© 2019 by Beacon Scientific, LLC

Industries

Accident Reconstruction

Beacon Scientific can perform crash investigations that involve any combination of pedestrians, motorcycles, automobiles, and heavy trucks.  Investigations, which often involve personal injury in addition to property damage, often consider such aspects as physical damage characteristics, skid marks, stored event recorder data, sight lines and traffic patterns all in conjunction with human reaction times and expected actions.  A Beacon Scientific investigation will enable you to determine the factors which contributed to the accident and how they relate to your interested party. 

Aerial Work Platforms

Working from height is an inherently dangerous activity.  Operators may be injured by falling from the lift, from equipment tip overs, and from inadvertent movement into obstacles.  Beacon Scientific can aid you in determining if an accident was related to equipment malfunction (maintenance or design), operator error, and/or improper training.  Beacon Scientific engineers are certified by IPAF to operate aerial work platforms, providing us a unique perspective on both the mechanical design and requirements of the equipment as well as the expected behavior of employers and operators.

Aviation and Aircraft

Beacon Scientific engineers are experienced in the unique aspects of physics and engineering as they are applied to aircraft and helicopters.  Mr. Saunders was employed at the Patuxent Naval Air Station prior to becoming a full-time expert witness and is now a licensed private pilot.  Dr. Kiddy received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on detecting damage to helicopter rotors.  These experiences allow us to understand not only the specific mechanical/structural aspects of aircraft structures but how they relate to the entire aircraft's performance.  

Construction

Improper construction and construction defects can lead to large claims as home and commercial property owners attempt to recover repair and remediation expenses from those who performed the work, often a messy network of contractors and sub-contractors.  Beacon Scientific has the knowledge to evaluate work performed against the approved plans, the applicable building codes and standards, and industry standards. Based on this information, Beacon Scientific can provide guidance as to the nature/cause of the defects, if any, and the necessary remediation measures.

Consumer Products and Appliances

Consumer products encompasses a wide range of products from household goods to tools.  In all cases, the public has an expectation that the products have been designed and manufactured to operate in a reasonably safe manner, and the product manufacturers/designers have a responsibility to provide safe products including for expected misuse.  When consumer product injuries occur, it is important to understand the intended use of the product, the design functionality, the applicable standards, and to evaluate those against the specifics of a given incident.  Our engineers have extensive experience in analyzing this type of matter and can assist you in determining the cause of an accident.

Energy

Beacon Scientific has the background and knowledge to assist you in matters involving all forms of energy development.  For fossil fuels this includes oil and gas extraction, transportation/pipelines, and storage.  Renewable technologies include wind turbines, solar installations, and geothermal.  The nature of this industry leads to large multi-disciplinary engineering challenges with a multitude of hazards for which Beacon Scientific's broad background experience is well suited to support.  Whether it is a fossil fuel fire, an explosive pressure release event, or a structural failure, Beacon Scientific has the experience to help.

Exercise / Sports Equipment

Most sports and exercise activities involve people and objects moving at high speeds and/or with high force while pushing our bodies to the limit.  When these activities result in injuries, one must look at the equipment being used to determine if it performed as expected and required.  Using physics and engineering principles, Beacon Scientific can analyze the specific details related to an accident to determine the role of the equipment and any bearing it may have had on the cause of the incident.  

Farm Machinery

Modern farm and agriculture activities often involve the use of heavy equipment which inherently leads to the potential for accidents.  Among others, accidents may be due to equipment malfunction (design and maintenance), operator error/training, and the environmental conditions.  Regardless of the source, it is important to analyze all of the available information to fully understand the nature and cause of an incident.  Beacon Scientific has the skills and experience to evaluate the site, the subject equipment, and to help you determine the root cause of a given incident.  

Fuel Gas Appliances

Beacon Scientific is highly experienced in investigating fires, explosions, and other accidents which involve fuel gas.  From small portable appliances to large structures and vehicles, Beacon Scientific has the experience to help determine the role of the fuel gas in the incident.  Beacon Scientific engineers are CFEI-certified fire investigators enabling us to provide both origin and cause and engineering analysis, saving you duplication of expert fees.  We have the capability to test gas distribution systems to search for potential leaks, the knowledge to determine the root cause of any leaks, and the experience to determine its role, if any, in the fire/explosion.  

Heavy Equipment

The use of heavy equipment, whether at construction sites, production facilities, or a myriad of other applications, poses many potential hazards due to their large size, weight, strength and often limited visibility/high noise leading to reduced situational awareness.   Beacon Scientific has investigated many incidents involving all types of heavy equipment.  We are familiar with the applicable standards for both design and operation of this equipment.  Let us assist you in determining the role of the equipment, the operator, and nearby personnel when examining an accident involving heavy equipment.

High Pressure Equipment

High pressure gas and liquids are inherently dangerous which can lead to explosive discharges, projectile motion, fires and other hazards.  Proper care must be taken in the design, manufacturing, certification, testing, and maintenance of these systems to avoid catastrophic injuries and potential loss of life.  Adherence to the applicable codes and standards, such as the ASME Boiler Pressure Vessel Code, are fundamental to safe operation of pressure vessels.  Beacon Scientific's engineers are experienced in designing, analyzing, and testing high pressure systems.  In-house test capabilities of evidence and exemplars include hydraulic testing up to 10,000 psi. 

Hunting Equipment

Hunting is an activity with myriad potential hazards from inadvertent weapon discharges to falling from height.  Beacon Scientific has been investigating and analyzing hunting equipment related accidents for over 15 years.  Beacon Scientific engineers understand the industry, the typical training and actions of hunters, and most importantly the engineering principles behind such diverse equipment as tree stands, archery bows, and crossbows.  Beacon Scientific engineers are recognized as among the leading experts in the industry.  

HVAC

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning equipment serves a critical role in today's society.  When these systems fail, catastrophic events such as fires or frozen water pipes often ensue.  Beacon Scientific has the expertise and engineering experience to evaluate an event and to help determine the root cause.   If an HVAC system is determined to have played a role in the incident, Beacon Scientific can help you evaluate how the design, manufacturing, or maintenance might have played a role in the failure.

Industrial Machinery

Everyday workers in industrial facilities can be exposed to a range of hazards.  Analyzing a specific incident requires an understanding of the equipment design, knowledge of the applicable codes and industry standards, an examination of the worker's training along with the plant operating procedures, maintenance schedules, human factors, and other considerations.  Beacon Scientific has investigated many industrial accidents to assist our clients understand what factors led to an incident and to ultimately understand the root cause(s) of the incident.  

Intellectual Property

Understanding the nuances of intellectual property disputes is crucial to achieving a successful result for your client.  Beacon Scientific engineers understand the unique aspects of these disputes with considerations such as prior art, novelty, public disclosure, and obviousness.  Within the industries we serve, we can help you and your client navigate the technical aspects of intellectual property disputes such as Inter Parte Reviews and patent lawsuits.  
 

Manufacturing / Quality Control

Proper quality control during manufacturing is critical to ensure that products are built to the specifications provided by their design.  Beacon Scientific has engineers experienced in all levels of manufacturing quality control/quality assurance including certifications (e.g. ISO), documentation, procedures, and techniques.  Beacon Scientific can help you determine if a company's quality control systems are adequate for the product being manufactured, and whether a deficiency in those controls led to a product defect.

Maritime Vessels and Equipment

Understanding the unique requirements, design aspects, and even the terminology makes maritime engineering a challenging field that encompasses many disciplines.  Beacon Scientific engineers have years of practical, first-hand experience on the water sailing, operating, and building boats.  Whether it is related to the structure, the propulsion, the systems, or the operation, Beacon Scientific can assist in helping you analyze incident which involve maritime/Naval vessels and equipment.  

Oil and Gas Extraction

The extraction of oil and gas poses a multitude of hazards to rig personnel including being struck by objects, slips/trips/falls, high-pressure systems, hydrogen sulfide exposure, and others.  While most operators and service companies strive for zero accidents, they are nonetheless all too common resulting in injury, loss of life, or significant financial loss.  Beacon Scientific has direct experience in this industry and understands drilling and production operations.  Beacon Scientific can help you understand your particular incident and the role played by the various parties and equipment.​

Plumbing and Piping Systems

Damages due to water loss are often quite significant with remediation efforts often impacting far from the original source of the leak.  However, determining the precise cause of the water loss is often not straight-forward and requires engineering support.  Failure of equipment, improper installation, lack of maintenance, and facility operations are just a few of the considerations.  Beacon Scientific engineers have investigated dozens of water loss matters, are familiar with the industry and technologies, understand the applicable codes, and can help you determine the root cause of a loss.   

Property Management

Owning and/or maintaining property, especially that which is open to the general public, requires adherence to certain standards such as the American Disability Act (ADA) and the applicable building codes.  When evaluating an incident that occurs on a premise, such as slips, trips, and falls, the engineer must look at all of the available facts.  Does the structure meet the applicable code for the time it was built/renovated?  Was the injured party notified of the hazard?  What are the physics behind the incident?  Beacon Scientific has years of experience analyzing premise liability issues and assisting our clients in determining the relevant facts of the matter.

Sensor / Transducer Performance and Testing

Sensors are often used to control processes and provide direct measurement readings which can be critical to ensuring proper system operation as well as protecting personnel and facilities.  Sensor failures, through either the lack of information or misinformation, can lead to unexpected system performance or improper operator actions often with catastrophic issues.  Beacon Scientific can assist be analyzing the measurements being taken, the transducer design, maintenance, and subsequent performance to help understand the root cause of an incident.

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