The practicing professional engineer can use their technical and professional experiences gained in their engineering career to assist insurance carriers, the legal profession and government agencies in the investigation of events or circumstances resulting in litigation. Some professional engineering firms perform forensic engineering investigations as a subset of their overall engineering business model while other professional engineering firms specialize solely in forensic engineering investigations.
Forensic Engineers can operate as sole proprietorship, partnerships, professional corporations or be part of a multifaceted forensic engineering company or one of the many national forensic engineering investigation firms. This session addresses the opportunities for engineers interested in performing forensic engineering services as well as the issues they will need to address.
John Certuse P.E.
John Certuse P.E. is an NSPE Member and Past President of The National Academy of Forensic Engineers. John holds a B.S. in Marine Engineering from The Massachusetts Maritime Academy and is a licensed Mechanical Engineer, Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, oil burner technician and pipefitter. John is President of ISE Engineering in Attleboro Massachusetts and author of the book “Heating Systems Troubleshooting – Maintenance Tips and Forensic Observations” (Industrial Press). John has testified in courts regarding forensic matters throughout the Atlantic region and New England.
Michael Leshner P.E.
Michael D. Leshner PE has practiced as an Engineering Consultant and Expert Witness since 1982 and was the 2017 President of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE). Testifying in City, County, State and Federal courts as a Mechanical Engineer, Automotive Engineer and Safety Engineer, he is known for his integrity, careful and thorough investigation of claims, expert analysis and professional courtroom presentation. Mr. Leshner began his Forensic Engineering consulting part-time while working in industry, and transitioned to a full-time practice in 1997, when he became a NSPE Member and NAFE Fellow. Mr. Leshner continues to serve on the NAFE Board of Directors.
James Petersen P.E.
James A Petersen P.E., (aka Jim or Pete), grew up in Northeast Nebraska on a farm. He attended the local schools and then Kearney State College and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln - where he obtained a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1975. That same year he obtained a BS in Mathematics from Kearney State College. He worked as an engineer for valve and regulator manufacturers for the next 20 years, obtaining two patents in that period. He started Petersen Engineering in 1995 and has operated a forensic engineering business from then to the present. He is licensed in Iowa, Texas, Alabama and Arkansas. He is currently the President of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers. He lives in Texarkana Texas with his wife of 50 years, Denise. They have two children, five grandchildren and one great grandchild.
Samuel Sudler P.E.
Samuel Sudler P.E. is Senior VP of NAFE and Chairman of the NAFE Ethics Committee. Mr. Sudler has over 10 years’ experience relating to industrial and manufacturing facilities that has allowed him to successfully conduct well over 2000 investigations throughout his 18-year career at S-E-A, concerning numerous consumer and vehicle products produced by leading manufacturers in product liability litigation. Mr. Sudler is frequently retained nationally by product manufacturers, attorneys, and insurance companies and has also been retained to conduct high profile investigations internationally in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and South America.