Canadian Underwriter

ASM International & 30 Forensic Engineering host Steel Image Workshop on Decoding Metallurgical Failure

September 21, 2017   by -30- Forensic Engineering

30 Forensic Engineering, Canada’s leading and fully-independent multi-disciplinary forensics firm, was pleased to host the ASM International (Ontario Chapter) workshop to metallurgical failure analysis and fractography. Officially named: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS – DECODING FAILURES, the workshop was fully developed by Steel Image.

The aim of the workshop was to promote knowledge transfer within the product failure industry and discuss the frequently used and widely accepted metallurgical techniques available to diagnose product failure. Metallurgical failure analysis is a means for diagnosing product design issues, production issues, and understanding service failures by providing details of product failures that would otherwise be unavailable to the naked eye. The microscopic fracture features left behind on the product after failure become evidence of the final few seconds of the product’s service. Understanding how to read and interpret these distinct features allows those with metallurgical failure analysis experience correctly diagnose failure mechanisms and prevent future failure.

Participants of this workshop experienced:
– Tools and concepts applied during lab-based failure analysis
– Use of stereo microscopes in a hands-on fracture recognition
– Introduced to ‘fractography’ using fractured parts and explain its role in failure analysis

The 30 Forensic Engineering Materials & Product Failure / Piping & HVAC team:

Robert Sparling B.Eng.Mgt., P.Eng. is a Senior Forensic Materials Engineer, with 20 years of industry experience. For the past 7 years, Rob has acted as the Principal of the Materials Failure analysis group at 30 Forensic Engineering. Rob possesses over 12 years of failure analysis and related work experience in the Aerospace industry. He has specialized experience in the causes of failure of a wide variety of consumer and industrial products.   He also investigates personal injuries associated with a wide variety products including power tools, amusement rides, scaffolding, lifts, doors, glass bottles/cups, hoisting equipment, and many other products.

Paul Okrutny B.Eng. & Soc., M.Sc., P.Eng. is a materials/mechanical expert at 30 Forensic Engineering, who specializes in the assessment of metallurgical and mechanical failures. During his tenure at 30, Paul has investigated over 400 failures dealing with building mechanical systems (plumbing, HVAC, fuel oil supply and fire protection). Other projects have included material defects and material characterization. Paul has been published in international scientific journals, taught undergraduate courses in material engineering and has presented his research and forensic results at provincial, national and international meetings. Paul volunteers his time to committees that help upgrade engineering codes and regulations and uses his forensic engineering findings to prevent future failure.  Paul serves as the chair of the Ontario Chapter of the American Society of Materials, which is an internationally recognized center of Materials Engineering. Paul has been involved with ASM Ontario for numerous years.

Mehdi Taheri Ph.D., P.Eng. is a Materials Failure specialist at 30 Forensic Engineering. During his time at 30, Mehdi has investigated claims involving industrial equipment, automotive components, plumbing, product failures, cases involving the characterization of materials, and work related claims. In his previous roles, Mehdi has accomplished numerous failure analysis investigations involving automotive parts, piping, high temperature components, and turbine blades as well as provided engineering recommendations to prevent failures in oil and gas, power generation, pulp and paper, and automotive industries.

Ben Desclouds B.Eng.Mgt., P.Eng. is an Associate in the Materials Failure Group at 30 Forensic Engineering. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering and Management, Materials Engineering, from McMaster University. Ben specializes in analysis of the structure, properties, mechanics and production of materials, as well as project management. He has participated in a diversity of investigations during his time at 30, including product and glass failures, cases involving residential and commercial sprinkler and plumbing systems, and the characterization and/or identification of materials. Ben is licensed as a Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario.

About Steel Image

Steel Image provides metallurgical analysis to solve problems experienced by the manufacturing, oil, mining and energy industries. We provide the fastest metallurgical laboratory services in North America, world-class expertise and focus on finding solutions.

About ASM International (Ontario Chapter)

ASM International is the preeminent association for engaging and connecting materials professionals and their organizations to the resources necessary to solve problems, improve outcomes, and advance society. As the world’s largest and most established materials information society, ASM engages and connects you to a global network of peers and provides access to trusted materials information through reference content and data, education courses, international events, and research

About 30 Forensic Engineering

30 Forensic Engineering (, based in Toronto, has been serving the insurance and legal industries for 15 years and is one of Canada’s largest and most respected multi-disciplinary forensic firms. Our core team of 55 professional investigators is enhanced through relationships with some of the top scientists, standard-makers and specialized consultants in North America.

We provide world-class engineering and consulting expertise in:

Civil/Structural Failure
Building and Fire Code
Geotechnical and Mining
Construction Claims
Biomechanics Personal Injury & Human Factors
Collision Reconstruction
Transportation Safety
Renewable Energy
Environmental Health & Safety
Multi-disciplinary Remediation
Materials & Product Failure / Piping & HVAC
Fire / Electrical & Explosion investigations

For further information, please contact:

Paul Aquino, Director, Marketing

For confidential inquiries on becoming a member of the -30- Forensic Engineering team, please contact:

Mathew Elliott, Manager, Talent Acquisition

Welcome to -30- The last word in forensic engineering.

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