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Crispin HalesAffiliate


Dr. Crispin Hales has 50 years of engineering design experience, principally in industry but also in undergraduate teaching and postgraduate research. For the past 30 years he has worked in forensic engineering, investigating more than 500 mechanical engineering failures, explosions and accidents mostly within the USA. Many cases have involved testifying at deposition or trial.

After graduating in New Zealand, traveling in Africa and a postgraduate degree in the UK, Dr. Hales spent six years in Chicago designing and building high-pressure vessel equipment for the evaluation of materials under extreme temperature and pressure conditions. Projects included a $3 million refractory test facility for the US Department of Energy and a high-pressure, high temperature vessel system for NASA’s creep rupture testing of super-alloys in 3,000 psi hydrogen. This was followed by a return to the UK where he completed a PhD at Cambridge University with research focused on improving the process and management of engineering design.

In 1989 he joined a Chicago forensic engineering company working there for 16 years on a wide variety of accident and failure cases. Then in 2004 he founded Hales & Gooch Ltd. with Dr. Shayne Gooch in New Zealand, investigating mechanical engineering failures, providing expert testimony in legal disputes and consulting on engineering design. Based on the Hales & Gooch book, Managing Engineering Design, he also has contributed towards more effective design teaching and professional training for young engineers at Cambridge University in the UK, Canterbury University in New Zealand, and Northwestern University in the USA.

Dr. Hales is registered professionally in the UK as a Chartered Engineer and is a Fellow of the UK Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He also is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and in 2002 received the Robert E. Abbott Award for long service to the ASME Design Engineering Division. In 2013 he received the Hills Millennium Award from the Institution of Engineering Designers in the UK for contributions to the management of engineering design.


BE, Mechanial Engineering, Canterbury University, New Zealand

MTech, Engineering Design, Loughborough University, United Kingdom

PhD, Engineering Design, Cambridge University, United Kingdom

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