Forensic Engineers and Consultants

John Phillips

John Phillips

John_Phillips-bio

John Phillips

P.E., CFEI Phone: 803.732.6600 vCard LinkedIn Download CV

Expertise

  • Cranes and Heavy Machinery
  • Failure Analysis
  • Fires and Explosions
  • Industrial Accident Reconstruction
  • Machinery Damage Assessment
Biography

Senior Consulting Engineer John Phillips has more than 30 years of crane and heavy equipment experience and more than 20 years of experience in forensic engineering. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina, he’s a Licensed Professional Engineer in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio and Minnesota. He is NCEES registered both as a model engineer and with The United States Council for International Engineering Practice.

During his career, John has designed crane systems, supervised installation, tested and certified lifting equipment even serving as a project engineer for maintenance and certification of nuclear weapon lifting and handling systems. His extensive experience helps him determine the cause and scope of damage for crane, hoist, and other lift equipment incidents. In addition, he’s a certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and a certified Fire Investigator Instructor by the National Association of Fire Investigators. John is adept at determining the origin, cause, and scope of damage for equipment and structural fires. He also evaluates consumer and industrial equipment for product defects, guarding and safety issues.

John has testified in depositions and trials in state and federal court. John is a member of the International Code Council (ICC), American Society of Materials (ASM) and the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), as well as a voting member of the ASTM Performance of Buildings, Forensic Sciences, Forensic Engineering, and Ships & Marine committees.

Qualifications
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Crane Designer, Installer and Tester
Licensed Professional Engineer
Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
Certified Fire Investigation Instructor
Publications
Crane Tipover

An engineering investigation determines the cause of a crane tipover while the crane was thought to be operating within its safe limits and was protected against overloading by a computerized load and moment indicating (LMI) system.

Fires Involving Bearing Failures

Bearings fail for a variety of reasons. A failed bearing often results in enough frictional heating to cause a fire.

Fracture Surface Protection

The handling and care of broken or fractured parts is very important and not just common sense.

Recent Posts
A clevis pin with the spring clip attached.

Defective Clevis Pin Culprit in Runaway Trailer

A large agricultural trailer had been connected to a truck using a clevis pin with a spring locking clip.  The trailer became disconnected from the truck and collided with an oncoming vehicle.  The trailer was in poor condition, did not have safety chains, and had substantial recent modifications by the owner.

Figure 2: A Webshare photograph from a scan captured from the safety of a balcony in the workshop. The scanner operator never had to climb directly above the forklift to create the shot in Figure 1. The Webshare user can pan, zoom, and measure from the photograph. The grey target icons represent other scan locations on the ground.

Another Dimension of Engineering, Part 2: Visual Demonstrations Can Clarify the Issue

Co-Authored with John Phillips, PE, CFEI In our last post on 3D scanning, we introduced Warren’s new Faro Focus X 330 three dimensional scanner.  To recap, the Faro scanner combines three dimensional laser measurement with automated photography to capture 360-degree data from the real world. Potential applications include vehicle accident scenes and damaged vehicles, structural […]

flooded-electrical-outlet

Flood Damage to Electrical Equipment

As a result of the recent weather, those of us in South Carolina have gained a renewed appreciation of the damage that can result from flooding. Even a few inches of flood water can result in property damage and a loss of services in addition to the immediate risk of physical harm.

A condensate drain that has been obstructed by nesting animals.

Air Conditioning Evaporators

This is the third and final of three articles concerning the basics of air conditioning systems.  This article concerns the evaporator, a part of the air conditioning system that is usually unseen inside the air handling unit. The evaporator, in concert with a fan, supplies cool air to a building interior.

A typical residential HVAC Unit.

Air Conditioning Condensing Units

The condensing unit is a key component of all vapor compression air conditioning systems.  We are all familiar with condensing units as the noisy exterior portions of air conditioning systems that blow hot air to the environment.

shutterstock_152015783-Converted-(2)

Air Conditioning System Basics

Air conditioning systems are everywhere in our lives – at home, in our vehicles, at work, in manufacturing facilities – yet most people give them little thought other than setting a comfortable temperature until they stop working or malfunction in some other way.

Fractured toilet connection.  Wrench marks are visible on the fitting.

A Small Water Line Leads to a Large Loss

A large oceanfront house was custom built after two years of planning and construction.  The house had three stories over an elevated foundation.  Shortly after the house was completed, the owners arrived one evening and found water pouring from above when they parked in the garage beneath the living spaces.  

A hydraulic crane with a telescoping boom.

Crane Incident Handbook

Cranes are powerful lifting devices that we see everyday in construction areas, shipping terminals, and industrial sites. They are so common that we often pass by them with little thought. Cranes, however, can easily become involved in incidents that injure people or damage equipment.

The left side of the container handler.

Container Handler Fire

Container handlers are mobile, rubber-tired, machines that are used to load and stack standard containers at a variety of shipping terminals.  The machines resemble oversized forklifts but are equipped with shipping container lift spreaders instead of forks.  The machines are often equipped with sophisticated computer systems that inform the operator which container needs to be […]

The wind turbine rotor and nacelle after they fell to the ground.

Wind Turbine Rotor Overspeed at Wind Energy Park

A wind turbine was being erected as part of a small wind energy park.  The wind turbine tower and the nacelle housing the generator were successfully installed.  The three-bladed rotor assembly was installed and connected to the nacelle as the last major component of the wind turbine.

Senior Consulting Engineer John Phillips has more than 30 years of crane and heavy equipment experience and more than 20 years of experience in forensic engineering. In addition to holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina, he’s a Licensed Professional Engineer in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio and Minnesota. He is NCEES registered both as a model engineer and with The United States Council for International Engineering Practice.

During his career, John has designed crane systems, supervised installation, tested and certified lifting equipment even serving as a project engineer for maintenance and certification of nuclear weapon lifting and handling systems. His extensive experience helps him determine the cause and scope of damage for crane, hoist, and other lift equipment incidents. In addition, he’s a certified Fire and Explosion Investigator and a certified Fire Investigator Instructor by the National Association of Fire Investigators. John is adept at determining the origin, cause, and scope of damage for equipment and structural fires. He also evaluates consumer and industrial equipment for product defects, guarding and safety issues.

John has testified in depositions and trials in state and federal court. John is a member of the International Code Council (ICC), American Society of Materials (ASM) and the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), as well as a voting member of the ASTM Performance of Buildings, Forensic Sciences, Forensic Engineering, and Ships & Marine committees.

B.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Crane Designer, Installer and Tester
Licensed Professional Engineer
Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
Certified Fire Investigation Instructor
Crane Tipover

An engineering investigation determines the cause of a crane tipover while the crane was thought to be operating within its safe limits and was protected against overloading by a computerized load and moment indicating (LMI) system.

Fires Involving Bearing Failures

Bearings fail for a variety of reasons. A failed bearing often results in enough frictional heating to cause a fire.

Fracture Surface Protection

The handling and care of broken or fractured parts is very important and not just common sense.

A clevis pin with the spring clip attached.

Defective Clevis Pin Culprit in Runaway Trailer

A large agricultural trailer had been connected to a truck using a clevis pin with a spring locking clip.  The trailer became disconnected from the truck and collided with an oncoming vehicle.  The trailer was in poor condition, did not have safety chains, and had substantial recent modifications by the owner.

Figure 2: A Webshare photograph from a scan captured from the safety of a balcony in the workshop. The scanner operator never had to climb directly above the forklift to create the shot in Figure 1. The Webshare user can pan, zoom, and measure from the photograph. The grey target icons represent other scan locations on the ground.

Another Dimension of Engineering, Part 2: Visual Demonstrations Can Clarify the Issue

Co-Authored with John Phillips, PE, CFEI In our last post on 3D scanning, we introduced Warren’s new Faro Focus X 330 three dimensional scanner.  To recap, the Faro scanner combines three dimensional laser measurement with automated photography to capture 360-degree data from the real world. Potential applications include vehicle accident scenes and damaged vehicles, structural […]

flooded-electrical-outlet

Flood Damage to Electrical Equipment

As a result of the recent weather, those of us in South Carolina have gained a renewed appreciation of the damage that can result from flooding. Even a few inches of flood water can result in property damage and a loss of services in addition to the immediate risk of physical harm.

A condensate drain that has been obstructed by nesting animals.

Air Conditioning Evaporators

This is the third and final of three articles concerning the basics of air conditioning systems.  This article concerns the evaporator, a part of the air conditioning system that is usually unseen inside the air handling unit. The evaporator, in concert with a fan, supplies cool air to a building interior.

A typical residential HVAC Unit.

Air Conditioning Condensing Units

The condensing unit is a key component of all vapor compression air conditioning systems.  We are all familiar with condensing units as the noisy exterior portions of air conditioning systems that blow hot air to the environment.

shutterstock_152015783-Converted-(2)

Air Conditioning System Basics

Air conditioning systems are everywhere in our lives – at home, in our vehicles, at work, in manufacturing facilities – yet most people give them little thought other than setting a comfortable temperature until they stop working or malfunction in some other way.

Fractured toilet connection.  Wrench marks are visible on the fitting.

A Small Water Line Leads to a Large Loss

A large oceanfront house was custom built after two years of planning and construction.  The house had three stories over an elevated foundation.  Shortly after the house was completed, the owners arrived one evening and found water pouring from above when they parked in the garage beneath the living spaces.  

A hydraulic crane with a telescoping boom.

Crane Incident Handbook

Cranes are powerful lifting devices that we see everyday in construction areas, shipping terminals, and industrial sites. They are so common that we often pass by them with little thought. Cranes, however, can easily become involved in incidents that injure people or damage equipment.

The left side of the container handler.

Container Handler Fire

Container handlers are mobile, rubber-tired, machines that are used to load and stack standard containers at a variety of shipping terminals.  The machines resemble oversized forklifts but are equipped with shipping container lift spreaders instead of forks.  The machines are often equipped with sophisticated computer systems that inform the operator which container needs to be […]

The wind turbine rotor and nacelle after they fell to the ground.

Wind Turbine Rotor Overspeed at Wind Energy Park

A wind turbine was being erected as part of a small wind energy park.  The wind turbine tower and the nacelle housing the generator were successfully installed.  The three-bladed rotor assembly was installed and connected to the nacelle as the last major component of the wind turbine.

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