Geotechnical Services

Expert in this field
Ron Maggard

EFI Global - USA
Vice President, Geo Services Division

T: 813.830.7100

Our geotechnical and geological service team utilizes state-of-the-art tools and techniques to
deliver the highest quality work product and ultimately demonstrate value to our clients.
Whether the claim involves a simple residential evaluation or a more complex investigation involving large commercial or condominium properties, EFI prides itself on providing expedited responses, in depth analysis and timely, cost-effective reporting.

Our geotechnical and geological consulting and engineering services include:

• Sinkhole/general subsidence investigations
• Mine subsidence investigations
• Geophysical services
     – Ground penetrating radar (GPR)
     – Electrical resistivity imaging (ERI)
     – Multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW)
     – Electromagnetic ground conductivity mapping (EM)

• Drilling exploration services
• Laboratory soil testing
• Structural damage remediation recommendation and monitoring
• Expert witness services
• Reports, reviews and evaluations

The geotechnical services team at EFI Global is comprised of industry leaders in this unique field of   expertise. Our skilled professionals and technical specialists offer comprehensive services to meet our clients needs. They also have extensive deposition and trial testimony experience.

EFI Global has a proven track record of providing thorough investigations, invaluable insight and immediate response to clients worldwide.

Product Failure Analysis


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Services Performed

Fire origin and cause investigation and product failure analysis

Summary

Our fire investigators were engaged for a cause and origin investigation following a fire in a workshop at a single family residence. After observing the scene and collecting evidence for laboratory analysis, we determined that the potential cause of the fire was a pancake compressor used in the workshop area. After further analysis of the pancake compressor, it was determined that it had overheated during use and caused the fire.

As a part of our investigation, EFI Global also conducted exemplar testing of a new compressor and compared with findings from the fire. Upon completion of the testing, it was determined that the failure of the compressor was due to a manufacturer defect that was present in this type and brand of compressor. As a result of our efforts and investigation, EFI Global worked with the local Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a formal recall of the product.

Vehicle Failure Analysis


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Service performed:

Vehicle engine failure analysis

Summary:

A ten-year old vehicle with over 167,000 miles was involved in a fire that inflicted damage to a surrounding structure. Prior fire investigative efforts identified the vehicle’s engine compartment as the area where the fire originated, but offered no specific cause. Our experts performed a failure analysis of the vehicle’s remains augmented by available scene documentation. Our analysis identified the specific aftermarket vehicle component that caused the fire. We also identified the specific design deficiency that resulted in a favorable Federal Court verdict on behalf of the insurance company that was subrogating against the vehicle’s manufacturer.

Crash Reconstruction


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Service performed:

Crash Reconstruction

Summary:

Our experts frequently reconstruct crashes in order to determine fault and other causal effects. In a case involving a fatality crash, our expertise was retained when the surviving driver was going to be prosecuted for criminally negligent homicide. Utilizing the crash reconstruction data and the information stored in the vehicles’ air bag sensors, our experts concluded the original investigation was performed using the incorrect calculations. Not only did the criminal complaint against the driver fail to materialize, EFI Global identified a serious road design defect that was primarily responsible for the collision.

Laboratory Analysis for Tank Manufacturer


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Services Performed

Chemistry laboratory investigation and analysis 

Summary

For 18 months, our laboratory personnel were engaged to investigate and analyze the oxidation rate of the odorant (Ethyl Mercaptan) that is added in residential LP gas tanks. Because LP gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless, the odorant was used as a safety feature. It was suspected that the odorant, over time, was oxidizing with the metal inside the tank, reducing its odorant capacities and increasing the risk of injury or death to persons if a leak in the system developed.

Throughout our engagement, our chemist collected LP gas samples, which were odorized with Ethyl Mercaptan, from a total of (15) 500-gallon tanks that had been filled with approximately 50 gallons of the product. The samples were taken at intervals of seven days, 14 days, 30 days, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and finally 18 months from the date of filling. The samples were analyzed for the content of the odorant using a gas chromatograph in our chemistry laboratory and sent to the client for compilation into a final report. This study was commissioned in part by a Texas public university, who recorded all of our results and generated the report.

Hurricane Ike Microbiological Analysis


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Service Performed

Laboratory analysis for microbiologic growth

Summary

Following Hurricane Ike in 2008, hundreds of commercials buildings in Houston and the surrounding area were damaged by water infiltration and flooding. Our catastrophe response team responded quickly to significant and widespread damage on commercial facilities throughout southeast Texas. As a result of flooding, water damage and high humidity, the potential for mold growth and bacterial contamination of the buildings existed.

Our microbiologist performed laboratory analyses for thousands of air, swap, lift and material samples collected by our field personnel over a period of several months. The samples were analyzed for the presence, amount and type of microbial growth. 

Product Failure Analysis


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Services Performed

Fire origin and cause investigation and product failure analysis

Summary

Our fire investigators were engaged for a cause and origin investigation following a fire in a workshop at a single family residence. After observing the scene and collecting evidence for laboratory analysis, we determined that the potential cause of the fire was a pancake compressor used in the workshop area. After further analysis of the pancake compressor, it was determined that it had overheated during use and caused the fire.

As a part of our investigation, EFI Global also conducted exemplar testing of a new compressor and compared with findings from the fire. Upon completion of the testing, it was determined that the failure of the compressor was due to a manufacturer defect that was present in this type and brand of compressor. As a result of our efforts and investigation, EFI Global worked with the local Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a formal recall of the product.