50+ years, in various forms.
- Consulting in corrosion as a court-tested expert witness.
- Experimental incident reproduction as a court-tested expert witness.
- Forensic engineering in most any engineering field not requiring expert witness testimony.
- Patent development assistance.
For those of you reading this page, let me give you a short tour of my work history. From 1966 through 1973, I worked for others. From 1973 through 2017, I owned a couple of companies that designed and manufactured source emissions test equipment and performed source emission testing. I sold the source testing company in 2008, just before the crash. Last year, I lost the design and manufacturing business because the EPA was put out of business and no one wanted to buy equipment that they did not need. I am now reinventing the specialty consulting that I did over the years as a fun job. I did not do the normal things one would do if one’s only job was consulting since I had a couple of very good companies that were doing just fine. Circumstances have changed so here I am.
2. I perform experimental incident reproduction. When I have limited experience with a particular failure, I duplicate the failure experimentally and record the processes that mimic that failure. In this way, I simply lay out the steps to failure discovered by experimentation and those steps are now the “cause” – no “expert opinion” needed. Have testified in court in such cases.
3. In forensic engineering, the goal of the investigation is to reach a degree of certainty that is “more likely than not”, as in “the fire was more likely than not artificially set as scorch marks were found on the dash and under the gas tank”. Such cases are usually reserved for insurance issues and general disputes that do not reach the civil legal level – the cost associated with this degree of certainty is substantially less than for a legal case but can none the less be very useful in resolving disputes. As a graduate chemical engineer with many years of diverse experience, my “guess” is usually much better than the most engineers. Additionally, should I discover I really can’t solve the problem, I most likely know a specialist that can.
4. Patent development assistance. As the holder of three patents, I have experience in assembling the concepts and words in such a way as to garner the greatest number of claims about the subject of the patent. Patent attorneys make the patent “legal”, I try to make the patent “useful”.
A Look Inside the world of corrosion
“My name is Sean Onodera and I work for TerraChem, an oilfield production chemical company. Among many things that my company provides its customers is corrosion mitigation and prevention. Corrosion in my field varies from CO2, H2S, O2, electrolysis and erosion. When asked for a second opinion on some difficult corrosion problems, I turned to Herb for answers and help. Herb’s reports were very detailed and thorough. Not only did he give great reports, we discussed why such problems occur to help me to identify problems and patterns for future failures. I highly recommend Herb for any corrosion problem you have a question on.”
– Sean Onodera
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