Shane Kennett
Shane Kennett, Ph.D., P.E., CWI
Managing Engineer
Materials & Corrosion Engineering

Dr. Kennett specializes in failure analysis, failure prevention, materials science, physical and mechanical metallurgy, assessment of engineering structures, and fracture mechanics. Dr. Kennett received his Ph.D. in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering from Colorado School of Mines and his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of North Florida. He has experience with a wide range of applications and industries, including Oil & Gas pipelines, refineries and operations, power generation systems, mining equipment, mineral processing, raw material production, automotive safety equipment, off-road vehicles, surgical devices, medical implants, and microelectronics. In these industries, Dr. Kennett specializes in applying fundamental engineering principles along with industry best engineering practices to direct and root cause failure analyses. Routinely in these investigations, a range of industries standards must be considered and applied to help provide an independent finding that can be used in support for resolving disputes between multiple parties.

Many of Dr. Kennett’s investigations are focused on steel weldments included on structural steel systems and pipelines. He has extensively investigated that welding behavior of steel and the performance of the steel weldments with in-service conditions. Dr. Kennett is a Certified Welding Inspector and applies this inspection based background on many of his investigations. As part of these investigations, Dr. Kennett has extensively reviewed and evaluated the applicability of many major industry standards and codes related to welding and to pipelines including AWS D1.1, API 570, API 574, API 579, API 1104, ASME B31.1, ASME B31.3, ASME BPVC Sections, as well as international standards applicable to his work on international disputes published by the DNV, NZS/AS, ISO, DIN, and ESO. In addition to his welding and pipeline work, Dr. Kennett has investigated many bolting related failures both in on- and off-shore applications and has performed extensive failure analyses on these matters.

Dr. Kennett has extensively studied material characterization methods and the application of them, the mechanical behavior of materials, high and low temperature performance of metals, machine design, product life assessment, and product design. Additionally, he continues to research the effects of processing on the microstructure and subsequent mechanical properties / performance of commercial grades of steel.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Kennett conducted his Ph.D. dissertation work at Colorado School of Mines (CSM) in the Advanced Steels Processing and Products Research Center. During his studies at CSM, he studied the effects of the martensitic packet size, block size, lath size, dislocation density, and alloy precipitation on the mechanical properties of martensitic steel. To investigate these effects, he performed extensive amounts of characterization using optical microscopes (OM), scanning electron microscopes (SEM), focused ion beam microscopes (FIB), transmission electron microscopes (TEM), and X-ray diffractometers (XRD). During his time at CSM, he also studied the microstructure of CoCrMo hip implants, ferrite-pearlite steels, carburized steels, and cold sprayed copper and aluminum systems. In addition to his studies, he was responsible for the operation, maintenance, training, and data interpretation of different mechanical testing techniques and equipment, including the Gleeble ® advanced thermo-mechanical simulator. The Gleeble ® is a research tool that can be used to simulate high heating and cooling rates, elevated temperature deformation, and perform controlled heat treatments to create specific microstructures.

Dr. Kennett also has experience with machine design; specifically, the design and implementation of custom machines used for unique testing scenarios, i.e., a rolling sliding contact fatigue machine. This machine is currently located at CSM and is actively used by graduate students. In addition to mechanical design, Dr. Kennett has experience with the design, implementation, and optimization of closed and open-loop control systems. These systems were developed and used for 6-axis robotic arms and underwater remotely operated vehicles.


  • Ph.D., Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2014
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of North Florida, 2010


Licensed Metallurgical Engineer, California, #1984

Licensed Professional Engineer, Colorado, #PE.0053856

Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), American Welding Society, Certificate #15082621


Kennett SC, Krauss G, Findley KO. Prior austenite grain size and tempering effects on the dislocation density of low-C Nb–Ti microalloyed lath martensite. Scripta Materialia 2015; 107:123–126

Kennett SC. Strengthening and toughening mechanisms in low-C microalloyed martensitic steel as influenced by austenite conditioning. Ph.D. Dissertation, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO, 2014.

Kennett SC, Findley KO. Strengthening and toughening mechanisms in martensitic steel. Advanced Materials Research 2014; 922:350–355.

Eason PD, Kennett SC, Eden TJ, Krull I, Kowalski B, Jones JL. In situ observation of microstrain relief in cold-sprayed bulk copper during thermal annealing. Scripta Materialia 2012; 67:791–794

Eason PD, Eden TJ, Kennett SC, Kaufman MJ. A structure property processing comparison of cold rolled PM copper and cold gas dynamically sprayed copper. Journal of Powder Metallurgy and Mining 2012; 1(1).

Kennett SC, Findley KO. Strengthening mechanisms in microalloyed plate steels. American Iron and Steel Technology, March 2012.

Eason PD, Fewkes JA, Kennett SC, Eden TJ, Tello K, Kaufman MJ, Tiryakio─člu M. On the characterization of bulk copper produced by cold gas dynamic spray processing in the as-fabricated and annealed conditions. Materials Science and Engineering A 2011; 528(8174–8178).


Briant P, James B, Easley S, Kennett S, Scahffer J, Kay L. The effect of crimp strain on the fatigue performance of nitinol. Shape Memory and Superelastic Technologies Conference, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, UK, May 2015.

Kennett SC, Findley KO. Strengthening and toughening mechanisms in low-C martensitic steel as influenced by austenite conditioning. ASPPRC Research Meeting Invited Presentation, Colorado School of Mines, March 2014.

Kennett SC, Rothleutner LM, Van Tyne CJ, Findley KO. Phase transformation temperature comparisons using a contact dilatometer and laser scanning micrometer. International Conference on Processing & Manufacturing of Advanced Materials (THERMEC’), Las Vegas, NV, December 2013.

Kennett SC, Findley KO. Strengthening and toughening mechanisms in martensitic steel. International Conference on Processing & Manufacturing of Advanced Materials (THERMEC’), Las Vegas, NV, December 2013.

Kennett SC, Findley KO. Strengthening mechanisms in microalloyed plate steels. Association for Iron and Steel Technology Conference and Exposition, Atlanta, GA, May 2012.

Eason PD, Fewkes JA, Kennett SC, Eden TJ, Tello K, Kaufman MJ. Structure-processing-property relationships in bulk copper produced by cold gas dynamic spray processing. MPIF PowderMet Proceedings 2010, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, June 2010.

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Mechanical Engineers—ASME

ASM International

American Welding Society—AWS

Heat Treating Society—HTS

International Metallographic Society—IMS

Society of Carbides & Tool Engineers

Materials Research Society — MRS

Project Experience

Oil & Gas Pipelines – Investigated the metallurgical fractures of many pipelines, of which has included seamless, helically welded, and longitudinally welded pipelines. Evaluated the corrosion on pipelines and assessed the overall mechanisms active to provide guidance for remediation. Assessed the compliance of pipelines with the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) Part 192 and 195. Evaluated historical operator’s records and assessed whether the appropriate engineering practices were being executed as per American Petroleum Institute’s (API) guidelines.

Oil & Gas Upstream Activities – Investigated and evaluated blow out preventers used for offshore production wells. Assessed offshore Oil & Gas operations and evaluated the performance of metallurgical components in sea water with and without cathodic protection systems. Evaluated operational procedures against Det Norske Veritas (DNV) guidelines and other industry standards.

Oil & Gas Refineries – Investigated the contributing causes to the unexpected ruptures of process piping, both buried and above ground. Evaluated the historical records and assessed whether the appropriate inspections were being executed as per the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) guidelines. Evaluated the process safety management (PSM) systems in place. Assessed the compliance of piping systems with ASTM B31.3.

Hydrogen Embrittlement of Steel – Investigated many failures related to the hydrogen embrittlement of steels. The investigations have encompassed hot dipped galvanized fasteners, proper welding controls and procedures, and cathodic charging due to over protection from cathodic protection systems.

Power Generation Turbines
– Investigated turbine blade failures in multiple combined cycle power plants. Evaluated factors affecting stress corrosion cracking, blade erosion, and the fatigue of high alloy blading materials.

Power Generation Boiler Failure Analysis – Investigated cracking associated with steam headers and boiler tubes, and assessed the corrosion mechanism present in multiple locations within the boiler. Further, examined the effect of steam erosion on boiler tubes.

Sea Wall Analysis – Investigated the metallurgical fracture of large sea walls in Alaska that were subject to large tidal variations. Determined the fracture mechanisms present and the direct cause of fracture. Assessed the welded connections on the sea wall to determine if manufacturing or welding defects were a causal or contributing factor.

Heavy Construction Equipment
– Evaluated mechanical and metallurgical defects in as-supplied construction equipment and the effect on the overall equipment. Investigated structural and mechanical welding defects, and high strength fasteners.

Airbag Deployment – Investigated fracture behavior or automotive airbag housings when subjected to elevated pressures during discharge. Evaluated and characterized the evolution of the explosive propellant in the airbag and its interaction with temperature/ humidity cycling. Studied the burning behavior of the propellant and its effect on overall airbag performance.

Automotive Mechanical Equipment
– Investigated the failure of mechanical equipment associated with performance automotive vehicles. Reported on the interplay between casting anomalies and expected performance of the components.

Off-road Utility Vehicles (UTVs) – Investigated the direct cause of fires associated with high temperature engine related equipment on off-road vehicles. Developed methods for determining the degree of over-heating in the metallic components.

Off-road All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) – Investigated and evaluated the metallurgical fracture of welded mechanical components used on ATVs.

Industrial Heat Exchangers – Evaluated the corrosion fatigue behavior of industrial gas fired heat exchangers and assessed the validity for the materials of construction used.
Fire Sprinkler System Corrosion – Assessed the corrosion occurring within piping used for a fire sprinkler system and determined the mechanisms active. Results were used to guide proper operation after replacement of the leaking pipe components.

Fire Sprinklers – Evaluated the performance of fusible link sprinklers and assessed the metallurgical fracture of the sprinklers.

Medical Devices
– Investigated the fracture of hip implants, surgical tools, intravenous devices, and stents. Evaluated the performance of the components based on the metallurgical material properties.

Hip Implant Wear – Evaluated the metal on metal wear behavior of hip implants, and developed a technique for characterizing the extent of damage using a focused ion beam (FIB) microscope. The technique developed was considered to be a form of non-destructive examination.

Consumer Appliances – Investigated failures in mechanical components associated with household appliances and provided guidance for rectification and re-design on the components. Addressed the sealing behaving of rubber seals used on plastic and metallic rotating shafts.

Consumer Electronics – Investigated numerous manufacturing related issues associated with consumer electronics. Performed highly detailed analyses using focused ion beam (FIB) microscopes, high resolution scanning electron microscopes (HR-SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Developed new and unique methods for testing material properties and investigation components on the micro- to nano-scale.

Children’s Sport Toys – Investigated the metallurgical fractures in two-wheeled scooters built from thin aluminum tubes and welded together. Provided guidance for reporting the results and rectifying manufacturing requirements to mitigate future problems.
Waste Disposal Valve Leak – Investigated the failure of valves associated with hazardous waste disposal systems and the effect that the hazardous material had on the corrosion of the valve.

Electrical Shock Assessment – Investigated an electrical shock incident in which a construction worker was subject to personal injury. Evaluated the accident to determine if electrical contact was made been the workers tools and the high powered electrical bus in the building.

Salt Well Caverns – Reviewed and analyzed historical well operations along with operational data and compared to good engineering practices.


News & Events


  • Ph.D., Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 2014
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of North Florida, 2010


Licensed Metallurgical Engineer, California, #1984

Licensed Professional Engineer, Colorado, #PE.0053856

Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), American Welding Society, Certificate #15082621