Academic Credentials
  • M.S., Building Materials and Wood Technology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2000
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1991
Licenses & Certifications
  • Professional Engineer Civil, Arizona, #50708
  • Professional Engineer, Montana, #PEL-PE-LIC-20299
  • Professional Engineer Civil, Nebraska, #E-13039
  • Professional Engineer Civil and Structural, New Mexico, #19691
  • Professional Engineer Civil, Wyoming, #PE 12464
Professional Affiliations
  • American Society of Civil Engineers — ASCE
  • Structural Engineers Association of Colorado — SEAC
  • National Fire Protection Association — NFPA
  • Record Holder National Council of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors — NCEES

Mr. Burnett is a licensed civil engineer in 10 states with education, background, and experience primarily in the structural discipline. He has been practicing civil/structural engineering since 1991 and has more than 20 years of experience in forensic and research consulting. 

Mr. Burnett's areas of expertise include design and construction of residential sites and structures, projects involving heavy timber and engineered wood products, property damage claims and appraisals, and expert consulting for litigation involving construction defects, construction accidents, OSHA investigations, and wood products liability cases.

In addition to his engineering degree, Mr. Burnett holds a Master of Science in Building Materials & Wood Technology. The focus of his graduate research was on the structural capacity of all-wood (pegged) heavy timber mortise-and-tenon joinery. Coursework and hands-on experience completed in this program included wood species identification, application of lumber grading rules, wood machining, kiln-drying operations, and load testing. In addition, the curriculum also included specific coursework in wood properties (physical and mechanical properties such as anatomy, wood-moisture relationships, thermal, electrical, and strength properties, etc.), wood protection (wood microbiology, decay and prevention, preservatives, finishes for exterior wood, etc.), wood adhesive technology (wood bonding and engineered wood products), a variety of light-frame structure technologies (building materials, energy efficiency, building products distribution and sales management, etc.), and graduate level structural engineering courses (finite element methods and advanced solid mechanics).

As a Senior Managing Engineer at Exponent, Mr. Burnett is routinely asked to lead or assist in forensic investigations related to building envelope and structural failures, construction defect and dispute litigations, construction costs analyses, first-party property insurance claims, insurance appraisals and bad-faith litigation, personal injury and construction accidents, and wood products failures or performance issues. He has evaluated hundreds of buildings and sites for issues related to site preparation (excavation, grading, drainage, etc.), foundations, structural capacity, the building envelope (roofing, cladding, moisture management systems, insulation, etc.), and interior finishes.

Mr. Burnett has investigated structural and architectural damage caused by wind, rain, hail, snow, tornado, earthquake, fire, explosion, vehicle impact, adjacent construction, occupant overloading, poor drainage, expansive or collapsible soils, weathering/age-related deterioration, and design/construction/manufacturing defects. While most of his practice involves residential and heavy timber construction, Mr. Burnett has conducted numerous investigations involving wind and hail damage, water intrusion through the building envelope, structural failure, fire damage and flame spread, and wood flooring problems in commercial buildings as well.

Prior to joining Exponent, Mr. Burnett's work experience included wind engineering (wind tunnel modeling for tall buildings and pedestrian wind environments), civil engineering design (grading, drainage, driveway layout in mountainous terrain, and landscape irrigation design), residential structural design (foundations and framing), and fire investigation support (life safety code analysis).