Michael Cundy
Michael E. Cundy, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI
Managing Engineer
Thermal Sciences
Phoenix

Dr. Cundy is a licensed Mechanical Engineer who utilizes his skillset in the analysis and investigation of complex mechanical and electrical systems, with an emphasis on thermal and fluid events such as the investigation of fires, explosions, carbon monoxide exposures, and water losses. His work spans different industries and often involves the investigation of vehicle systems, oil & gas processes, industrial facilities and equipment, and commercial and residential building systems, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Dr. Cundy has performed fire and explosion cause and origin investigations involving on-road and off-road vehicles, electric and hybrid vehicles, forklifts, houses, warehouses, at industrial facilities such as oil refineries and hydraulic fracturing well pads, and with industrial equipment, including boilers. He has investigated water loss claims involving hydraulic transients (water hammer) and large-scale water distribution systems. Dr. Cundy also has experience investigating the condition of industrial equipment subjected to a fire and subsequent repairs. His research and testing activities are broad and include the development and utilization of a large-scale oxygen depletion calorimeter to measure heat release rates and total heat release from large format lithium ion battery cells, flammable refrigerant testing, explosion testing of gas and electrical appliances, failing airbag inflators, and heat transfer testing in clothing. He is a resident of and actively utilizes Exponent’s 147 acre Test & Engineering Center in Phoenix, Arizona, and he has worked in areas of product development, third-party validation, and product safety.

Prior to joining Exponent, he was a member of the Quantitative Laser Diagnostics Laboratory in the Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he developed and applied various novel laser-based spectroscopy and optical measurement systems to study combustion in internal combustion engines. His work included developing and applying temperature field diagnostics, based on laser-induced fluorescence, to evaluate heat transfer from hot gases to the engine block; utilizing particle-image velocimetry to study flow patterns in engines; and developing and applying fuel concentration diagnostics to study combustion stability, including misfires and partial burns, in an advanced internal combustion engine.

While at the University of Michigan, Dr. Cundy was an instructor for a laboratory course that focused on experimental data collection, analysis, data presentation, and error analysis.

Dr. Cundy also performed fluid mechanics research in the Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics Laboratory at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He worked on a project funded by the U.S. Air Force where he developed a laser diagnostic tool to measure density fluctuations in the boundary layer of a supersonic flow.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2012
  • M.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2008
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2005, with distinction, with honors
  • Voting Member - ASTM Committee E58 on Forensic Engineering, and member of subcommittees on Electrical Incidents, Industrial Processes, and Product Defect Incidents

    Alternate - National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on Recreational Vehicles, 2012-2014

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

National Association of Fire Investigators Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), #21707-12362

Licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer, Arizona, #55526

Labview Associate Developer (lapsed), #100-310-1923

Fire Investigation 1A: Fire Origin and Cause Determination; accredited by the California State Fire Marshal

Fire Investigation 1B: Techniques of Fire Investigation; accredited by the California State Fire Marshal

Publications

Jokar A, O’hern S, Anderson D, Cundy M, Ogle R. Flammable Refrigerants: Efficiencies, Safeties, and Lessons Learned. Proceedings of the 2019 ASHRAE Winter Conference, Atlanta, GA, 2019.

Morse T, Cundy M, Kytomaa H. Vehicle fires resulting from hot surface ignition of grass and leaves. SAE Paper 2017-01-1354, 2017.

Colwell JD, Cundy M. Full-scale burn test of a 1992 compact pickup truck. SAE Paper 2013-01-0209, 2013.

Cundy ME. Development of high-speed laser diagnostics for the investigation of scalar heterogeneities in engines. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Michigan, 2012.

Cundy ME, Trunk P, Dreizler A, Sick V. Gas-phase toluene LIF temperature imaging near surfaces at 10 kHz. Experiments in Fluids 2011, DOI 10.1007/s00348-011-1137-8.

Cundy ME, Sick V. Hydroxyl radical imaging at kHz rates using a frequency quadrupled Nd:YLF laser. Applied Physics B 2009; 96(2):241–244.

Cundy ME, Schucht T, Thiele O, Sick V. High-speed laser-induced fluorescence and spark plug absorption sensor diagnostics for mixing and combustion studies in engines. Applied Optics 2009; 48(4):B94-B104.

Cundy ME. Detection and measurement of density fluctuations induced by a magnetohydrodynamic force in a supersonic boundary layer. Undergraduate Honors Thesis, The Ohio State University, 2005.

Meyer R, Nishihara M, Hicks A, Chintala M, Cundy M, Lempert WR, Adamovich IV, Gogineni S. Measurements of flow conductivity and density fluctuations in supersonic nonequilibrium MHD flows. AIAA Journal 2005; 43(9):1923.

Conference Presentations

Cundy M, Bennett T. Breathing Easier: Evaluating Carbon Monoxide Injury Claims. DRI Product Liability Seminar, Austin, TX, 2019.

Cundy M, Schucht T, Thiele O, Sick V. Novel optical diagnostics for mixing and combustion studies in engines. Poster presented at the University of Michigan Graduate Student Symposium, Ann Arbor, MI, November 2008.

Cundy M, Sick V. Misfire analysis techniques in a direct injection engine. Presented at the Gordon Conference on Laser Diagnostics in Combustion, Oxford, UK, August 2007.

Cundy M, Lempert W. Study of the effect of electromagnetic fields on density fluctuations in a supersonic boundary layer. Presented at the Denman Undergraduate Honors Research Forum, Columbus, OH, May 2004.

Cundy M, Sick V. Hydroxyl radical imaging at kHz rates using a frequency quadrupled Nd:YLF laser. Presented at the University of Michigan Graduate Student Symposium, Ann Arbor, MI, November 2009.

Drake MC, Fansler TD, Cundy M, Sick V. High-repetition-rate Mie scattering and particle-image-velocimetry for flow and combustion diagnostics in a direct-injection gasoline engine. Presented at the 6th U. S. National Combustion Meeting, Ann Arbor, MI, May 2009.

Cundy M, Schucht T, Thiele O, Sick V. Novel optical diagnostics for mixing and combustion studies in engines. Presented at the University of Michigan Graduate Student Symposium, Ann Arbor, MI, November 2008.

Professional Affiliations

National Fire Protection Association - NFPA

Society of Automotive Engineers - SAE

American Society of Mechanical Engineers - ASME

ASTM International

National Association of Fire Investigators - NAFI

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2012
  • M.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2008
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, The Ohio State University, 2005, with distinction, with honors
  • Voting Member - ASTM Committee E58 on Forensic Engineering, and member of subcommittees on Electrical Incidents, Industrial Processes, and Product Defect Incidents

    Alternate - National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committee on Recreational Vehicles, 2012-2014

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

National Association of Fire Investigators Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), #21707-12362

Licensed Professional Mechanical Engineer, Arizona, #55526

Labview Associate Developer (lapsed), #100-310-1923

Fire Investigation 1A: Fire Origin and Cause Determination; accredited by the California State Fire Marshal

Fire Investigation 1B: Techniques of Fire Investigation; accredited by the California State Fire Marshal