Expert Details

Expert in Industrial Utilities (Equipment, Operation, Maintenance); Energy Conservation; Vibrations

Expert ID: 731832 Georgia, USA

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Expert worked as a staff mechanical engineer at what was the world's largest single site producer of PET. The staff supported operations and maintenance departments throughout the facility, with heavy emphasis on the utilities department. Troubleshooting centrifugal pumps was a common assignment. Services encountered frequently were chilled water, filtered water, waste water, river water for once-through cooling, cooling tower water, condenser water, steam condensate, and numerous (usually acidic) process streams.

The utilities department operated industrial boilers at 600 psig. Steam was used at boiler pressure and at two reduced pressures for process heating and to power mechanical drives. Expert worked on numerous projects involving steam distribution, steam pressure reduction through automatic control, plant steam balance, and condensate return and treatment.

With numerous process and utilities streams (gas and liquid) in the facility, staff mechanical engineers were required to be proficient with multiple fluid flow measurement technologies. He worked extensively with orifice plates, venturi tubes, pitot tubes (temporary and permanent), temporary ultrasonic flow meters, and coriolis flow meters.

Troubleshooting shell and tube heat exchangers (with either river water, cooling tower water, or chilled water cooling a process stream) was a common assignment. Working with gas-gas heat exchangers was also a common task because the plant’s fired equipment (boilers and heat transfer fluid heater) all had combustion air preheaters for improved efficiency.

Expert currently teaches undergraduate heat transfer for the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia.

Each staff mechanical engineer at expert’s industrial employer was assigned to create or update the operating procedures for one or more of the utility systems at the facility. (The procedures that did exist had not been updated for decades.) Expert was the Division Representative for the conversion of the facility river water system (used for once-through, non-contact cooling) from analog control to distributed control system (DCS). This system could pump on the order of 90,000 GPM in the summer months and was critical to the operation of the entire facility. As part of the DCS conversion, he rewrote the entire operating procedure to incorporate the new operator interface and all new control logic implemented in the conversion.

The facility had one area that was required by law to adhere to OSHA 1910.119. The decision was made to treat all areas of the facility the same way. As a consequence, he is very familiar with the Management of Change (MOC) procedure. He has led many pre-startup safety reviews (PSSR) and process safety reviews (PSR), including those (very large reviews) associated with the river water system conversion to DCS.

Note that as part of the MOC process, the engineer assigned to the project was required to update the operating procedure for the system involved. Expert has extensive experience writing and updating operating procedures in industrial utilities and the chemical process industries.

Expert's MSME course of study and research centered on mechanical vibrations and noise & vibration control of machinery. The thesis described work to modify the protective enclosure of ground based auxiliary hydraulic power unit (used for aircraft maintenance) for reduced noise emissions. Experimental noise spectrum data was collected from operation with the prototype enclosure in place and compared to theoretical data.

His Ph.D. course of study and research combined experimental modal analysis, the vibration of rotating machinery, and tribology (the study of wear and lubrication). The dissertation topic was "Rotating Equipment Defect Detection Using the Algorithm of Mode Isolation". An analytical model of a single rotor piece of rotating equipment, supported by hydrodynamic bearings was created. The model was designed so that a transverse shaft crack and a worn bearing (increased radial clearance) could be simulated. (Crack depth and bearing wear were adjustable.) Time domain response of the model was converted to frequency domain data through FFT processing. The frequency domain data was processed by an experimental modal analysis routine, originally developed by expert's advisor. Expert had to extensively modify the original algorithm to process directional FRFs (dFRF), because the right and left system eigenvalues correspond to forward and backward critical speeds of a rotating shaft.) Changes in estimated modal parameters were investigated as indicators of wear (shaft crack or increased bearing clearance).

Expert currently teaches the two-semester machine design sequence for the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. This sequence covers the majority of the current edition of Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design text (materials, load, stress, deflection, static and fatigue failure, shafts, springs, gears, welded joints, screws & bolts, clutches, brakes, rolling element bearings, and hydrodynamic bearings).

Since 2005, expert has periodically done energy consulting work with a firm employing experienced mechanical and electrical engineers with industrial utilities and chemical process industries knowledge. The two most common services provided by the firm are facility energy audits and development / economic analysis of low- or no-cost energy conservation measures (ECMs).

Expert has handled all aspects of client engagement numerous times. These tasks include, initial client contact, introductory facility surveys, contact with client’s utility to obtain detailed electrical demand data, equipment efficiency analysis, ECM development and economic analysis, report writing, and meeting with client senior management to review and discuss findings.

Compressed air systems, chilled water plants (including chiller, all pumps, cooling towers, and air handling units), and lighting systems are encountered at most facilities.

A leading healthcare provider in the Southeast (owning 15 hospitals and 350 physician practices) desired an energy audit of their computer data center, which hosts the company’s entire electronic medical records (EMR) system. A major initial step in a facility energy audit is to compare how the client thinks they are operating the facility with how they actually operate the facility (demonstrated via summer and winter 15-minute interval 24-hour electrical demand data from their utility). Expert’s audit confirmed that the client’s building management system was operating facility lighting and comfort HVAC equipment as desired. He also provided independent confirmation of reduced HVAC costs in the server area attributed to proposed hot isle / cold isle segregation work. He quantified a testing method to optimize the temperature setpoint on the computer room air conditioning (CRAC) units servicing the server room and the uninterruptible power sources (UPS).An electric cooperative in South Carolina desired an energy audit for one of its members: a large manufacturer of fire suppression equipment. He quantified savings due to high efficiency lighting conversion in one area of the facility, gave independent confirmation of savings due to a proposed improvement in control of the compressed air system, and quantified heating and cooling savings due to HVAC setpoint changes in the expansive, conditioned, manufacturing area of the facility. These issues are commonly encountered during facility energy audits. What made this audit uncommon was the discovery (when comparing actual facility electrical demand and usage quantities with demand and usage data from the utility’s metering equipment) that the utility’s metering equipment was reading almost 40% low, due to storm damage almost one year prior to the audit. Apparently neither the cooperative nor the member had noticed (or admitted to noticing). Expert conducted a pump operation study for the municipal water system of a major metropolitan area in Upstate South Carolina. The client wanted to optimize the operation (to reduce electric power costs) of numerous high horsepower centrifugal pumps in the drinking water treatment operation at one of their filter plants. The optimization was complicated by the fact that the treatment plant was simultaneously served by two different electrical utilities. Both utilities had time-of-day rate structures, however each had different peak times and premium demand charges. Expert quantified the effects of eight independent options, including an optimized operating sequence of existing pumps, a capital project to install variable frequency drives (VFDs) on two very large pumps, and (with the cooperation of a third party) the installation of generators for peak-shaving operation. An injection molding facility in central South Carolina was seeking to qualify for the interruptible rate structure with their electrical utility in order to save money. The utility required that the client be able to shed electrical load in 1 MW increments in less than 20 minutes when an interruption was ordered. Expert developed a load testing protocol for the facility, directed the client’s load testing to quantify the effects of shutting down specific equipment, worked with client management to identify acceptable equipment and proper order of shutdown, wrote the facility load-shedding procedure, and trained client operations management. The utility approved the load-shedding procedure and granted the client the interruptible rate.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Atlanta, Georgia - Athens, Georgia - Macon, Georgia - Roswell, Georgia - Marietta, Georgia - Greenville, South Carolina - Chattanooga, Tennessee

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Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 2007 Degree: Ph.D. Subject: Mechanical Engineering Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology
Year: 1993 Degree: MSME Subject: Mechanical Engineering Institution: North Carolina State University
Year: 1991 Degree: BSME Subject: Mechanical Engineering Institution: Clemson University

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 2012 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Lecturer Department: College of Engineering Responsibilities: Expert is responsible for undergraduate instruction in core Mechanical Engineering subjects including machine design, thermodynamics, and heat transfer.

He is responsible for College of Engineering machine shop operation and budget. He is the supervisor of College of Engineering Research Machinist.
Years: 2005 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Senior Associate Department: Responsibilities: Expert makes initial contact with potential clients to generate business. He performs energy audits of industrial and commercial facilities for a wide variety of clients. He writes technical reports and presents and explains findings to site management.
Years: 1995 to 2001 Employer: Eastman Chemical Company Title: Advanced Mechanical Engineer Department: Carolina Eastman Division Responsibilities: At the time, the facility was the largest single-site producer of PET in the world. Approximately 50% of his time was spent managing capital projects by functioning as the interface between engineering, construction, maintenance, and operations. The other 50% of his time was spent troubleshooting chronic equipment and process problems, writing operating procedures, and conducting process safety reviews.
Years: 1994 to 1995 Employer: Martin Color-Fi Title: Plant Engineer Department: Responsibilities: Expert coordinated capital projects, supervised the construction crew, and provided technical support to the maintenance department.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Member, ASME
Licenses / Certifications
Registered Professional Engineer, Mechanical, South Carolina

Fields of Expertise

fluid flow measurement, steam system, centrifugal pump, heat exchanger, standard operating procedure, mechanical design, mechanical system vibration, energy efficiency analysis, energy auditing, chilled water plant, building services, pre-startup safety review, heat transfer equipment design, fluid pumping, critical speed, extrusion equipment, Hazard and Operability study, ventilation blower, utility blower, computer file, chemical process equipment, Hooke's law, industrial steam generation, centrifugal pump application, instrumentation (equipment), pump capacity, mechanical system dynamic response simulation, fan application, coal-fired boiler, industrial boiler system, utility system, operating cost analysis, operating cost, industrial utility system, cost analysis, pump evaluation, air-handling equipment, pumping system, pumping equipment, pump, energy-efficient compressor, energy-efficient fan, energy-efficient blower, energy-efficient water heating, air-conditioning equipment, instrumentation process, computer spreadsheet, process safety, manufacturing facility, compressed air, industrial plant, industry, steam, air conditioning, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning equipment, building equipment, piping system, chiller, heating equipment, engineering, fluid flow, ventilation fan, steam flow, pumping application, OSHA 29CFR 1910.119, industrial noise control, impeller, heat transfer, heat convection, heat conduction, fundamental frequency, forced convection, fan, evaporative cooling, cooling tower, cooling fan, compressor (machine), centrifugal fan, boiler, blower, air compressor

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