Friday, January 9, 2015
9:00 am Committee Reports
11:30 am Lunch break (on your own)
12:30 pm Board of Directors Meeting
3:30 pm ASTM E58 Forensic Engineering Technical Committee meeting
Saturday, January 10, 2015 – Technical Program
7:30 Round Table Discussion (includes breakfast)
8:30 Opening Remarks and Introductions - Ross Curtis, PE - NAFE President
9:00 Forensic Engineering Experience with Electrically Ignited Fires - Roger Boyell, PE (NAFE 696F)
9:30 Forensic Engineering Evaluation of Statistical Validity in Low-Speed Vehicle Impact Cases – GaryPresswood, PhD, PE (NAFE 439M)
10:00 Forensic Engineering Investigation and Analysis of a Tower Crane Collapse - Bransford Pickett, PE (NAFE 863M)
10:30 Forensic Engineering Investigation of Workplace Product Liability Cases - Richard Ziernicki, PhD, PE (NAFE 308F)
11:00 Forensic Engineering Investigation of Fall Protection Equipment Failures - Wilbur “Dusty” Yaxley, PE (NAFE 270F)
11:30 Report on NAFE Activities in Forensic Engineering - President Ross Curtis, PE
12:00 General Membership meeting and Installation of 2015 Board of Directors
12:15 Round Table Discussion (includes lunch)
2:00 Furnace Malfunction & Forensic Engineering Wiring Reconstruction - John Certuse, PE - (NAFE 708F)
2:30 Evaluation of the Safety Failures of the Judge Seeber Bridge in New Orleans - Alan Moore, PE (NAFE 767S)
3:00 Force Deflection and Work/Energy Principles for “Missing Stiffness” Vehicle Impact Analysis – Jerry Ogden, PE (NAFE 561F)
3:30 Forensic Engineering Analysis of Vehicle Suspension Design and Related Tire Damage – John Marcosky, PE (NAFE 205F)
4:00 Forensic Engineering Analysis of a Design-Build Bridge Replacement - Paul Swanson, PE (NAFE 653M)
4:30 Reports of Round Table Discussions and Colloquium on Forensic Engineering Practices - President Ross Curtis, PE
Sunday, January 11, 2015 – Special Seminar
7:30 Round Table Discussion (includes breakfast)
8:15 Opening Remarks and Introductions: Ross Curtis, PE - NAFE President
8:30 Ethics for Engineers: Art Schwartz, Esq.- Ross Curtis, PE - Sam Sudler, PE
10:15 Rules and Laws affecting Forensic Engineering Practice: Bill Bracken, PE
1:30 "Daubert-Proofing your Reports and Testimony" - Attorney Rebecca Levy-Sachs
2:30 "Definition of a Defect - Reasonably Safe vs. Unreasonably Dangerous"
Plaintiff and Defense experts will summarize their arguments in several defect case examples.John Branch, PE - Smith Reed, PE - Tom Cocchiola, PE
3:30 Guest attorney Rebecca Levy-Sachs will cross-examine the experts using the defect case examples discussed above.
4:30 Panel Discussion - All Speakers - Q&A
Register for the Meeting
About the Special Seminar Speakers:
Arthur Schwartz, Esq., CAE
Arthur Schwartz is the deputy executive director and general counsel of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). Schwartz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1977) and a Juris Doctor degree from the American University/Washington College of Law (1980). Schwartz is a member of the American Bar Association, as well as the District of Columbia, Florida, and Virginia Bar Associations. He is also an honorary member of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers and a Certified Association Executive (CAE).
Schwartz writes both an ethics column and a legal column in NSPE's monthly publication, PE magazine, and a professional practice column for Structural Engineer magazine. He has written extensively for various professional journals on matters involving ethics, professional liability, contracts, and engineering licensing and has participated as a guest lecturer at many colleges and universities, federal and state agencies, and national professional association conventions.
Schwartz has authored more than 400 published ethics decisions and has written dozens of articles and papers addressing such topics as the protection of the public health and safety, conflicts of interest, duty of confidentiality, professional competency, liability, risk management, contracts, insurance, and other professional practice issues.
E. Ross Curtis, PE
Mr. Curtis has a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and a MS in Management from the U. S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He is a Registered Civil Engineer in California and Nevada and a Registered Professional Engineer in seven other jurisdictions.
Curtis served 20 years in the U. S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps, followed by 12 years as a civil engineer in several national and local engineering consulting companies. Has been practicing as an independent forensic civil engineer since 1997.
He is the current president of NAFE, has served as secretary and treasurer for the Academy, as well as the three vice president positions in preparation for his term as president.
Samuel Sudler, PE
Mr. Sudler received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) in over 35 states. In addition, he is an International Registry Member of Professional Engineers (IntPE) in the disciplines of Electrical Engineering and the specialty practice areas of Forensic Engineering Studies of the United States Council of International Engineering Practice (USCIEP). He is the former Chairman of the National Society of Professional Engineers Board of Ethics Review (BER), and after serving two-terms is now the Northeast Representative on the BER.
William Bracken, PE
Mr. Bracken is President & Principal Engineer of Bracken Engineering, Chairman of the Florida Board of Professional Engineers, and Master Instructor for the International Code Council.
His career has centered on the practice of structural engineering while specializing on its application in the fields of Codes, Fire Rescue and Standards of Care. His practice has encompassed design, analysis, research, publishing, instruction and forensics.
Mr. Bracken has published and routinely presents on topics of forensic engineering, structural rehabilitation and innovative use of current technology. In addition, he works closely with the University of South Florida and serves both at a state and federal level as an Urban Search & Rescue Structural Specialist.
Mr. Bracken is a recognized Fellow within the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) and the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI). He has also been recognized by local organizations, the State of Florida’s Fire Chiefs Association and FEMA for his efforts.
Rebecca Levy-Sachs, Esq.
Attorney Rebecca Levy-Sachs has been a member of the New Jersey State and Federal Bar for 36 years and the Florida Bar for 12 years. She is Senior Counsel at Traub Lieberman, Straus & Shrewsberry, LLP. and was previously Managing Attorney for the Florida Office of Robinson & Cole, LLP, and a Partner at Podvey Sachs Meaner & Catenacci in Newark, N.J. She has litigated all types of claims and coverage issues and has made and defended numerous Daubert challenges of engineers, scientists, economists, and other professionals. She is a frequent presenter at bar and industry meetings and has made over 60 written and spoken presentations to the property insurance industry over the past 18 years.
She has presented CLE and CE lectures with respect to Daubert challenges on a number of occasions. She served as a National Board Member of DRI (Defense Research Institute) from 2001-2003, and received a DRI Leadership Award in 2001. She is member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and received the John Appleman Award as Outstanding Section Chair in 2010. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Florida Super Lawyer, and named as Top Lawyer in Sarasota, Manatee and Tampa Bay.
John Branch, PE
Mr. Branch has over 34 years of experience in several industries including ethanol, aerospace, and nuclear power. He has held positions in plant operations, regulatory compliance, maintenance, project management, design, and safety/risk assessment. He has been involved in safety for most of his professional career and has performed safety assessment and human factors analysis for jet aircraft and nuclear power plants including, most recently, the internal events and fire risk assessment for a 4000 Mw three unit nuclear power plant. Mr. Branch is also a multi-engine instrumented rated pilot, a former certified police officer, and a former certified fire fighter.
E. Smith Reed, PE
Smith Reed is a University of Arkansas graduate (BSME) with some 25 years of experience as an engineer in industry. He is licensed in five states as an Engineer, a Mechanical Engineer, an Industrial Engineer, and as a Production Engineer. He offers assistances in cases involving the design, test, manufacture, quality assurance, sales, service, operation and maintenance of (and patent disputes involving) machines, including outdoor power and lawn & garden equipment, wheeled off-road vehicles, agricultural equipment, and manufacturing / production machinery.
He has testified 145 times (41 times in Federal Courts) in 24 different states. He is also the recipient of four U.S. patents.
Thomas J. Cocchiola, PE
Thomas J. Cocchiola, PE, CSP has provided consulting engineering services to insurance companies, attorneys and private industry clients since 1987. He has consulted on more than 2000 assignments requiring evaluations of engineering/design issues, assessments of equipment maintenance/repairs, and determinations of compliance with applicable safety codes and standards.
Mr. Cocchiola has testified in over 100 cases in both state and federal court venues and has also been deposed over 200 times.
Mr. Cocchiola graduated from Villanova University with a BEME and has almost 45 years of practical engineering experience, including 25 years as a forensic engineering consultant.
Session Organizer: Michael D. Leshner, PE - NAFE Education Committee Chair