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Kirsner Consulting Engineering is a mechanical engineering firm that investigates industrial steam accidents, provides consulting to operators of high pressure steam systems experiencing water hammer, and provides seminars to operators and engineers on understanding water hammer in steam systems. We come from an engineering design background, not an academic or regulatory background. (That means we've designed steam systems). We believe our experience in investigating and SOLVING steam water hammer accidents in non-nuclear steam systems is unsurpassed in the United States and Canada. Our interest is not so much in providing forensic testimony in legal cases as in getting to the bottom of the accident and explaining in clearly understandable language and everyday examples what happened.

Wayne Kirsner, PE, Principal

The principal investigator is Wayne Kirsner, P.E. (whose personal experience may be viewed at the "Accident Investigations" page). Mr. Kirsner is a 1972, 1973 and 1980 graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology, BS in Mechanical Engineering, MS Physics. He was an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer 2001-2009.

The primary consultants to Mr. Kirsner are Dr. Frederick J. Moody and Dr. Peter Griffith of MIT --two of the foremost academic authorities on water hammer in steam systems in the World. A short bio on them may be viewed below.

The Company's clients are listed on the forensic investigations and training pages of this web site.

Facts about the Firm:

  • Incorporated as Kirsner, Pullin & Associates in Georgia in 1994. Name Changed to Kirsner Consulting Engineering, Inc. in 1999.
  • Registered as professional engineering firm Georgia, Certificate #PEF002994
  • Member firm, American Council of Consulting Engineers, and International District Energy Association
  • Business Licensed in Cobb County, Georgia (outside Atlanta)
  • DUNS # 926621996, Registered Veteran Owned Small Business, SIC 8711, NAICS 541330
Dr. Frederick J. Moody

Dr. Moody is a widely sought out and referenced authority on Thermal Hydraulic Loads in Pressure Vessels and Pipes. You could say he wrote the book on the subject (since he did). He received his Ph.D. from Stanford, worked as a theoretical development engineer for GE Nuclear Energy for 41 years, and taught at San Jose State University for many years. Today he consults for the NRC and semi-annually teaches a two day, 16 hour ASME seminar on the Thermal Hydraulic Loading to engineers. I took his course several years ago, but knew him by reputation well before the course because of the many published papers on water hammer in which he's referenced and the high regard with which Peter Griffith holds him. He is an elected Member of National Academy of Engineering.

Dr. Peter Griffith
Peter is a professor emeritus at MIT and has been one of the foremost authorities in the World on water hammer in steam systems. He authored NUREG/ CR-6519 "Screening Reactor Steam/ Water Piping Systems for Water Hammer" for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This pamphlet is a brief but understandable recap of Peter's and his students' primary research on condensation-induced waterhammer. He was one of three Editors for the April 2002 User's Manual for EPRI's "Generic Letter 96-06 Waterhammer Issues Resolution" and a primary source for the 1996 "Water Hammer Handbook for Nuclear Plant Engineers and Operators." Retired, he maintains an office at MIT from where he performs consulting work and teaches an occasional class. Each day he bicycles 50 minutes to MIT from his home in Cambridge.
Wayne Kirsner, P.E.

Chief Investigator and Manhole Gopher

It's said that if Wayne sticks his head out a manhole and sees his shadow, you're in for 10 more weeks of winter. (Picture taken circa 1996).
Virgil Rogers

Virgil, a graduate of Georgia Polytechnical State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology, is our ambassador without portfolio (but with screw driver). He formerly owed an industrial stack design and erection company and now works for us on an as needed basis when we need a hard technical look in the field at a complicated mechanical or material failure. He's broke open two cases for us by being the only investigator to figure out that an electric-to-pneumatic transducer that was clogged with dust in one case, and a float-switch alternating pump controller which was re-installed incorrectly in another case were, in fact, inoperable. In each case the realization helped explain why operators and a contractor (who were not forth coming in their testimony) took the actions they did to bypass controls which, ultimately, led to the Accident. Virgil works out of Knoxville, TN. In his spare time, he likes to play whack-a-mole.

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