fire origin and case investigation to move forward, and the client to retain all of their options for the subsequent dispute resolution.

Home Elevator Accident Investigation

Home Elevator Accident Investigation

On February 1, 2017, a two-year-old boy became trapped between the elevator accordion door and the elevator shaft (hoistway) door of a home in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Automotive Equipment Accident Reconstruction & Testing

Automotive Equipment Accident Reconstruction & Testing

ESi was asked to perform analysis regarding a vehicle support collapse. While a faulty jack stand was alleged, ESi investigated an alternate hypothesis in which misuse of a pump jack produced the movements and witness marks consistent with available evidence.

Getting Cold Feet – Frost Heave of a Refrigerated Warehouse Floor

Getting Cold Feet – Frost Heave of a Refrigerated Warehouse Floor

Investigation and analysis by ESi resulted in a favorable verdict at trial for the owner of a refrigerated warehouse following a frost heave failure of the warehouse floor.

Frozen in Time:  Understanding the Mechanics of a Cryogenic Loss

Frozen in Time: Understanding the Mechanics of a Cryogenic Loss

A liquid nitrogen cryogenic freezer failed due to a defect in the electronics and specimens were lost due to operator error and a failure to properly follow procedures.

Butane Stove and Cannister Analysis and Investigation

Butane Stove and Cannister Analysis and Investigation

ESi performed an investigation into an explosion/flash fire that occurred during the use of a portable cookstove that caused injuries to several people.

The Biomechanical Evaluation of a Top Loader Tip-Over Incident

The Biomechanical Evaluation of a Top Loader Tip-Over Incident

When a top loader with its load in the fully elevated position tipped over, the operator claimed that he had sustained traumatic injuries.

Gas Grill Plastic Nut Failure

Gas Grill Plastic Nut Failure

ESi conducts complex multidisciplinary product analysis to determine the root cause of a failure leading to the ignition of a fire.

Bicycle Rider Pitch-over Analysis and Testing Refute Opposing Hypothesis

Bicycle Rider Pitch-over Analysis and Testing Refute Opposing Hypothesis

ESi was engaged to evaluate an alleged pitch-over bicycle accident that occurred on a city street. ESi used its experimental capabilities to test, and ultimately reject, the hypothesis posed by the opposing expert.

Aftermarket Wheel Bearing Case Settles in Favor of Plaintiff

Aftermarket Wheel Bearing Case Settles in Favor of Plaintiff

A replacement wheel bearing with significant design differences from the original equipment manufacturer fails and causes permanent injury.

Investigation of a Failed Railcar Wheel: Corrosion Pitting Fatigue

Investigation of a Failed Railcar Wheel: Corrosion Pitting Fatigue

ESi investigated the root cause of a failed railroad wheel and determined that the reason for the failure was environmental rather than a result of human error.

Ignition Source Viability:  A Firework Story

Ignition Source Viability: A Firework Story

ESi conducted a “ladder-sequence” of multiple tests, instead of one test with a variety of variables, resulting in a systematic, repeatable method to demonstrate the BC401 bottle rocket was a viable ignition source of rooftop debris and roofing material.

ESi Testimony Supports State Appeals Panel Reversal of a $45 Million Oil Pipeline Verdict

ESi Testimony Supports State Appeals Panel Reversal of a $45 Million Oil Pipeline Verdict

ESi performs a complex standard of care investigation of an oil pipeline leak located in an urban high consequence area.

Post-Fire Structural Integrity Evaluation of an Aircraft

Post-Fire Structural Integrity Evaluation of an Aircraft

Utilizing fire-damaged components as well as virgin aluminum alloy 2024-T3, ESi developed a clear correlation between electrical conductivity and mechanical properties of damaged and as-specified material.

Gear Failure in a Marine Sterndrive Unit – Single Event or Wear and Tear?

Gear Failure in a Marine Sterndrive Unit – Single Event or Wear and Tear?

Broken gear teeth from the clutch mechanism of a marine sterndrive unit were analyzed and determined to be a result of long-term wear leading to fatigue cracking of the gear teeth.

Firearm Investigation Determines Incorrect Powder in the Ammunition Was the Cause of an Explosion

Firearm Investigation Determines Incorrect Powder in the Ammunition Was the Cause of an Explosion

An ESi investigation combines metallurgical, mechanical and chemical analysis to determine the cause of a rifle accident. ESi ultimately contributes the powder analysis to the National Center for Forensic Science Smokeless Powders Database.

Getting to the Bottom of a High-Rise Water Leak

Getting to the Bottom of a High-Rise Water Leak

ESi’s refrigeration and HVAC expertise provided a client with a focused investigation and testing program that ended in a successful defense against a product defect claim.

Severe, Localized Waterside Corrosion to Boiler Tubes

Severe, Localized Waterside Corrosion to Boiler Tubes

Localized corrosion to carbon steel boiler tubes was the result of localized boiling and scouring of protective oxides on the tube wall. Metallurgical and chemical analysis revealed no indication of stress-induced failure.

When Cleaning Makes a Mess

When Cleaning Makes a Mess

Using a combination of chemical and metallurgical principles, ESi determined that stainless steel kitchen components could be restored to their pristine state.

Failure to Deploy Aircraft Ice Prevention System Results in Deadly Crash

Failure to Deploy Aircraft Ice Prevention System Results in Deadly Crash

An ESi report to the NTSB finds that the airplane accident was due to failure to activate the ice protection system on final approach for landing.

Die Cast Aluminum Backing Plate Crack Evaluation

Die Cast Aluminum Backing Plate Crack Evaluation

The customer was delighted in the confirmation of their initial response to their European customer--that the parts met the drawing requirements for roughness and surface flaws and were structurally sound for their intended, albeit very rough, use in grinding railroad rail profiles.

Meticulous Metallography Helps Crack the Case

Meticulous Metallography Helps Crack the Case

ESi’s extensive aviation experience includes deep expertise in high temperature turbine blade superalloys. We routinely diagnose blade issues such as metallic creep, fatigue cracking, and sulfidation corrosion.

Jet Fighter Acrylic Canopy Failure

Jet Fighter Acrylic Canopy Failure

The results of ESi’s investigation were used to recommend and substantiate to the USAF Technical Airworthiness Authority (TAA) a return to pressurized flight without altitude restrictions.

Failure Sequence Determination of Industrial Machinery

Failure Sequence Determination of Industrial Machinery

Based on the results and findings of this multi-component failure analysis, the client was able to remedy the problems with the new machinery design by addressing the weld defect and successfully launch the new product line.

Analysis of ECM Data Showed Truck Driver Properly Maneuvered on an Icy Roadway

Analysis of ECM Data Showed Truck Driver Properly Maneuvered on an Icy Roadway

Analysis of the ECM data confirmed the driver was operating his tractor-trailer in a reasonably safe manner and, when faced with unexpected black ice, responded consistent with the methods described in the Commercial Driver Handbook.

Cell Phone Spoliation Traps Driver

Cell Phone Spoliation Traps Driver

Defendants purposely and significantly deleted data and damaged a phone after receiving a preservation letter. The judge found the defendants negligent for intentionally destroying evidence, and levied spoliation sanctions.

The Little Plane That Could:  Failure Analysis of a Robust Turbine Engine

The Little Plane That Could: Failure Analysis of a Robust Turbine Engine

ESi investigated an issue involving the performance of the high temperature superalloy used in the turbine blades of a commercial aircraft engine.

Train Conductor Fall from Tank Car; Reconstruction of Safety Appliance Location

Train Conductor Fall from Tank Car; Reconstruction of Safety Appliance Location

A train service employee fell from a tank car while attempting to dismount the car. Repairs were made to the car prior to position of the safety appliances (sill step) being measured.

Shipboard Generator Failure after Rewind

Shipboard Generator Failure after Rewind

ESi was able to review and completely refute the validity of plaintiff and co-defendant testing and claims that our client’s product was defective.

Composite Railroad Tie Evaluation Study

Composite Railroad Tie Evaluation Study

ESi has been performing field and physical testing of composite railroad ties to refine industry specifications on mechanical and thermal performance.

Alleged Hand Crushing Injury at Grocery Store

Alleged Hand Crushing Injury at Grocery Store

ESi conducted a site inspection at a grocery store’s bottle return area to determine if the incident in question happened in the manner described.

Source of Damage Determined for Gas Turbine Engines

Source of Damage Determined for Gas Turbine Engines

An ESi investigation proving manufacturer defect prior to transport damage results in a reduced claim settlement for the client.

Powerplant Suffers Extended Downtimes & Receives Favorable Settlement As Force Majeures

Powerplant Suffers Extended Downtimes & Receives Favorable Settlement As Force Majeures

Two landfill gas process equipment failures at an electric powerplant cause significant unplanned downtimes and substantial repair procedures.

Slip And Fall Mishap At A Wedding Reception

Slip And Fall Mishap At A Wedding Reception

An ESi investigation results in a quick settlement following testing and an engineering analysis of the biomechanics and human factors surrounding a slip and fall incident in a ballroom during a wedding reception.

Pipe Bomb Mailings Net 20-Year Conviction

Pipe Bomb Mailings Net 20-Year Conviction

ESi reviews FBI case files and opines on the nature of 16 pipe bombs sent to a past US president, senators and celebrities.

Dust and Hydrogen Explosions

Dust and Hydrogen Explosions

A plant that produced iron powder for use in manufacturing metal parts had a series of three flash fires and deflagrations within a 6-month period, resulting in a total of five fatalities.

Petroleum Tank Explosion

Petroleum Tank Explosion

Petroleum refineries frequently need to clean storage tanks to check for corrosion, or to allow the tank to be used for a different purpose.

Chemical Reaction Analysis

Chemical Reaction Analysis

The company was contracted to produce a chemical, and developed a procedure for the reaction that included treating the waste water from the reaction. The waste water contained a reactive chemical that was a hazardous material.

Swimming Pool Chemical Explosion

Swimming Pool Chemical Explosion

A homeowner was treating her swimming pool with a chlorinated chemical oxidizer used to control bacteria and algae (analogous to chlorine bleach.)

Chemical Brominator Rupture

Chemical Brominator Rupture

The plant decided to inject these chemicals into the water system rather than dispose of them as hazardous waste.

Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Failure

Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Failure

ESi analyzed the release of natural gas from a transmission pipeline that ruptured

Explosion Rockets Delivery Truck

Explosion Rockets Delivery Truck

An ESi investigation determines the cause of a delivery truck's mechanical explosion that shot a compressed natural gas container rocketing through the air.

Pedestrian Injury Resulting from Standing in the Foul of a Commuter Train

Pedestrian Injury Resulting from Standing in the Foul of a Commuter Train

Our reconstruction of the accident showed that the train was not capable of stopping prior to reaching the off-limits location where the pedestrian was standing, based on the available time and distance.

Accident Reconstruction and Biomechanical Analysis

Accident Reconstruction and Biomechanical Analysis

Two vehicles collided at an intersection, causing one vehicle to flip onto its side. The front passenger was not wearing a seatbelt and sustained serious spinal cord injuries. ESi used HVE software to create simulations of the crash sequence, and imported the vehicle motion output into MADYMO to model both “belted” and “unbelted” occupant responses inside the vehicle.

Fire Origin and Cause Analysis

Fire Origin and Cause Analysis

ESi was retained by the subrogation council for the fire origin and cause analysis which also necessitated a structural engineering effort to shore the building and supervise the removal of the damaged roof.

PVC Pipe Failure

PVC Pipe Failure

ESi was retained to investigate the failure of a PVC pipe. The pipe showed indications of rapid crack propagation that would be consistent with a high-pressure event. In order to understand the effect of the pre-existing crack on the remaining strength of the pipe, a fracture mechanics analysis was performed.

XLPE Storage Tank

XLPE Storage Tank

A large cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE or PEX) storage tank for 93% sulphuric acid failed after approximately seven months of service. The release of acid occurred through circumferential cracks that developed on the bottom panel of the tank near the corner radius with the sidewall.

Building Envelop Consulting and Water Intrusion Testing

Building Envelop Consulting and Water Intrusion Testing

ESi was retained to conduct a detailed review the construction drawings and specifications, review the product literature, conduct a constructability review to identify and resolve potential issues prior to installation.

Minivan Collides with Train

Minivan Collides with Train

A minivan was crossing a set of multiple railroad tracks after a train had backed across the crossing on the near track and was subsequently struck by a through train traveling in the opposite direction. ESi was asked to reconstruct the locations and movements of the vehicles leading up to the crash and determine the influence of the backing train on the crash.

Small Aircraft Crashes into House

Small Aircraft Crashes into House

A small aircraft departed for a practice flight in instrument flying conditions. Shortly after takeoff, upon entering the clouds, the aircraft deviated from its clearance, beginning a series of turns, climbs and descents. Ultimately, the aircraft entered a descending right turn and impacted a home.

Synthetic Crystal Autoclave Failure

Synthetic Crystal Autoclave Failure

ESi initiated a comprehensive investigation, examining the material, its processing, the environment within the vessel and the stresses in the material during service.

Accident Reconstruction of a Semi-Trailer

Accident Reconstruction of a Semi-Trailer

In a major product liability case that went to trial, Dr. Butler reconstructed a complex tractor semi-trailer accident. The tractor semi-trailer rolled over while traveling down a mountain road.

Safety Analysis of Cable Sleeve

Safety Analysis of Cable Sleeve

ESi was retained by the manufacturer of personal fall protection equipment to perform a safety analysis and documented risk assessment of a newly designed detachable cable sleeve. This product provides fall protection for workers climbing fixed ladders in multiple industrial applications.

Fall from A Rail Station Platform

Fall from A Rail Station Platform

Utilizing the worker’s described scenario as the working hypothesis, data were collected to support or rule out this sequence. ESi’s investigation included a site inspection to evaluate the scene and measure the distances between the platform, ground, and rail.

Fall from a Multi-Story Building

Fall from a Multi-Story Building

Eyewitness testimony was inconsistent regarding the initial location. ESi needed to evaluate the physical evidence of the geometry of the staircase, the railings, and her final location to determine what fall scenarios could be consistent with the laws of physics.

Pre-Impact Motion Analysis

Pre-Impact Motion Analysis

ESi was retained to evaluate the pre-impact motion and positions of a tractor semitrailer and a pickup. The intent of the time-distance-speed analysis was to provide an estimate of the coordinate pre-impact motion of the vehicles based on reasonable assumptions for evaluation of the circumstances.

Explosion at Fertilizer Distribution Facility

Explosion at Fertilizer Distribution Facility

A hopper car loaded with ammonium nitrate was an innocent bystander at West Texas fertilizer distribution facility explosion.

Automotive Accident Reconstruction

Automotive Accident Reconstruction

This project involved a passenger car stopped in the roadway, while a garbage truck allegedly backed into the front of the vehicle. The driver claimed she observed the garbage truck backing up for approximately 30 seconds and that the truck was traveling at approximately 30 mph.

Boeing 737 Crash

Boeing 737 Crash

In 1994, a Boeing 737 was scheduled to fly 127 passengers from Chicago O'Hare International Airport to Pittsburgh International Airport. The aircraft crashed while on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport, killing all aboard.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Aviation

Obstructive Sleep Apnea-Aviation

ESi was retained to investigate an aviation crash involving airplane impacting power lines and terrain and pilot and passenger fatally injured.

Generator Fire in Large Power Plant

Generator Fire in Large Power Plant

ESi was retained to perform a cause and origin evaluation on a fire in a large power plant.

HDPE Piping Failure

HDPE Piping Failure

ESi was retained to perform a study on the degradation of HDPE piping resulting from exposure to the disinfectants used in potable water.

Porsche Carrera GT Accident

Porsche Carrera GT Accident

ESi was retained to investigate an accident of a Porsche Carrera GT.

Hazardous Material Dispersion-Tank Car

Hazardous Material Dispersion-Tank Car

ESi was retained to investigate damage to a rail tank car and subsequent release of hazardous materials resulting from a derailment.

Baltimore Tunnel Train Derailment

Baltimore Tunnel Train Derailment

A freight train derailed while passing through the Howard Street tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland.

Failure of a Polypropylene Belt

Failure of a Polypropylene Belt

ESi was retained to determine the cause of failure of a woven polypropylene (PP) belt.

New Orleans Super Dome

New Orleans Super Dome

ESi was called in to assess the structural, mechanical, and electrical elements of the Super Dome after Hurricane Katrina.

Miller Park Crane Collapse

Miller Park Crane Collapse

A large, heavy-lift crane collapsed resulting in three fatalities and extensive damage to the stadium and construction equipment.

UAL Flight 232

UAL Flight 232

United Air Lines Flight 232 crashed and broke apart during the landing attempt.

Hand Fed Chipper Winch Line Accident

Hand Fed Chipper Winch Line Accident

Biomechanical accident reconstruction analysis methodologies were used to address injury modes associated with human operator involvement with a commercial hand fed tree chipper winch line.

Sliding Door Sensor Safety Analysis

Sliding Door Sensor Safety Analysis

A female pedestrian wearing black clothing was injured when an automatic sliding door closed on her while she was standing at the right door threshold. An accident reconstruction was performed to document the injury mechanism.

Estate of Kang vs. Iowa Mold Tooling

Estate of Kang vs. Iowa Mold Tooling

A mechanic in a shop that builds MOW specialty vehicles was lifting an articulating crane to mount it on a truck bed when the sling failed. The mechanic was fatally injured when the load fell to the ground and toppled on top of him.

Insight Driven Solutions

ESi's expertise spans dozens of industries and specializations organized across several practice groups, each staffed by dozens of in-house experts with the technical knowledge, hands-on expertise, and courtroom experience required to execute projects for and with our clients from start to finish.

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