Ernest M. Miholits, PhD, PE

Home Expert Witness Forensic Research Engineering Consultant Curriculum Vitae

EXPERT WITNESS - NUCLEAR

 Failure Modes & Effects Analysis re: Nuclear & Civil Projects

MIHOLITS ENGINEERS

Phone: 650.712.1015; San Francisco Area, CA
Email: drernie@miholits-engineers.com


TYPICAL NUCLEAR PROJECTS


Photos and illustrations applicable to this "Expert Witness" consulting business: (1) photo of Dr. Ernest M. Miholits; (2) DOE-WIPP-Defense Nuclear Waste Repository, Carlsbad, NM; (3) DOE-Defense Waste Processing Facility at the Savannah River Site, Aiken SC; (4) DOE-Uranium Enrichment Plant, Oak Ridge, TN; (5) representative nuclear projects; (6) Three Mile Island Nuclear Facility, Harrisburg, PA; (7) illustration of an atom; and (8) external proactive structural upgrade to the retaining wall adjacent to the beam line at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC).

DR. MIHOLITS' SPECIALTY IS TO CONDUCT A FAILURE MODES AND EFFECTS ANALYSIS (FMEA) 

AS PART OF THE PROCESS, HE UNCOVERS THE REASON FOR THE DESIGN

AND/OR EQUIPMENT FAILURE THAT OCCURRED AT A NUCLEAR INSTALLATION.

FOR THIS EVENT, DR. MIHOLITS ALSO OFFERS A FULL-LINE OF EXPERT WITNESS SERVICES.

  • EXPERT WITNESS SPECIALTY: Dr. Miholits' forte has been to direct his career towards performing failure analysis studies to specific types of failure or accident incidents, as they apply to nuclear and specific types of civil engineering projects.

    • He uses his education and over 30 years of experience on high-profile projects (e.g., nuclear) that have a significant potential for failures and accidents. Nuclear incidents can be followed by consequences of major proportions and a high potential for litigation actions.

    • He combines this experience with studies directed to find the cause of engineering incidents. He does this through a failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA). This is also known as a fault-tree analysis, event-tree analysis or decision-tree analysis. Please click on Curriculum Vitae

    • He applies his experience with forensic research, analysis and evaluations to generate the primary inputs to the litigation support services he provides as an expert witness consultant. Please click on Forensic Research  

    • He then uses this information to provide expert witness consulting services related to the aforementioned incident to the legal profession. Please click on Expert Witness

    • He also does additional pro-active engineering consulting in the failure analysis area. This is in the form of upgrade designs to ensure that failures and accidents do not occur. This consulting also strengthens his credentials to serve as an expert witness consultant because he has the ability to analysis the failure process in both directions. Please click on Engineering Consultant 

  • EXPERT WITNESS TARGET AUDIENCE: Dr. Miholits' has designed his consulting service for a specific target audience. That is, an audience that can and/or may encounter accident incidents and/or design problems that will benefit from his expert witness consulting services. He has identified this audience to include the following groups:

    • Engineering expert witness firms who are under contract to legal firms and who require consulting assistance.
    • Legal firms who contract for the services of expert witness engineering firms:
      • The legal firms have Clients who are companies who own/operate a high-profile facility where a failure and/or accident has already occurred. The facility then has instigated legal action against the appropriate groups, such as the engineering firms who have designed the facility, the constructors, the equipment suppliers, et cetera.
      • The legal firms have Clients who are employees or individuals who are or were employees at a high-profile facility. These employees then instigated legal action against this company because a failure and/or accident has already occurred and these people are alleging injury, health problems, et cetera.
    • Expert witness staffing firms who provide expert witness engineering consultants to legal firms and/or engineering expert witness firms in the above named engineering areas.
  • REPRESENTATIVE FAILURE MODES & EFFECTS ANALYSIS PROJECTS (FMEA): Dr. Miholits has listed three FMEA projects below where he had either total or lead responsibility. These before and after construction projects illustrate the importance of a "Failure Modes and Effects Analysis" (FMEA) on high-profile nuclear and civil engineering projects.
    • The first project was an existing 1960 retaining wall on that surrounded the beam line structure at Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC). This wall did not meet the current California earthquake standards and was going to be subjected to an additional load of 90,000 pounds at the top of the wall. A FMEA study determined that failure could occur under the two added conditions. I designed and performed the FMEA program and worked with structural engineers to upgrade the design. A reinforced supporting structure was built.
    • The Comanche Creek Nuclear Power Plant in Texas in the 1980's went through an ever-changing design, environmental and regulatory phase because of the long licensing phase. I performed a design audit. I designed and performed the FMEA analysis that incorporated the design audit to ensure that the latest design would meet the codes, standards and not fail.
    • The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) for defense nuclear waste in in Carlsbad, New Mexico was in the completed design phase in the early 1980's. However, the DOE required that a FMEA be done on the design to ensure that design would prevent the occurrence of any accidents or failures during the construction and operation phase of this nuclear waste repository that would affect the workers.. This was for all above-ground facilities, the 2,000 foot shaft and the complete under-ground area.  I designed the FMEA program and led a team to do the analysis.

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