Expert Witness Biography
James is a ceramic materials scientist with extensive experience in tribology and failure analysis. He has over 25 years experience analyzing material and equipment failures in the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries, as well as military and aerospace applications. James applies his expertise to forensic investigations involving product performance, personal injury, and intellectual property disputes concerning ceramic and metallic materials.
James has extensive experience in the processing of ceramic materials, including processing controls, and identifying processing defects that can lead to component failures. Adept at the forensic science of fractography, James has performed fractographic investigations on products as complex as nuclear submarine components, and as simple as common consumer goods.
Mr. Derby is also proficient at analyzing failures in metals, such as stress corrosion cracking, fatigue, general corrosion, and weld cracking. He is experienced with metallographic preparation procedures and characterization technologies including hardness testing, optical and electron microscopy, and alloy analysis using x-ray fluorescence. He has established Positive Material Identification (PMI) procedures for ensuring compliance to material certification requirements and has also developed compliance requirements by the National Association of Chemical Engineers (MR0175 & MR0103) for oil and gas upstream and downstream applications.
James has worked on Health and Safety teams to establish safe practices in industrial settings and has authored Occupational Health and Safety procedures including OHSAS 18001.
Prior to joining Robson Forensic, Mr. Derby was a material scientist and laboratory manager for John Crane Inc. in Morton Grove, Illinois, and for EG&G in Cranston, RI. James also served as Chief Technology Officer for a nano materials startup company.
James earned an M.S. in Ceramic Science from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and a B.A. in physics from Thiel College. He has been published and has presented at numerous technical conferences, including keynote address speaker at the Twelfth International Conference on Fluid Sealing in Brighton, England, invited speaker at the American Aeronautics and Astronautics Conference in San Diego, CA, and a speaker at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Mr. Derby is an active member in technical societies including the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE), and the American Ceramic Society.