Forensic Engineers and Consultants

John Phillips

John Phillips

John Phillips

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

Expertise

  • Cranes & RIgging
  • Failure Analysis
  • Fires & Explosions
  • Heavy Machinery
  • HVAC Systems
  • Machinery Damage & Assessment
Biography

Senior Consulting Engineer John Phillips has more than 35 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 and Ohio. 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 has a certification in applied general metallurgy from ASM International.

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
Licensed Professional Engineer
Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
Certified Fire Investigation Instructor
Applied Engineering Experience – over 35 years
Experience in Cranes and Heavy Equipment
Publications
Crane Incident Handbook

Cranes are powerful lifting devices that we see everyday in construction areas, shipping terminals, and industrial sites. This handbook provides guidelines for the initial investigation of crane incidents, including observations to be made at the site as well as questions to be asked during interviews of site personnel.

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

Load Holding Valves in Hydraulic Cranes

Hydraulic cranes absolutely rely on the integrity of their high-pressure fluid systems for safe operation.  A crane can become out of level when an outrigger cylinder leaks over time, possibly leading to a tip over.  A boom can collapse if a hydraulic hose ruptures.  It is not possible to absolutely prevent hydraulic cylinders from developing […]

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 sometimes become involved in incidents that injure people or damage equipment.

Graphitic Corrosion – Difficult to determine before a failure!

Graphitic corrosion is a process that may happen in equipment made of iron, particularly grey cast iron, but also ductile cast iron. Graphitic corrosion can lead to unexpected catastrophic failure of the affected part because the cast iron can lose its strength without a visible warning such as a change in size, shape, or appearance.

Improper Design Leads to Fatigue Failure In Blower Shaft

A blower used to exhaust air from an industrial process stopped functioning when the blower wheel drive shaft fractured.  The process, and thereby most of the plant, had to operate at a reduced volume until the blower wheel could be replaced.  The blower wheel had been installed during a shutdown a week before the incident.  […]

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.

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

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 collapses, fire scenes, flood damage scenes, […]

Warren Adds Another Dimension of Engineering

We at Warren are pleased to announce our recent purchase of a Faro Focus X 330 three dimensional scanner with FARO Scene image processing software. The scanner takes up to 976,000 data points per second and can scan objects at distances to 1000 feet.  The scanner forms a point cloud of millions of data points […]

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.

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.

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.

Senior Consulting Engineer John Phillips has more than 35 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 and Ohio. 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 has a certification in applied general metallurgy from ASM International.

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
Licensed Professional Engineer
Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator
Certified Fire Investigation Instructor
Applied Engineering Experience – over 35 years
Experience in Cranes and Heavy Equipment
Crane Incident Handbook

Cranes are powerful lifting devices that we see everyday in construction areas, shipping terminals, and industrial sites. This handbook provides guidelines for the initial investigation of crane incidents, including observations to be made at the site as well as questions to be asked during interviews of site personnel.

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.

Load Holding Valves in Hydraulic Cranes

Hydraulic cranes absolutely rely on the integrity of their high-pressure fluid systems for safe operation.  A crane can become out of level when an outrigger cylinder leaks over time, possibly leading to a tip over.  A boom can collapse if a hydraulic hose ruptures.  It is not possible to absolutely prevent hydraulic cylinders from developing […]

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 sometimes become involved in incidents that injure people or damage equipment.

Graphitic Corrosion – Difficult to determine before a failure!

Graphitic corrosion is a process that may happen in equipment made of iron, particularly grey cast iron, but also ductile cast iron. Graphitic corrosion can lead to unexpected catastrophic failure of the affected part because the cast iron can lose its strength without a visible warning such as a change in size, shape, or appearance.

Improper Design Leads to Fatigue Failure In Blower Shaft

A blower used to exhaust air from an industrial process stopped functioning when the blower wheel drive shaft fractured.  The process, and thereby most of the plant, had to operate at a reduced volume until the blower wheel could be replaced.  The blower wheel had been installed during a shutdown a week before the incident.  […]

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.

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

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 collapses, fire scenes, flood damage scenes, […]

Warren Adds Another Dimension of Engineering

We at Warren are pleased to announce our recent purchase of a Faro Focus X 330 three dimensional scanner with FARO Scene image processing software. The scanner takes up to 976,000 data points per second and can scan objects at distances to 1000 feet.  The scanner forms a point cloud of millions of data points […]

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.

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.

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.

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