In order to find an engineering expert witness, it’s vital for attorneys to understand that the industrial engineering industry is multi-faceted. In addition to there being several types of industrial engineers, there are manifold career paths that might lead an engineer to expert qualification.
Attorneys who are seeking industrial engineering expert witnesses should possess, at very least, a rudimentary understanding of the industrial engineering industry in order to narrow down the field of applicable expert witnesses.
What is an Industrial Engineer?
An industrial engineer is any engineer who works in industry. Since this is a broad blanket term, it is an attorney’s responsibility to understand the various types of engineers with industrial experience.
Types of Engineers
There are several different types of engineers who might boast various industrial qualifications.
Mechanical engineers likely have experience dealing with machine design or thermodynamics. They might therefore be experienced with how certain machines are built. They might also have experience working with boilers, heating or air conditioning.
Chemical engineers deal with chemical processes and equipment such as vessels, pumps, pipes and tanks.
Electrical engineers deal with all facets of electronics and electrical power.
Civil engineers have experience with soil, roads, underground pipes and waterways.
Structural engineers are often valuable expert witnesses since they hold experience dealing with bridges, foundations, steel beams and concrete.
There are several career paths for engineers. By understanding the types of jobs that employ engineers, attorneys can have a better idea of where to look for appropriate engineering expert witnesses. Here are just a few:
When engineers graduate from college they often begin their careers in design offices, working under the supervision of more experienced mentor engineers. Some engineers then choose to specialize in design.
Industrial plants often employ engineers who provide maintenance and operational support. They can be in charge of maintaining and improving plant facilities. They often possess insight into the cause of accidents that occur at plants.
Industrial managers are often well suited to offer litigation support as expert witnesses. They often boast years of experience managing other engineers and the ability to communicate effectively—both in writing and verbally. They are usually aware of cutting-edge technology and regulations, since it is their responsibility to manage projects.
Engineering professors can make excellent expert witnesses. They usually possess superior communication skills, and are often required to publish academic articles regularly. Though it is possible that they lack necessary hands-on experience.
However, there are many engineers who teach at universities who, rather than being professors, are working engineers with a good deal of hands-on experience. Therefore, academic organizations, and in particular engineering schools, might employ engineers qualified to act as experts.
Since the industrial engineering industry has so many diverse career paths, it can be difficult to find expert witnesses with a background that can support your clients. It’s important to understand that no two engineering experts are going to have the same academic or career experience. With so many niches in the industry, attorneys need to take care to understand exactly the type of industrial engineering expert needed.