For more than 40 years, Exponent (formerly Failure Analysis Associates) has been recognized as a leader in the investigation of major engineering failures and disasters. With a professional staff that covers more than 90 technical disciplines, Exponent’s emergency response is unparalleled in the industry because of our ability to assemble a multidisciplinary team covering every expertise required to respond to virtually any emergency. Exponent staff have significant experience in data collection, sample preservation and documentation, and potential longer term impacts (e.g., damage claims, regulatory agency interaction, litigation, etc.) of emergency events. Our emergency response experience includes many high-profile failures, accidents, and natural disasters including the World Trade Center attack, Hurricane Katrina, Northridge Earthquake, and the Piper Alpha oil rig explosion. For more information about Exponent’s capabilities responding to emergencies, click on the event in the table below.
Exponent’s multidisciplinary emergency response team includes staff with specific expertise in three areas: engineering, health, and environmental issues.
Exponent engineers have investigated almost all types of natural disasters and accidents and specialize in the rapid response to hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, landslides, or man-made catastrophes, including construction accidents, pipeline failures, and building collapses. Our multidisciplinary engineering team has expertise in civil, geotechnical, geological, and structural engineering, fire and explosion investigations, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, materials and metallurgy, and aeronautical engineering. Our staff also has expertise in the technical oversight and management of catastrophe response planning, investigation and quality control audit of engineering services.
For accidents and failures, Exponent brings the highest level of engineering to determine the cause of the failure or accident, the nature and extent of damage, and, when requested, the most appropriate repair. Our engineers have experience with quick and thorough documentation of a failure site, so that it can be repaired or cleared and operations (emergency or otherwise) can continue. We also have extensive experience with identification, recovery, and preservation of key physical evidence needed to determine the cause of a failure.
Our staff have responded to a variety of health-related emergency events including major oil spills, natural disasters, Legionella in portable water systems of resort hotels and cruise ships, community and occupational exposures to dioxins and PCBs following industrial fires, food products contamination, indoor air quality and mold issues, and gastrointestinal outbreaks due to Norwalk-type viruses and protozoan parasites. Exponent’s staff of Health Sciences professionals has significant expertise in clinical medicine, public health and sanitation, toxicology, industrial hygiene, epidemiology, infectious diseases, pesticides, water and food borne outbreaks, and chemical additives, as well as chemical and biological warfare. Our consultants include epidemiologists, physicians, toxicologists, statisticians, and industrial hygienists, among whom are former medical directors at Fortune 500 companies.
Exponent’s environmental scientists and engineers have experience in managing environmental issues related to large oil spills. They have also provided technical support related to large chemical spills from train derailments of highly hazardous chemicals (specifically in California and Arkansas). The large chemical spills and accidents in industrial plants for which we have provided technical consultation have involved asbestos, PCBs, dioxins, chlorinated solvents, and heavy metals. Exponent’s staff have expertise in an array of environmental issues, specializing in environmental air quality evaluation, ecological and human health risk assessment, environmental management systems, environmental economics analysis, natural resource damage assessment, site investigation and liability management, toxic tort claims investigation, toxicology consultation, and water resources and water quality management.