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#57467 - 10/15/05 11:45 AM Electrical forensics....
mxslick Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA
On a few threads here I've wondered if there is any company/person whose primary mission is to investigate causes of electrical systems failures? It is something that has always facinated me and I would love to do it (if I had the necessary background and education.)

For example, see these threads:
http://electrical-contractor.net/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000311.html
http://electrical-contractor.net/ubb/Forum5/HTML/001094.html
http://electrical-contractor.net/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000801.html

As for the experience and education, I would think you'd need to know a lot about:

Electrical theory (duh);
Magnetic force calcs;
Arc fault calcs;
Metallurgy;
Dialectric stress calcs (insulation);
and study of fire behaviour.

One would also have to have a keen analytical mind and be naturally very curious.

Anyone else have some thoughts on what experience/background?

And does such a company/entity already exist?
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#57468 - 10/15/05 01:40 PM Re: Electrical forensics....
togol Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 426
Loc: NW In. USA
Tony,
this guy J. Peserik ,
http://www.experts.com/listing.asp?index=962

..is the latest author of a case in the Sept. EC&M.

also there is this article http://ecmweb.com/issue_20050801/

it really doesn't tell you what you need to know , but the two authors have several qualifications, in fact the first guy has an alphabet soup after his name.
Anyway you might get something from the links.

togol
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#57469 - 10/15/05 05:28 PM Re: Electrical forensics....
WFO Offline
Member

Registered: 09/03/05
Posts: 206
Loc: Cat Spring, TX
Quote:
"I've wondered if there is any company/person whose primary mission is to investigate causes of electrical systems failures?"

Get a job in Technical Services at a small cooperative. You get your fingers into everything, including the things that go boom!

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#57470 - 10/17/05 12:50 AM Re: Electrical forensics....
marcspages Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 49
Loc: London, UK
This is exactly how I fill my wallet (but am in competition with quite a few entities that already exist in the UK). I even try to add one more dimension to the equation of trying to prevent the system going boom based on symptoms already being presented e.g. flickering lights etc.

Experience is the key issue. Having an alphabet soup (lovely expression, 10/10!) after your name actually doesn't cut the mustard at all (it may help a little, but has not got a patch on "been there, done that, got the T-shirt").

Being able to absorb information and then being to take it away with you (in your head), sleeping on it, and coming up with a solution is my best tool. Strangely, I leave maths for the classroom, it only confuses the matter in most cases.

For me, I suppose it all started when I took train sets apart at four years of age to see how they worked (I was not popular with my parents when I did this sort of thing!).

M.

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#57471 - 10/17/05 06:26 PM Re: Electrical forensics....
mxslick Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/04
Posts: 785
Loc: Atomic City, ID USA
Tom:

Thanks for the links, they were very informative, in fact I spent quite some time browsing EC&M and put in a request for a subscription.

WFO:

Interesting angle, never thought about that one!

marc:

Good points also. I've read the power quality papers on your site, very well written!
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#57472 - 10/18/05 01:08 PM Re: Electrical forensics....
jraef Offline
Member

Registered: 07/21/04
Posts: 92
Loc: San francisco, CA, USA
I know of several electical forensic engineers, they have really interesting jobs. One thing you need to know however, you need to have a PE license at the very least if you want to make a living at it. Most insurance companies and lawyers will accept nothing less, and that is where the work comes from.
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#57473 - 10/18/05 04:36 PM Re: Electrical forensics....
togol Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 426
Loc: NW In. USA
...Grrrrrreat
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Tom

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