Our team is comprised of genuinely gifted minds
Rapperport Associates provides comprehensive fire investigation services including cause and origin investigation, fire modeling and testing as well as fire protection evaluation and assessment. We can perform complex computer modeling to predict hazards such as radiant heat flux, fire growth, smoke production, fire plume and ceiling jet temperatures and velocities, toxic species production and depth of the hot upper layer. We can model fire growth, steady-state burning and decay for intact and impaired sprinkler system activation. The computer models can also be used to study the effects of ventilation changes, and thus, changes in interior environment conditions as the interior and exterior fire suppression activities are conducted.
Rapperport Associates has been retained on cases totaling billions of dollars in losses since inception in 1974. We have an extraordinarily talented technical group with impeccable credentials. Our team of distinguished engineers and scientists is drawn principally from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of California Berkeley and many have doctorates. We combine state-of-the-art computer modeling and laboratory testing with clear and compelling graphics to solve complex technical problems and present the results in an understandable manner.
Mr. Parent is a named inventor on more than 22 patents and has been a Registered Professional Engineer for more than 35 years. He provides expert engineering services and testimony relating to fires and explosions, product failures, product safety, product liability, patents and intellectual property.
Mr. Parent holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University. His broad range of skills include product design, mechanical design, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, stress and failure mechanics, thermodynamics, computational methods, controls, design of electrical systems, design for safety, and failure analysis.
|Graduate classes in servo systems and signal processing||University of New Hampshire||1981|
|Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering||Stanford University||1980|
|Bachelor of Science, Mech. Eng. (summa cum laude)||Northeastern University||1979|
|Machine Tool Technology||Central Maine Tech. College||1974|
- Rapperport Associates, Lexington, MA, 2013 – Present
Engineering consulting and project management relating to fire and explosion investigations, and product failures.
- President, Parent Technology Group, LLC, Gray, ME, 2012 – Present
Engineering consulting relating to patents, intellectual property, product design and process automation.
- VP Sales and Innovation, Marca Coating Tech., LLC, Scarborough, ME, 2009 – 2011
Sales, engineering development and intellectual property protection of vacuum coating machines and technologies. (Formerly D2 Inline Solutions, LLC)
- President, D2 Inline Solutions, LLC, Scarborough, ME, 2001 – 2009
Development, intellectual property protection and reduction to practice of new production processes for coating plastic parts. (Spin-off from D2 Systems)
- President, D2 Systems, Gray, ME, 1998 – 2001
Engineering consulting relating to patents, intellectual property, product design and process automation.
- Dir. of Engineering, Dir. of Tech. Development, First Light Tech., Saco, ME 1991 – 1998
Design and development of patented DVD manufacturing processes. Design and development of optical disc production machinery.
- Vice President of Engineering, Chapman Corp, Portland, ME, 1985 – 1991
Design of patented static elimination equipment.
- Senior Engineer, GTE Products Corporation, Standish, ME, 1982 – 1985
Design of high-power heater devices for industrial, automotive and home applications.
- Member of Technical Staff, Bell Telephone Laboratory Whippany, NJ, 1979 – 1982
Design of digital tape backup systems. Responsible for magnetic tape and head.
Dr. Zalosh was a Professor in the Fire Protection Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute from 1990 through 2006. His research activities included research on special fire and explosion hazards encountered in industrial facilities and in transportation environments such as roadway tunnels. He also conducted research on special fire and explosion suppression systems for flammable liquids and vapors, and combustible dusts.
Selected book publications include:
- Industrial Fire Protection Engineering, John Wiley & Sons, March 2003
- Explosion Protection chapter in Society of Fire Protection Engineers Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering; 1st Ed, 1988, 2nd Ed, 1996, 3rd Ed, 2002
- Explosions chapter in Fire Protection Handbook, National Fire Protection Association, January 2003.
- “Risk Assessment”, Chapter 2.9 in the Handbook of Facilities Planning, Vol 1, Laboratory Facilities, T. Ruys, Editor, van Nostrand Reinhold, 1990.
Dr. Zalosh has also published many journal papers and conference proceedings.
|B.E. Mechanical Engineering||Cooper Union||1968|
|M.S. Mechanical and Aerospace Sciences||University of Rochester||1966|
|Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering||Northeastern University||1970|
- 1998 – Principal, Firexplo.
Dr. Zalosh has been providing consultation on fire and explosion hazards and appropriate protection measures in industrial facilities, and in tunnels, vehicles, and aircraft. He has also participated in numerous industrial fire and explosion investigations and has provided expert witness services in the litigation stemming from those investigations. The hazards and incidents include flammable gas and combustible dust explosions, combustible powder self-heating fires, combustible liquid hazards, warehouse storage fires, and vehicle and aircraft fuel tank fires and explosions.
- 1990-2006 Professor, Fire Protection Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, Massachusetts. Tenured 1996.
- Teaching graduate courses in Industrial Fire Protection, Explosion Protection, and Process Safety Management. M.S. and Ph.D. Thesis Advisor for 2-3 graduate students. Research on special fire and explosion hazards encountered in industrial facilities and in transportation environments such as roadway tunnels. Research on special fire and explosion suppression systems for flammable liquids and vapors, and combustible dusts.
- 2001: Sabbatical Appointment at the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Evaluation Board assisting the Board and staff on incident investigations and generic issues such as chemical reactivity hazards.
- 1980-90: Adjunct Associate Professor, Taught evening courses in Risk Evaluation, Fire Dynamics and Industrial Fire Protection.
- 1975-90 Factory Mutual Research Corporation, Norwood, Massachusetts.
- 1975-82: Senior Research Scientist.
- 1978-82: Manager, Explosion Research Section.
- 1982-87: Assistant Manager, Applied Research Department
- 1987-90: Manager Applied Research Department. Assistant Vice President, FMRC. Responsible for managing a department with approximately 30 scientists, engineers and technicians engaged in research on fire and explosion protection.
- 1970-75 Mt. Auburn Research Associates, Cambridge, MA Senior Scientist: Conducted computational fluid dynamics calculations of sonic boom propagation, nuclear detonation fireball and shockwave propagation; oil slick containment instabilities; low-speed wind tunnel testing.
- 1967-70 Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering. Taught courses in fluid mechanics, rigid body dynamics and laboratory techniques.
- 1966-67 Avco Corporation, Space Systems Division, Wilmington, Massachusetts. Associate Scientist. Numerical investigations of chemically reacting flow fields, including hypersonic boundary layers and wakes associated with a missile re-entering the atmosphere.
- National Research Council, Energy Engineering Board, Committee on Hydrogen Combustion, 1985- 87.
- National Research Council, Building Research Board, Committee on Risk Appraisal in Facilities Design, 1988-90.
- Department of Energy, Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel established by Congressional Act to advise DOE on the production, distribution, and utilization of large quantities of hydrogen as a clean burning fuel. 1992-99.
- Federal Aviation Administration, Task Group on Aircraft Fuel Tank Explosions established to advise the FAA on methods for evaluating and mitigating the risk of explosions in aircraft fuel tanks, 1998.
- Editorial Review Board, Fire Technology, 1991-1999.
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission Advisory Committee for Reactor Safeguards, Fire Protection Subcommittee, 1995 – 97.
- Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Fire Council, 1998-.
- U.S. Chemical Safety Board, Faculty Sabbatical Appointment, 2001.
- Fellow, Society of Fire Protection Engineers, 2001.
- National Fire Protection Research Foundation Board of Trustees, 2003-
- WPI Teaching Technology Fellow, 2003-2005.
- U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen Safety Panel, 2004-.
- European Commission Hydrogen Safety Summer School Keynote Lecturer, 2006-.
- Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel 60079, Electrical Equipment for use in Class I, Zone 0, 1, and 2 Hazardous (Classified) Locations, 2007-.
Previously, he was Senior Consultant at Arthur D. Little, Inc. for ten years, a Research Associate at MIT for two years, and a Visiting Scientist at Factory Mutual Research Corporation for one summer. He received a B.S.M.E. with Distinction from Stanford University in 1971, and the M.S./Ph.D. from MIT (in 1972-76, with both dissertations on fires). He is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts. Examples of his work are:
- Aircraft and subway systems: Dr. Moussa reviewed the flammability, smoke and toxic properties of existing and candidate materials for seats and panels. He modeled fire growth on a train and passenger escape from a disabled train in a tunnel and evaluated the emergency response systems. He quantified the relative benefits of incorporating an exit shaft, a standpipe, or ventilation fans.
- Airport facility: Dr. Moussa investigated a fire involving the incineration of Volatile Organic Compounds emitted from the regeneration of lubricating oils. He designed an improved incinerator tailored to the intermittent nature of the operation.
- Department of Transportation: Dr. Moussa compared the risks associated with Expandable Launch Vehicles and a variety of industrial and transportation activities. The analysis covered handling, transport, storage and launch operations of liquid hydrogen/oxygen, RP-1, hypergolics and solid propellants.
- Gas Research Institute: Dr. Moussa conducted a city-wide survey of common devices that could ignite a vapor cloud of natural gas. He tested the ignition potential of cigarettes, traffic and street lights, automobiles, doorbell relays, etc.
- Major LNG import terminal: Dr. Moussa estimated a probability of overfilling an LNG tanker truck. Using fault-tree analysis, he related this probability to the failure rates of equipment such as level gages, pressure sensors (etc.) and to operator errors. He identified likely failure modes and means to mitigate them.
- US Army: Dr. Moussa tested a unique electrochemical pad containing magnesium. The effectiveness of major Class D Fire Agents was evaluated. Also, hydrogen (produced by the water-magnesium reaction) was measured and the potential build-up of flammable gas in ventilated enclosures was modeled. The MSDS for this device was revised to incorporate the results of this study.
- Dr. Moussa investigated the fire hazards posed by closely spaced storage racks in warehouses. The burning of large vertical surfaces was tested (singly and in pairs to confine radiation) and was modeled successfully.
- US Coast Guard: Dr. Moussa participated in designing the world’s largest (10,000 gals) LNG spill fire test of its time. Both pool and vapor fires were tested. He analyzed and interpreted the data, identifying salient features of these fires.
- Bureau of Mines: Dr. Moussa assessed hazards associated with coal and metal mining: gob, rib and electrical fires, coal pile self-heating and methane/coal dust explosions. He evaluated safety measures such as rock dusting, oxygen masks and fire curtains.
- US DOT Transportation Systems Center: Dr. Moussa assisted in a study of practical means to improve fire safety in existing and new rail transit vehicles and buses. The project identified fire protection countermeasures in design, operations and training to prevent ignition, contain a fire, or facilitate passenger evacuation.
- Oil/LNG/LPG operations: Dr. Moussa carried out risk analysis studies covering oil/LNG/LPG operations, and shipments of hazardous materials by various transportation systems for a number of commercial clients. He modeled consequences of accidents, developed fault trees and risk profiles, and discussed risk acceptability.
- NASA: DR. Moussa compared the crash fire hazards of aircraft fueled by liquid hydrogen, liquid methane and Jet A. He reviewed historical data to identify the locations and amounts of fuel release. For each release and fuel, he analyzed the potential consequences such as pool fire, fireball and explosion.
- Dr. Moussa has provided technical assistance in the litigation of natural gas explosions, electrical wiring fires, insulation fires, aircraft fires, heating and power generation equipment, and self-heating of coal piles.
Dr. Moussa has been listed in American Men of Science and Who’s Who in the East. He served as chairman of the ASME FACT Division. He is a member of ASME, AIAA, and Combustion Institute and of the honorary societies Phi Beta Kappa, Tau Beta Pi and Phi Eta Sigma. He has received several honors, including the William Littlewood Memorial Lecture Award by SAE/AIAA, Engineer of the Year by AIAA NE Section, best papers by SAE and ASEI, AIAA Distinguished Lecturer and several ASME citations. His forewarning about the risks of aircraft fuel tank fire/explosion prior to the TWA800 and the Concorde disasters has led to him being interviewed by the New York Times, several European newspapers, CBS and BBC.
Dr. Rich’s primary area of expertise is development of experimental platforms for the study of fire and combustion phenomena including research into material flammability, internal combustion engine performance, building smoke control and studies of vehicle emissions. Methods include IR thermometry, particle image velocimetry, laser induced fluorescence, continuous mass loss measurement, high speed and IR videography, engine dynamometers, gas sampling, and a range of analog and computer measurement techniques. Work in engine performance, includes mini rotary engine research, piezo-ceramic spark ignition technology and emissions and alternative fuels research. This work includes development of alternative fuels and mitigation of engine pollutants and particulate emissions using a number of innovative methods like ammonia treatment, water injection, biofuels, particle traps, afterburning, and radio isotope tracing of particulates. NASA sponsored fire safety research investigated flame propagation rates of through porous media in microgravity and investigation of the mechanisms governing ignition delay and flame spread of materials, particularly composites, intended for use on spacecraft. Building studies include scale modeling and laser imaging of building smoke flows, particularly for innovative ventilation schemes. In bioengineering, projects include tumor ablation with combustion catalytic probes, heat transfer mechanisms and energetics of birds and measurements of the shear strength of post-operative bone.
- Principal Engineer, Reax Engineering Inc., Berkeley, CA
- Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of California, Berkeley, Combustion and Fire Processes Laboratories
- Adjunct Professor, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
|PhD – Mechanical Engineering (major field: combustion)||University of California, Berkeley||2006|
|MS – Mechanical Engineering||University of California, Berkeley||2002|
|BS – Mechanical Engineering||University of California, Berkeley||2000|
- Reax Engineering Inc. Berkeley, CA Founding Partner and Principal Engineer
- Development of experimental programs in support of product development, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, instrumentation, control, and data acquisition
- Fire litigation support – analysis, modeling, and theory, fire inspections/investigations
- Computer fire modeling: forensic fire reconstruction, prediction of heat release rate via fire growth modeling, fire timeline recreation, time to untenability/incapacitation by smoke or heat, calculation of smoke detector and sprinkler activation times, onset of flashover
- Ignition and flame spread of materials, evolved species, heat transfer and deformation.
- University of California, Berkeley Post-Doctoral Researcher
- Development of carbon neutral fuels from cellulosic feedstock
- Scale model and laser imaging of building smoke flows for innovative ventilation (under floor, natural) systems and validation of FDS models
- Combustion testing and modeling to characterize fuels and measure energy efficiency of specially developed stoves for use in developing countries (http://darfurstoves.org/)
- Arup Fire San Francisco, CA Fire Protection Specialist
- Worked in conjunction with engineering teams, architects, and approving authorities, to develop integrated fire safety strategies for buildings and transportation systems.
- Applied current fire safety procedures including performance-based design supported by analytical and numerical models.
- Developed and currently manage a wind tunnel research program investigating smoke flow in large structures subject to wind pressures.
- University of California, Berkeley Graduate Student Researcher
- Served as experimental lead on Forced Ignition and Flame Spread Test (FIST) project, a NASA funded research program to assess flammability of materials in terrestrial and reduced gravity conditions. This work included three tours on NASA’s microgravity research aircraft.
- Responsibilities included experimental program development and management, cost control and collaboration with engineering groups at NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Cleveland.
- Independent technical consultant for fire-related litigation and research Berkeley, CA
- Conducted laboratory experiments, numerical modeling, deposition review, and background research in support of fire related litigation, particularly cause and origin. Projects included vehicle, industrial and residential structure fires including the urban wildland interface. Fire causes included electrical failure, liquid fires, self-heating to ignition, and mechanical failure.
- Developed exhaust emission mitigation technologies for several engine types including use of biodiesel and water and ammonia injection technologies.
- San Francisco Fire Department San Francisco, CA Paramedic/Rescue Captain
- Provided 911 emergency services and community disaster training to the County of San Francisco with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and Fire Department.
- Implemented a federally funded multi-agency program to manage causalities of nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons and wrote the SFFD Prehospital Medical Disaster Plan.
- Journal Referee / Peer Review
- Fire Safety Journal
- Fire Science and Technology
- Fire Technology
- Mediterranean Combustion Symposia
- Proceedings of the Combustion Institute
Mr. Willms is a principal member of the NFPA-72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code Protected Premises Technical Committee where his years of fire protection and fire fighter experience provide valuable perspective to fire and life safety code development. He is a NFPA Certified Fire Protection Specialist, NICET Certified Senior Engineering Technician, and is a Professional Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.
Carl Willms was founder and owner of Fire Security Technologies, Inc. a fire protection company, in 1986. Fire Security Technologies provides services in design, installation, inspection and maintenance of fire protection systems. Mr.
Willms successfully grew the company to thirty-two employees with revenues in excess of $3.5M/year and sold the company in 2011. Mr. Willms continues to be actively engaged in Fire Safety Consultants, Inc., a consulting company he founded in 1997 specializing in fire systems engineering, design, code consulting, system analysis, and forensic investigations.
Mr. Willms’ experience in both firefighting operations and developing two successful fire protection companies gives him unique qualifications. His hands-on fire alarm, fire suppression and firefighting experience make him particularly valuable as a member of the Rapperport Associates fire investigation team.
Areas of competency:
Mechanical engineering design, machine design, failure analysis, fracture mechanics, fatigue, finite element stress analysis, mechanical behavior and testing of materials, patent analysis. Dr. Eischen has published over 50 technical articles.
Mechanical Engineering Design Lab, Solid Mechanics, Strength of Mechanical Components, Analysis for Mechanical Engineering Design, Fracture Mechanics, Advanced Solid Mechanics
PhD Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1986
MS Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 1981
BS Engineering (concentration in Civil Engineering), UCLA, 1978
Registered Professional Engineer, California, Mechanical M21276
These investigations have involved a wide range of different materials including metals, polymers (plastics), composites, and ceramics, as well as a variety of fabrication methods including casting, forging, machining, stamping, extrusion, welding, injection molding, powder metallurgy, welding, brazing, soldering, and filament winding. Dr. Biery has provided expert testimony in numerous legal jurisdictions. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Science & Engineering from the University of Tennessee, and his Master of Science and Doctorate degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. He has worked on projects in North America, Europe and Asia.
Dr. Biery has performed analysis of component failures in various residential, commercial and industrial equipment and systems. His casework has involved compressed natural gas systems and pipelines, natural gas and oil wells, well drilling equipment including downhole tubulars, plant piping systems, water treatment systems, process equipment, plumbing systems, manufacturing equipment, piping systems, vehicles, power generation and transmission, sports equipment, construction equipment, pressure vessels, storage tanks, consumer containers, and lighting towers.
Materials Selection and Specification:
Dr. Biery has experience with review and development of materials and other standards for a variety of products and systems, including linepipe, valves, chains, wire rope, plumbing components, vehicle components, and others. This analysis is performed with the aid of product research, standards research, product testing and detailed sectioning and evaluation. He has expertise in metals, polymers, composites, and ceramics, with extensive experience in applications involving high strength steels and light weight alloys.
Dr. Biery has assisted with investigation of process and product failures, cost and property optimization, and identification of materials, fabrication and design alternatives. Prior projects include materials transport, high speed rotating equipment, stationary exercise equipment, and application of high strength steels. He has extensive experience with development and qualification of new materials for safety critical applications.
Electrical and electronic failure analysis. Power electronics and electric machinery. Power supplies and instrumentation for welding and materials processing applications. Computer programming for engineering analysis and control systems. Measurement and signal processing in power electronic applications.
|BS in Electrical Engineering||Northeastern University||1976|
|MS in Electrical Engineering||University of Connecticut||1979|
|Graduate Course 3.37 – Welding and Joining||MIT||1994|
|Instructor for Summer Course 3.70 – Welding Power Supplies||MIT||1995|
|Scanning Electron Microscope Training Instructor||2000|
- Research Engineer,The Materials Science Welding Laboratory, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1995 – present
- Project Manager,Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger, Arlington, Massachusetts: 1994 – 1995
- Managing Engineer, Failure Analysis Associates, Westborough, Massachusetts: 1994 – 1994
- Senior Engineer, Failure Analysis Associates, Westborough, Massachusetts: 1988 – 1991
- Senior Engineer, Alexander Kusko Inc., Needham Heights, Massachusetts: 1979 – 1988
- Patent Investigations
- Analysis of electrochemical failure in the flexible circuit connections of Ink-Jet printer cartridges. Reverse engineering of microcomputer programs for taper-cut electrical discharge machining. Demodulation and decoding of RFID tag transmissions.
- Measurement of magnetization patterns in small brushless dc motors. Low Level Program testing of computer VGA display technologies.
- Failure Analysis
- Failure investigation of Solid-State control element for truck-mounted refrigeration equipment.
- Aircraft Accident Investigation Handbook for Electronic Hardware prepared for Wright-Patterson AFB Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) analysis of circuit board failures caused by thermal joint stress.
- Investigation of the August 1990 Seaport Substation Outage in New York City for Con-Edison.
- Control Systems
- Control algorithms for a 4 MW thyristor rectifier for transit vehicle testing for the DOT/TTC, Pueblo, CO.
- Microcomputer-based data acquisition and signal processing for railroad track quality analysis.
- Design review of 8086-based propulsion control system for BART C-car.
- Design of phase locked loop control circuits for line synchronization of 60 Hz UPS.
- Application of Linear Quadratic Regulator for nonlinear control channels in F100 jet engine.
- Power Electronics and Power Conversion
- Designed and constructed water-cooled high-performance power supplies for welding research. MIT. Wideband power amplifiers using hybrid power op-amps for MHD stirring experiments. MIT. Propulsion system for the Magneplane concept definition study for the National Maglev Initiative.
- Design review of emergency generators controls at ten Nuclear Power Plants. Transamerica Delaval. Wideband measurement of DC-side harmonics on the BART 1000 V Traction Power System.
Jeff is a Demonstrative Evidence Specialist with over 30 years of experience providing litigation support including design and production of legal graphics and scale models for use in court. Jeff’s approach to design of trial exhibits includes a thorough understanding of the available evidence and often requires a comprehensive reconstruction of the site or situation in order to produce the most accurate & effective presentation possible. Fire and explosion cases continue to be a specialty.
Demonstrative Evidence design and production services are provided to attorneys, insurance companies, investigators, engineers and other technical experts.