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PRIVATE ENGINEERING PRACTICE

ENGINEERS IN PRIVATE PRACTICE

 

Would your engineer (of any discipline) like to have his own private engineering practice within six (6) years of graduation – A practice that will support him or her and a family in an interesting exciting and lucrative career?

WHAT IS AN ENGINEER?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an engineer as “a person who has scientific training and who designs and builds complicated products, machines, systems, or structures.” This is what a consulting engineer in private engineering practice does.

CONSIDER CAREER OPTIONS

At the high school level, students should consider career options. Don’t choose a career just because it “sounds like fun.” Make sure that it will be lucrative enough to support you and a family, will not restrict where you can live, and will not require odd hours or excessive travel.

I have a friend whose daughter became a Marine Biologist and later found out that it qualified her to “shovel seal poop.” Those who are strong in science and mathematics should consider engineering.

“SHADOWING”

However, before spending four years of your life and your parents’ hard earned money, you should be reasonably sure that engineering is for you. I recommend “shadowing” an engineer of the discipline that interests you. If you don’t know an engineer, use the internet. Try structural engineers (for example) or professional engineers. Make a phone call, and explain that you are a high school student interested in becoming an engineer and would like to speak to an engineer. Explain to the engineer that you would like to come to his/her office and observe a typical day. Very few engineers would turn down that kind of a request, and it might turn into a summer internship or a job after graduation. If you are unsure of your discipline of choice, call engineers of various specialties to try and gain an understanding of what their job entails. Spending time with several engineers would broaden your perceptive.

 

MY START

I am an electrical engineer. I started my own private engineering practice on my 29th birthday and we grew from a one man shop to the largest electrical engineering firm in Rhode Island. Your engineer (of any discipline) can have his own private practice within six (6) years of graduation.

Most Colleges of Engineering never mention the words “Consulting Engineering” or even the words “Systems for Buildings”. They are too busy talking about research or other fields where engineers will never be their own boss.

WHAT IS A CONSULTING ENGINEER?

“Consulting engineers are individuals who, because of training in one or more engineering specialties, are licensed professional engineers in private practice. They serve private and public clients in ways ranging from brief consultations to complete design and coordination of projects. They are often the technical liaison between architects, process specialists, contractors, suppliers and the client. A consulting engineer can provide general consultation, feasibility reports, design, cost estimates, rate studies, project development, patent assistance, and preparation of environmental impact statements.

PROJECTS

Architects (and building owners i.e. hospitals) hire engineers to draw system plans and write specifications for their buildings, including electrical, mechanical (heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and plumbing), fire protection (sprinklers), structural, and civil. Sometimes, very narrow specialties are required, such as acoustical engineers.

PROJECT PHASES

Drawing & Specifications Phase

The consulting engineer is responsible for designing within the architect’s budget limitations and coordinating with utility companies and inspection authorities.

Specifications Phase

At the end of the design phase, the consultant prepares a specification document detailing the material requirements for his specialty and system functions.

Bidding Phase

During bidding, he attends pre-bid meetings, clarifies issues, and prepares addenda for the architect to issue to inform bidders of changes in the requirements.

Shop Drawing Phase

After a contract is awarded, the consultant reviews/approves shop drawings, detailing all equipment that his trade contractor proposes.

Construction Phase

During the construction phase, he visits the job site to record progress and clarify the contract documents. At the completion of the construction phase, he prepares a punch list detailing corrections to the work, if needed.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

How would you like to be responsible for guiding your engineer to his or her own private engineering practice that will support them and their family for an interesting, exciting, and lucrative career?

I have written three consulting engineering books to share my knowledge with the next generation of engineers:

My first book is: The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. In essence, his readers discover “step-by-step” how to start & manage an “outstanding” Engineering Practice and exactly how to gain a reputation as an expert in their specialty. This is both a handbook for new engineers and a constant reference manual for seasoned professionals.

My second book is: The “Outline Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. It is a condensed and abridged summery of the detailed advice provided in the “Complete Guide”. It is intended for engineers looking for just the facts; without the stories and background. It is intended to be like the “Cliff’s Notes” version of the Complete Guide.

My third book is The CONSULTING ENGINEER’S “Guidebook” and is an excerpted and extended version of the “Complete Guide”. It is the result of requests from many readers to narrow the focus to the goals of:

  • Becoming an “outstanding” consulting engineer.
  • Gaining a reputation as an “expert” in their specialty; and
  • Obtaining the engineering “management skills” needed to advance their career and make the firm stand out from their competitors.

All my books are available at AMAZON.COM

Go to my website: TheEngineersResource.com, If you chose the “Engineers Gift Package” you can get all three books at a discount. Use coupon code “paperback” and save.

What are you waiting for?

Excerpted

Excerpted from ‘The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING’  © by John D. Gaskell, Retired Professional Engineer. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Consulting Engineering” tip, upon condition that this message remains.

Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com for additional tips.

 

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ASTOUNDING GRADUATION GIFT FOR ENGINEERS

Engineering Gifts, Gift Ideas for Engineers, Engineer Gift Ideas, Awesome Gifts for Engineers, Gift Engineering Practice, Graduation Gifts for engineers, Gifts for Engineers, Top gifts for Engineers, Gifts for graduating Engineers, Gift ideas for Engineering students, 3 Best Gifts for Engineers

ASTOUNDING GRADUATION GIFT FOR ENGINEERS

YOUR OWN ENGINEERING PRACTICE WITHIN 6 YEARS OF GRADUATION

Surprisingly this is a realistic goal. Find out the step-by-step roadmap at TheEngineersResource.com. When I graduated with a BS in engineering, I was a no-body. I had no connections and had never seen the inside of a country club. But, I was savvy enough to know that I needed to make contacts and get known. I had my own full time private practice in less than 5 years.

The secrets are revealed in the new book The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING by John D. Gaskell, Retired Professional Engineer. Go to TheEngineersResource.com to learn more about consulting engineering and to download a free chapter.

The ideal gift for engineers of all disciplines is The “Deluxe” Gift Package which is all three of my books in Hard Cover (Casewraped) or The “Standard” Gift Package in Paperback. Would you like to be responsible for providing an engineering practice for your engineer that will support him/her and their family for their entire career? What are you waiting for?

Learn the answers to your most compelling questions about consulting engineering:

  • Is it the right career choice for you? Consider what this fascinating profession entails and how it will change your life.
  • Do you want to have your own engineering firm? If so, you will learn the step-by-step procedures to make it happen.
  • Would you like to be able to predict your first year’s income and expenses? You will discover how to prepare a Business Plan.
  • Do you know how to calculate the best fee quote for each project? Learn the “insider” secrets to winning quotes that will make your projects profitable.
  • Do you want to become known in the engineering community and develop an impressive list of contacts, achievements, and awards? Learn how easy it is and how you can do it.
  • Do you want to be considered an “expert” in your specialty? If so, learn how to become a published author and how gratifying it can be to see your words in print.
  • Do you want to be part of an exceptional engineering practice? If so, you will learn how to make, both you and your firm, “outstanding.”
  • Would you like to more than “double” your firm’s selection rate for projects? Learn how to prepare the best marketing materials and implement effective marketing methods.
  • Would you like to add a “specialty” that allows you to charge one and one-half to two times your normal hourly rate. If so, consider the profitable and fascinating field of “forensic engineering.”

Most Colleges of Engineering never mention the words “Consulting Engineering” or even the words “Systems for Buildings”. They are too busy talking about research or other fields where engineers will never be their own boss.

My name is Jack Gaskell. I am a retired Professional Engineer and operated my own consulting engineering practice for over 35 years.

I have written three consulting engineering books to share my knowledge with the next generation of engineers:

My first book is: The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. In essence, his readers discover “step-by-step” how to start & manage an “outstanding” Engineering Practice and exactly how to gain a reputation as an expert in their specialty. This is both a handbook for new engineers and a constant reference manual for seasoned professionals.

My second book is: The “Outline Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. It is a condensed and abridged summery of the detailed advice provided in the “Complete Guide”. It is intended for engineers looking for just the facts; without the stories and background. It is intended to be like the “Cliff’s Notes” version of the Complete Guide.

My third book is The CONSULTING ENGINEER’S “Guidebook” and is an excerpted and extended version of the “Complete Guide”. It is the result of requests from many readers to narrow the focus to the goals of:

  • Becoming an “outstanding” consulting engineer.
  • Gaining a reputation as an “expert” in their specialty; and
  • Obtaining the engineering “management skills” needed to advance their career and make the firm stand out from their competitors.

 

All my books are available at AMAZON.COM

Both the paperback & hardback (Case Laminated) versions are available from my website: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com/shop

The ideal gift for engineers of all disciplines is “The Gift Package” it is all three of my engineering books. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

 

YouTube videos:

To see my YouTube video: BEST GRADUATION GIFT FOR ENGINEERS: go to: https://youtu.be/pwiZok8NRz0

To see my YouTube video: Becoming a CONSULTING ENGINEER Go to:

https://youtu.be/XJ_QompPLXQ

To see my YouTube video: FORENSIC ENGINEER’S TRIAL PREPERATION Go to: https://youtu.be/OUCWnMqTS0Q

To see my YouTube video: YOUR OWN ENGINEERING PRACTICE Go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTPrwT2hZig

To see my YouTube video: GIFTS FOR ENGINEERS go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy8RrRt-FrM&feature=youtu.be

Related topics include:

How to Prepare for a Job Interview:

https://www.experisjobs.us/exp_us/en/career-advice/20-tips-job-interviews.htm

How to easily and quickly get the interviews that you want:

https://www.theengineersresource.com/your-job-interview/

Making a career choice: https://www.theengineersresource.com/making-a-career-choice/

Contacts & Mailing Lists: https://www.theengineersresource.com/contacts-mailing-lists/

How to become known, build a reputation and make useful contacts:

https://www.theengineersresource.com/your-job-interview/

Become Exceptional: https://www.theengineersresource.com/become-exceptional/

Making a Career Choice: https://www.theengineersresource.com/making-a-career-choice/

“White Papers” – Help You Learn:

https://www.theengineersresource.com/white-papers-help-learn/

Publish Magazine Articles: https://www.theengineersresource.com/white-papers-help-learn/

Excerpted

Excerpted from ‘The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING’  © by John D. Gaskell, Retired Professional Engineer. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Consulting Engineering” tip, upon condition that this message remains.

Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com for additional tips.

######

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BEST GRADUATION GIFT – ENGINEERS

Gifts for ENGINEERS

I am an electrical engineer. I started my own consulting engineering practice on my 29th birthday and we grew from a one man shop to the largest electrical engineering firm in Rhode Island. Your engineer (of any discipline) can have his own private practice within six (6) years of graduation with his/her determination and your advice. Hear is how you can provide the best gift for engineers.

GIFT AN ENGINEERING PRACTICE

If your graduate is an engineer, “Gift” him or her their own private consulting engineering practice that will support them and their family for an interesting, exciting and lucrative career. It is truly the best graduation gift for engineers.

WHAT IS A CONSULTING ENGINEER?

“Consulting engineers are individuals who, because of training in one or more engineering specialties, are licensed professional engineers in private practice. They serve private and public clients in ways ranging from brief consultations to complete design and coordination of projects. They are often the technical liaison between architects, process specialists, contractors, suppliers and the client. A consulting engineer can provide general consultation, feasibility reports, design, cost estimates, rate studies, project development, patent assistance, and preparation of environmental impact statements.

TYPICAL PROJECT HAVE – 5 – PHASES

Drawing & Specifications Phase

Architects (and building owners i.e. hospitals) hire engineers to draw system plans and write specifications for their buildings, including electrical, mechanical (heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and plumbing), fire protection (sprinklers), structural, and civil. Sometimes, very narrow specialties are required, such as acoustical engineers.

The consulting engineer is responsible for designing within the architect’s budget limitations and coordinating with utility companies and inspection authorities.

Specifications Phase

At the end of the design phase, the consultant prepares a specification document detailing the material requirements for his specialty and system functions.

Bidding Phase

During bidding, he attends pre-bid meetings, clarifies issues, and prepares addenda for the architect to issue to inform bidders of changes in the requirements.

Shop Drawing Phase

After a contract is awarded, the consultant reviews/approves shop drawings, detailing all equipment that his trade contractor proposes.

Construction Phase

During the construction phase, he visits the job site to record progress and clarify the contract documents. At the completion of the construction phase, he prepares a punch list detailing corrections to the work, if needed.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Most Colleges of Engineering never mention the words “Consulting Engineering” or even the words “Systems for Buildings”. They are too busy talking about research or other fields where engineers will never be their own boss.

I have written three consulting engineering books to share my knowledge with the next generation of engineers:

My first book is: The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. In essence, his readers discover “step-by-step” how to start & manage an “outstanding” Engineering Practice and exactly how to gain a reputation as an expert in their specialty. This is both a handbook for new engineers and a constant reference manual for seasoned professionals.

My second book is: The “Outline Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. It is a condensed and abridged summery of the detailed advice provided in the “Complete Guide”. It is intended for engineers looking for just the facts; without the stories and background. It is intended to be like the “Cliff’s Notes” version of the Complete Guide.

My third book is The CONSULTING ENGINEER’S “Guidebook” and is an excerpted and extended version of the “Complete Guide”. It is the result of requests from many readers to narrow the focus to the goals of:

  • Becoming an “outstanding” consulting engineer.
  • Gaining a reputation as an “expert” in their specialty; and
  • Obtaining the engineering “management skills” needed to advance their career and make the firm stand out from their competitors.

All my books are available at AMAZON.COM

Go to my website: TheEngineersResource.com, If you chose the “Engineers Gift Package” you can get all three books at a discount. Use coupon code “paperback” and save.

What are you waiting for?

Excerpted

Excerpted from ‘The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING’  © by John D. Gaskell, Retired Professional Engineer. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Consulting Engineering” tip, upon condition that this message remains.

Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com for additional tips.

 

 

Posted on

Gifts for ENGINEERS

Gifts for ENGINEERS

John D. Gaskell, Retired Professional Engineer, has authored three new books:

Jack’s first book is: The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. In essence, his readers discover “step-by-step” how to start & manage an “outstanding” Engineering Practice and exactly how to gain a reputation as an expert in their specialty. This is both a handbook for new engineers and a constant reference manual for seasoned professionals.

His second book is: The “Outline Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. It is a condensed and abridged summery of the detailed advice provided in the “Complete Guide”. It is intended for engineers looking for just the facts; without the stories and background. It is intended to be like the “Cliff’s Notes” version of the Complete Guide.

Jack’s third book is The CONSULTING ENGINEER’S “Guidebook” and is an excerpted and extended version of the “Complete Guide”. It is the result of requests from many readers to narrow the focus to the goals of:

  • Becoming an “outstanding” consulting engineer.
  • Gaining a reputation as an “expert” in their specialty; and
  • Obtaining the engineering “management skills” needed to advance their career and make the firm stand out from their competitors.

Go to Jack’s website: TheEngineersResource.com, use coupon code “paperback” and save.

In each of these books, learn the answers to your most compelling questions about consulting engineering:

 

  • Is it the right career choice for you? Consider what this fascinating profession entails and how it will change your life.
  • Do you know how to calculate the best fee quote for each project? Learn the “insider” secrets to winning quotes that will make your projects profitable.
  • Do you want to become known in the engineering community and develop an impressive list of contacts, achievements, and awards? Learn how easy it is and how you can do it.
  • Do you want to be considered an “expert” in your specialty? If so, learn how to become a published author and how gratifying it can be to see your words in print.
  • Do you want to be part of an exceptional engineering practice? If so, you will learn how to make, both you and your firm, “outstanding.”
  • Would you like to more than “double” your firm’s selection rate for projects? Learn how to prepare the best marketing materials and implement effective marketing methods.
  • Would you like to add a “specialty” that allows you to charge one and one-half to two times your normal hourly rate? If so, consider the profitable and fascinating field of “forensic engineering.”

These books are available on Amazon.com

However, if you go to Jack’s website: TheEngineersResource.com, use coupon code “paperback” and save. Both paperback & hardcover versions are available as well as gift packages. Also, avail yourself of free chapters and free downloads, as well as other useful information and advice for Consulting Engineers.

The “Standard Gift Package” is available at: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com/shop

I have written three consulting engineering book: ‘The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING’; The CONSULTING ENGINEER’S “Guidebook”; The “Outline Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING. They are presently on sale on Amazon. Both the paperback & hardback (Case Laminated) versions are available from my website: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com/shop

To see my YouTube video: YOUR OWN ENGINEERING PRACTICE Go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTPrwT2hZig

Related topics include:

How to Prepare for a Job Interview https://www.experisjobs.us/exp_us/en/career-advice/20-tips-job-interviews.htm

How to easily and quickly get the interviews that you want.

https://www.theengineersresource.com/your-job-interview/

Making a career choice: https://www.theengineersresource.com/making-a-career-choice/

Contacts & Mailing Lists: https://www.theengineersresource.com/contacts-mailing-lists/

How to become known, build a reputation and make useful contacts.

https://www.theengineersresource.com/your-job-interview/

Become Exceptional: https://www.theengineersresource.com/become-exceptional/

Making a Career Choice: https://www.theengineersresource.com/making-a-career-choice/

“White Papers” – Help You Learn: https://www.theengineersresource.com/white-papers-help-learn/

Publish Magazine Articles: https://www.theengineersresource.com/white-papers-help-learn/

Excerpted

Excerpted from ‘The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING’  © by John D. Gaskell, Retired Professional Engineer. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted to copy and distribute this “Consulting Engineering” tip, upon condition that this message remains.

Visit: https://www.TheEngineersResource.com for additional tips.

 

 

Posted on

YOUR OWN ENGINEERING PRACTICE

Engineering Gifts, Gift Ideas for Engineers, Engineer Gift Ideas, Awesome Gifts for Engineers, Gift Engineering Practice, Graduation Gifts for engineers, Gifts for Engineers, Top gifts for Engineers, Gifts for graduating Engineers, Gift ideas for Engineering students, 3 Best Gifts for Engineers, Gifts for electrical engineers

YOUR OWN ENGINEERING PRACTICE WITHIN 6 YEARS OF GRADUATION

Surprisingly this is a realistic goal. Find out the step-by-step roadmap at TheEngineersResource.com. When I graduated with a BS in engineering, I was a no-body. I had no connections and had never seen the inside of a country club. But, I was savvy enough to know that I needed to make contacts and get known. I had my own full time private practice in less than 5 years.

The secrets are revealed in the new book The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING by John D. Gaskell, Retired Professional Engineer. Go to TheEngineersResource.com to learn more about consulting engineering and to download a free chapter.

The ideal gift for engineers of all disciplines is The “Deluxe” Gift Package which is all three of my books in Hard Cover (Casewraped) or The “Standard” Gift Package in Paperback. Would you like to be responsible for providing an engineering practice for your engineer that will support him/her and their family for their entire career? What are you waiting for?

Learn the answers to your most compelling questions about consulting engineering:

  • Is it the right career choice for you? Consider what this fascinating profession entails and how it will change your life.
  • Do you want to have your own engineering firm? If so, you will learn the step-by-step procedures to make it happen.
  • Would you like to be able to predict your first year’s income and expenses? You will discover how to prepare a Business Plan.
  • Do you know how to calculate the best fee quote for each project? Learn the “insider” secrets to winning quotes that will make your projects profitable.
  • Do you want to become known in the engineering community and develop an impressive list of contacts, achievements, and awards? Learn how easy it is and how you can do it.
  • Do you want to be considered an “expert” in your specialty? If so, learn how to become a published author and how gratifying it can be to see your words in print.
  • Do you want to be part of an exceptional engineering practice? If so, you will learn how to make, both you and your firm, “outstanding.”
  • Would you like to more than “double” your firm’s selection rate for projects? Learn how to prepare the best marketing materials and implement effective marketing methods.
  • Would you like to add a “specialty” that allows you to charge one and one-half to two times your normal hourly rate. If so, consider the profitable and fascinating field of “forensic engineering.”

Go to TheEngineersResource.com to learn more about consulting engineering and to download a free chapter.

Posted on

OWNING A FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE

https://www.theengineersresource.com/forensic-engineering-online-course/

OWNING A FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE

“Learn the pros and cons of owning a forensic engineering practice.”

By John D. Gaskell, Retired Consulting Engineer

Author of “The Complete Guide to FORENSIC ENGINEERING

Forensic engineering is defined by the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) as “the application of the art and science of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the jurisprudence system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution.” These engineers serve as consultants to the legal profession and as expert witnesses in courts of law.

OWNING A FORENSIC ENGINEERING PRACTICE

Advantages:

  • You have a much higher earning potential as an owner.
  • Pride of ownership.
  • Benefits of being the boss.
  • You get to make all the final decisions.
  • You can’t get laid-off.
  • You get to keep the profits.
  • You can pick and choose the most appealing cases to personally handle and assign the others to your staff.
  • You can pursue the most interesting/profitable cases.
  • You spend time socializing with clients and potential clients.
  • If you are successful and hire an able staff, you will have a valuable asset to sell when it comes time for your retirement.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Be prepared to make “Sacrifices” – Attorney/ clients do not always give you proper notice of their needs. Several times, after my expert report sat in my file for over a year, I get a call that I will be needed to testify tomorrow. I had to pull an all-nighter and then needed to look and act sharp in the morning.
    • You make the “Firing Decisions” – This is particularly hard during the holiday season.
    • The losses are all yours – On average, I made about three times more compensation than my fellow engineering classmates, but, during one recession, I lost more than my salary for three years in a row.
    • Employees – The biggest headache in running any business is managing human resources. Often, employees don’t get along with each other or with the clients, and, sometimes, they don’t even care about the success of the company that employs them. Regardless, before you know it, you may be responsible for thirty or more mouths to feed. That is an awesome and burdensome responsibility.

Litigation consulting is interesting, challenging, and profitable. If owning a forensic engineering practice interests you, I recommend adding “Forensic Engineering” to your practice as a consulting engineer.

Get Jack’s new book: The “Complete Guide” to FORENSIC ENGINEERING to learn the details of owning a forensic engineering practice. Also, the largest chapter in his book: The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING covers the “highlights” of Forensic Engineering. Visit TheEngineersResource.com to find out more.

Learn how to be a forensic engineer. Learn how to be a forensic expert witness. How to be an engineering expert witness. How to obtain training as a forensic engineer. How to obtain training as an engineering expert witness.

 

Posted on

ARC – FLASH INJURY INVESTIGATION

https://www.theengineersresource.com/forensic-engineering-online-course/

ARC – FLASH INJURY INVESTIGATION

“Learn the step-by-step process of doing an Arc-Flash injury investigation as an engineering expert”

By John D. Gaskell, Retired Consulting Engineer

Author of “The Complete Guide to FORENSIC ENGINEERING

Forensic engineering is defined by the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) as “the application of the art and science of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the jurisprudence system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution.” These engineers serve as consultants to the legal profession and as expert witnesses in courts of law.

Acceptance of Cases

Accept only cases in your field of expertise, but don’t necessarily limit them to your area of specialty. My cases as an electrical engineer included electrocutions, fires of suspected electrical origin, standard of care determinations, equipment failures, arc fault accidents, conveyor accidents, lightning strikes, and others. Yours will be different but also interesting and challenging.

General

The following is a narrative synopses of one of my cases. This is not intended to be a formal presentation of legal actions. No confidential or privileged information is revealed. This is simply my recollection, intended only to illustrate an expert’s typical involvement in judicial matters.

I was the chief investigator and expert witness on all of the forensic cases of Gaskell Associates, Ltd., and later those of the Gaskell Associates division of Thielsch Engineering, until my retirement. However, it was my practice to meet on each case with my senior staff to “brainstorm” the case. This often opened up avenues of investigation that had not previously occurred to me. I attribute much of my success to hiring others who are smarter than I am.

Case Study – Arc Flash Injury

This arc – flash accident occurred when two electricians were troubleshooting an inoperative fan motor. They discovered a blown fuse in a 480-volt motor control center (a freestanding enclosure containing both fused switches and motor starters). They installed new fuses, closed the compartment door, tightened the screws holding the door, and closed the switch. An arc fault occurred in the compartment, which blew the door off, injuring both electricians and creates an arc – flash. One had his clothes catch on fire resulting in third degree burns over 50% of his body. Both electricians were covered by “workman’s compensation insurance,” so they could not sue their employer for this arc – flash . The more severely injured man sued the manufacturer of the motor control center. We were hired by his attorney to investigate.

First, we spent a lot of time looking through two big boxes of paperwork including information obtained from the manufacturer of the motor control center. Next, we did online research on the switchgear manufacturer’s website and on the website of Underwriters Laboratory (UL). Then, we visited the site, examined the switchgear, and interviewed both electricians.

We observed that the spacing of the bus bars (live parts) within the enclosure appeared to be minimal and later compared this spacing to the details of other manufacturers of the same type of equipment, which confirmed our observation. We found numerous testing reports of the model switch at issue, and all ended in failures. We could not find any reports of arc – flash, but also no reports of switches that passed. However, we did find a letter from UL saying that the motor control center had qualified for “Follow up Services” which is a term used when equipment has passed initial testing and now can be manufactured with a UL listing and is subject to occasional inspections by UL. The UL Follow-Up Service program is designed to monitor the processes that a manufacturer uses to produce products in compliance with certification requirements. UL’s field representatives make periodic tests and/or examinations at the factory, and may select samples from the factory, the open market or elsewhere for further determination of compliance. In addition, if a problem with a UL certified or classified product is reported to UL, UL will investigate these situations thoroughly.

Our “very happy” attorney/client called us two weeks later to tell us the case had settled, based on our research. You don’t necessarily need to testify to provide a valuable service.

Litigation consulting is interesting, challenging, and profitable. If what is involved interests you, I recommend adding “Forensic Engineering” to your practice as a consulting engineer.

Get Jack’s new book: The “Complete Guide” to FORENSIC ENGINEERING to learn the details. Also, the largest chapter in his book: The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING covers the “highlights” of Forensic Engineering. Visit TheEngineersResource.com to find out more.

Learn how to be a forensic engineer. Learn how to be a forensic expert witness. How to be an engineering expert witness. How to obtain training as a forensic engineer. How to obtain training as an engineering expert witness.

 

Posted on

EXPERT WITNESS CROSS-EXAMINATION

https://www.theengineersresource.com/forensic-engineering-online-course/

 

EXPERT WITNESS CROSS-EXAMINATION

 “Learn the step-by-step process of preparation for your cross-examination as an expert witness that will make your testimony creditable.”

By John D. Gaskell, Retired Consulting Engineer

Author of “The Complete Guide to FORENSIC ENGINEERING”

Preparation for your cross-examination as an expert witness is essential for the case at hand. Forensic engineering is defined by the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE) as “the application of the art and science of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the jurisprudence system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution.” These engineers serve as consultants to the legal profession and as expert witnesses in courts of law.

CROSS-EXAMINATION

In my experience, most opposing attorneys are civilized. However, some of them can be nasty and abrupt in their cross-examinations. Consider questions like the following, and craft answers that suit your personality and temperament. But listen carefully because a slightly differently worded question may require an entirely different reply. After every question, pause for a beat to give yourself time to form the best answer and to allow your attorney/client time to object. If he or she does object, immediately stop talking until the judge rules. In any case, try not to lose your cool.

Question: How much are you being paid for your testimony?

Answer: My company charges $XXX per hour for my professional services; my testimony is not for sale.

Question: Isn’t it true that you would not be here today if it weren’t for the obscene amount of money that you are being paid?

Answer: Like you, counselor, I am being paid appropriately for my professional services.

Question: Have you ever lied?

Answer: Of course, but never under oath.

Question: Have you ever been wrong?

Answer: Yes, but never on the witness stand.

Question: Did you read all the documents regarding this case?

Answer: I requested all of the relevant documents and read them.

Question: You haven’t told us everything today, have you?

Answer: No, it would be impossible to condense 40 years of professional practice into a few hours.

Question: What is the reputation of the opposing expert?

Answer: I like him. I don’t know what others think of him.

Question: Did you remove any information from your case file?

Answer: I updated my case file, but I didn’t remove any relevant information.

Question: How much money do you make in an average year?

Answer: That is personal and not relevant to these proceedings.

If you are directed by the judge to answer, respond with one of the following:

Answer: My income from litigation related services is about $XX,XXX.

                or

I don’t know; it varies from year to year.

Question: Did your attorney/client tell you what to say today?

Answer: No, of course not. Except to speak slowly and clearly.

Be especially cautious of compound questions, run-on multiple questions, or ones with multiple parts. Ask to have them rephrased, one question at a time. Politely keep asking for clarifications until you understand the question.

Accept only cases in your field of expertise, but don’t necessarily limit them to your area of specialty. My cases as an electrical engineer included electrocutions, fires of suspected electrical origin, standard of care determinations, equipment failures, arc fault accidents, conveyor accidents, lightning strikes, and others. Yours will be different but also interesting and challenging. I wish you much success in the exciting field of forensic engineering.

Litigation consulting is interesting, challenging, and profitable. If what is involved interests you, I recommend adding “Forensic Engineering” to your practice as a consulting engineer.

Get Jack’s new book: The “Complete Guide” to FORENSIC ENGINEERING to learn the details. Also, the largest chapter in his book: The “Complete Guide” to CONSULTING ENGINEERING covers the “highlights” of Forensic Engineering. Visit TheEngineersResource.com to find out more.

Learn how to be a forensic engineer. Learn how to be a forensic expert witness. How to be an engineering expert witness. How to obtain training as a forensic engineer. How to obtain training as an engineering expert witness.

 

 

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YOUR OWN ENGINEERING PRACTICE WITHIN 6 YEARS OF GRADUATION

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