Kenneth J. Kutchek, P.E., C.F.E.I. Electrical Engineer & Industrial Controls Expert

Kenneth J. Kutchek, Electrical Engineer & Industrial Controls Expert

Ken is an electrical engineering expert with more than 30 years of hands-on experience in industrial controls, automation, machinery, equipment, industrial safety and machine safeguarding. He applies his expertise to forensic casework involving industrial controls, machine safeguarding, workplace safety, industrial/commercial/residential electric power systems, electrical related fires, electric shocks, and electrocutions. Ken is proficient in the National Electrical Code, National Electrical Safety Code, Electrical Safety in the Workplace, OSHA Standards for General Industry, and OSHA Electrical Safety Standards.

For 18 years he was a controls engineer for a control system integrator, where he was involved in control panel design, industrial automation, machine control, electrical design, software programming, installation, electrical contractor supervision, machine safeguarding, commissioning, project management, electrical power distribution and workplace safety. For 8 years he was a corporate engineer performing electrical engineering in 4 different manufacturing facilities, including industrial controls, automation, process control, process engineering, quality control, robotics, industrial safety, machine safeguarding manufacturing supervision, and product development.

He is a licensed Professional Engineer in more than 20 states and a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI). Ken is a member of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE), National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI), American Association of Safety Engineers (ASSE) as well as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Professional Experience

Robson Forensic, Inc.

Associate

2015 to present

Provide technical investigations, analysis, reports, and testimony toward the resolution of commercial and personal injury litigation involving design, construction, operation, maintenance and training of electrical systems, equipment and devices.

Industrial Controls and Automation: electrical controls, hydraulics, pneumatics, manufacturing, assembly lines, warehousing, conveyors, robotics, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), instrumentation, motion control, process control, heaters, ovens, presses, grinders, cutting, broaching, stamping presses, vision systems, motor controls, motion control, electrical control panels, PLC, HMI, MES, SCADA, data collection, alarming, digital devices, limit switches, proximity switches, photo-electric sensors, photo-eyes, ultrasonic sensors, level switches, flow switches, pressure switches, temperature switches, solenoid valves, relays, analog devices, transducers, level transmitters, flow transmitters, pressure transmitters, temperature transmitters, encoders, linear transducers, thermocouples, RTDs, AutoCAD, electrical drawings, piping and instrumentation diagram (P&ID), process flow diagrams (PFD), Bill of Materials (BOM), technical writing and training, operation/maintenance manuals, procedures and training.

Industrial Machine Safety: guarding, emergency stops, Lockout/Tagout, safety light curtains, safety mats, safety gates, safety area scanners, two hand controls, guard doors, safety relays, safety PLCs, safety interlocks, failsafe modes, warnings, instructions, training.

Electrical Power Distribution: transformers, power supplies, disconnects, fuses, circuit breakers, AC motors, DC motors, servo motors, motor controls, variable frequency drives (VFD), vector drives, motor starters, relays, contactors, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS), batteries, emergency generators, inverters, chargers, power factor, harmonics, connectors, splices, terminals, terminations, wiring, cables, receptacles, GFCI, AFCI, bus bars, power distribution blocks, grounding, lightning protection, metering, circuit breakers, conduit, distribution panels, utility distribution and utility services.

Appliances/Equipment: furnaces, boilers, pumps, water heaters, ranges, stoves, dishwashers, refrigerators, space heaters, toasters, coffee pots, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dehumidifiers, dish washers, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigeration compressors, computers, uninterruptible power supplies, emergency power systems, batteries, power tools, vape devices, e-cigarettes, lithium-ion batteries, personal medical alert device systems, electronic medical device pump controls, battery chargers, inverters and power strips.

Industrial/Facilities/Construction Equipment: cranes, gantries, elevators, conveyors, turn tables, lifts, material handling, packaging, shipping docks, balers, compactors, palletizers, wrappers, scales, aerial lifts, boom lifts, scissor lifts, forklifts, pallet jacks, motors, speed control, HVAC systems, air conditioners, refrigeration, fans, pumps, blowers, compressors, and boilers.

Workplace Safety: Machine guarding, machine controls, lockout/tagout, electrical safety, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), emergency stops, safety light curtains, safety mats, safety gates, two hand control, work procedures, work instructions, hazard analysis, risk assessments.

Electric Shocks / Electrocutions: electrical shock injuries, arc flashes, electrical faults, static shocks, Ground Faults Circuit Interrupters (GFCI), Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters(AFCI).

Fires: Electrical causes of fires, failure analysis, fire alarm systems, smoke detectors, heat detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, gas detectors, lithium-ion batteries.

Project Management / Construction Management / Contracting: commercial contracts, agreements, request for quote (RFQ), proposals, purchase orders (PO), change orders, change requisition, addendums, bulletins, submittals, bid specifications, scope of work, functional specifications, factory acceptance test (FAT), site acceptance test (SAT), commissioning, verification, schedules, budgets, staffing, efficiency, utilization.

National Electrical Code, National Electrical Safety Code, Electrical Safety in the Workplace, OSHA Standards for General Industry, OSHA Electrical Safety Standards.

Dynamo Engineering

President
Electrical Engineer
Consultant

2015 to present
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Controls and Automation Design and Development
  • Industrial Machinery Safeguarding and Safety Risk Assessments
  • Workplace Safety Assessments
  • Project Management
  • Industrial/Commercial Energy Conservation

Patti Engineering

1997 to 2015
Vice President of Operations 2002-2015
  • Industrial automation, control systems, machine control, process control, manufacturing automation, process control, industrial controls, project management, software development (PLC, SCADA, HMI, MES, DCS), electrical controls design, equipment installations, upgrades, power distribution, robotics, motion control, conveyor systems, assembly lines, warehousing, vision systems, RF Radios, RFID, barcode, control panel design build, machine safety, AC/DC/servo drives, CNC, pneumatics, hydraulics, alarming, data collection, data reporting, vision inspection systems, material handling, warehousing, ASRS across various industries: automotive, food, beverage, water, waste water, chemicals, manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, aggregates, etc
  • Managed all electrical controls automation projects (hardware design, software development, machine safeguarding, startups, service calls, warranty work)
  • Managed project schedules, budgets and change orders
  • Developed / maintained company procedures, methodologies and documentation
  • Managed Engineering, HR, Accounting, Safety departments
  • Recruiting, training, evaluations of engineers • Managed CSIA Certification, UL certification
  • Managed vendor partnerships
  • Managed subcontractors - developed RFQ and negotiated contracts
  • Forensic Engineering, Expert Witness.

Senior Electrical Controls Engineer 1997-2002

  • Lead Engineer and Project Manager on electrical controls automation projects
  • Managed project schedules, budgets, specifications, contracts and change orders
  • Electrical control panel design in AutoCAD
  • PLC / HMI / GUI / SCADA software programming
  • Machine safeguarding, Lockout, safety controls
  • Onsite start-up, commissioning and troubleshooting
  • Developed operation and maintenance manuals
  • Trained customers on system operation and maintenance

Power Saving Systems

President/Electrical Engineer (self employed)

1994 to 1997
  • Performed industrial/commercial energy audits, analyzed electric and gas consumption
  • Engineered energy and cost saving solutions, lighting upgrades, power factor correction, peak demand billing, equipment utilization
  • Managed project installations, start-up and testing

DuPont

1988 to 1994
Product Development Engineer, Wilmington, DE 1993-1994
  • Developed and commercialized a fully automated biochemical instrument which detects and identifies bacteria in food
  • Optimized equipment and process parameters thru testing and statistical analysis
  • Provided onsite technical support to customers
  • Liaison between R+D, manufacturing and sales
  • Developed documentation for instrument installation, operation and maintenance
  • Trained customers on instrument installation, operation and maintenance.

Corporate Engineering Recruiter 1992-1993
Wilmington, DE

  • Interviewed, evaluated and selected BS, MS and PhD engineering candidates in all disciplines (electrical, mechanical, chemical, biological, and environmental) for placement throughout the corporation.
  • Managed and coordinated recruiting visits to numerous universities

Project Engineer, Manufacturing Supervisor 1990-1992
Poughkeepsie NY/Danbury CT

  • Installed, started-up, operated and maintained an automated robotic manufacturing cell in a class 1 clean room producing pellicles for the electronics industry
  • Installed, started-up, operated a vacuum forming operation for pellicle packaging
  • Optimized equipment and process to improve product quality and efficiency
  • Hired, trained, supervised all operators/technicians
  • Managed production, QA, maintenance, scheduling, and raw material inventory
  • Developed all documentation for operation, maintenance and troubleshooting

Process Engineer – Tyvek Manufacturing 1988-1990
Richmond VA

  • Increased process efficiency by improving yield, thru-put, and reliability
  • Optimized process parameters to improve product quality and yield
  • Assisted in the operation and development of the Honeywell TDC3000 Distributed Control System (DCS)
  • Assisted R+D and Marketing to develop new products

Wisconsin Electric, Milwaukee, WI

Distribution Engineering Technician (Co-op Student)

1986 to 1987
  • Inspected, planned, designed residential electrical services (overhead and underground)
  • Inspected, verified, inventoried electrical distribution equipment (poles, transformers, etc)
  • Updated electrical distribution layout drawings
  • Inspected overhead distribution lines
  • Inspected electrical distribution poles

Professional Credentials

  • Professional Engineer: NCEES, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI)
  • Certified Machine Safety Expert (CMSE)
  • American Boat Yacht Council (ABYC ) – Marine Electrical Certification (Dec 2015)

Education

Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, 1988

  • MBA courses: Accounting, Economics, Finance, Operations Management, Statistics, Marketing
    • University of Delaware, 1992-1994
    • Marist University, 1990-1992
    • University of Richmond, 1988-1990

Training

  • OSHA approved Stand-Up Forklift Operation and Safety Certification
  • OSHA approved Sit Down Forklift Operation and Safety Certification
  • OSHA 30 Hour Construction
  • OSHA 30 Hour General Industry
  • OSHA approved Aerial Lift Operation and Safety Certification
  • Fire and Arson Investigator Training
  • Certified Machine Safety Expert
  • UL508A – Standard for Industrial Control panels
  • NFPA70 – National Electric Code
  • NFPA70E - Electrical Safety in the Workplace

Continuing Education

  • Existing Site Conditions Related to Personal Injury Claim 2022
  • When it Rains it Does Not Pour: Borax in a Rail Car 2022
  • Hydrology and Environmental Assessment in Louisiana's First Oil Field 2022
  • Rules of Thumb for Assessing Engineering Simulation 2022
  • Repair/Replacement Recommendations for Commercial Roofing 2022
  • Self-loosening Sediment Traps Resulting in Gas Explosions
  • NFPA 101 - Life Safety Code 2021
  • Ethics : Conflicts of Interest - Employers and Clients 2021
  • Ethics : Conflicts of Interest - Vendors and Colleagues 2021
  • Ethics : Conflicts of Interest - Serving the Public 2021
  • Ethics : Engineering Ethics and the Law 2021
  • How To Be An Effective Witness 2021
  • Saint Joseph Water Crisis - Lessons Learned 2021
  • PE's Role on Artificial Intelligence and Technology 2021
  • Winds of Changes - Electric Transmission 2021
  • Florida PE Law 2021
  • Certified Machine Safety Expert training 2020
  • Machine Safeguarding and Functional Safety Training 2020
  • Explosion Dynamics 2020
  • Investigating Natural Gas Systems 2020
  • OSHA 30 Hour Construction 2020
  • American Safety Council Fire Investigation Training 2020
  • Aerial Lift Operation 2020
  • Emotional Intelligence for Engineers 2020
  • Engineering Ethics: Ethics, Forensics and the PE 2020
  • Engineering Ethics: Conflicts of Interest 2020
  • Engineering Ethics: Engineering Expert 2020
  • Fire Investigation Training Program 28 Hour, 2020
  • OSHA Machine Safeguarding, 2019
  • OSHA Hazard Control, 2019
  • Ethics: PE as an Expert Witness, 2019
  • Architects & Engineers - Impact of Changing Technology and Experience, 2019
  • Ethics: PE and Domestic and International Gifts, 2019
  • Prevention Through Design, 2019
  • Hurricane Engineering Response: Restoring Power to Puerto Rico, 2019
  • NFPA 72 - Fire Alarm Code, 2019
  • Forensic Engineering Depositions, 2019
  • Insurance Fundamentals for Forensic Engineers, 2019
  • Ethics, Law and Public Policy Affecting Forensic Engineers, 2019
  • Resolving Schedule Delay Claims with Forensic Analysis, 2019
  • Electrocutions and Downed Power Lines, 2019
  • The Kaprun Ski Train: A Disaster Waiting to Happen, 2019
  • Arc Mapping, 2019
  • Fires From Reflected Sunlight from Glass Windows, 2019
  • Arc Mapping in a Residential Kitchen Fire Investigation, 2019
  • Pinched Power Cord is Latent Defect Causing Fire, 2019
  • Fire Alarm and Detection Systems, 2019
  • Fire Protection Systems, 2018,
  • Electric Power Distribution Systems, 2018,
  • Battery & Other Electricity Storage Technologies, 2018,
  • Interior Electrical Distribution Systems, 2018,
  • Electric Power Requirements for Buildings, 2018,
  • Guide to Electrical Distribution Systems, 2018,
  • Indiana PE Law and Ethics, 2018,
  • Florida PE Law, 2018,
  • Control Methods of AC Induction Motors, 2018,
  • Design Professionals Contract Review, 2018,
  • Advanced Fire Investigation for Professional Engineers, 2018,
  • Fire due to Intentional Deviation from Design, 2018,
  • Forensic Analysis of a Fire and Overfilled Propane Cylinder, 2018,
  • Forensic Analysis of Hot Socket Problems in Electrical Meters, 2018,
  • Forensic Analysis of a Cloned Ignition Coil Pack, 2018,
  • Forensic Investigation of Furnace Oil Supply Line Fitting Leak, 2018,
  • Forensic Analysis of Residential and Commercial Chairs, 2018,
  • Forensic Analysis - Misuse of Pressure Vessel Codes, 2018,
  • Solar Insolation Parameters for FE Applications, 2018,
  • Ethics: Conflicts of Interest, 2017,
  • Ethics: Autonomous Vehicles: Who's in the Driver's Seat?, 2017,
  • Ethics: Licensure and Professional Practice Concerns, 2017,
  • Ethics: Lessons from Forensic Engineer, 2017,
  • Ethics: Protecting the Public Health and Safety & Demonstrating Competence, 2017,
  • Fire Investigation - Electrical Arc Mapping, 2017,
  • Residential Natural Gas Systems, 2017,
  • Residential Electrical Systems, 2017,
  • OSHA General Industry - OSHA 29 CFR 1910 - 30 Hr, 2017,
  • Investigation of Gas and Electric Appliance Fires, 2017,
  • IEEE 3006.7 Reliability of Continuous Power Systems in Industrial and Commercial Facilities, 2017,
  • LED Street Lighting, 2017,
  • Design Professional Legal Liability workshop, 2017,
  • AC vs DC: Resurrection of Westinghouse and Edison debate, 2017,
  • Residential Building Construction, 2016
  • Reduce Scope Creep and Get Paid for Extra Services, 2016
  • Selling the Professional Services Firm: Architects and Engineers, 2016
  • Seven Secrets of Super Successful Project Managers, 2016
  • Ethics: Conflicts of Interest, Confidentiality and the Public Health Safety Welfare, 2016
  • Ethics: Employment and Professional Practice, 2016
  • Ten Uber-Trends Changing Everything in Business and Our World, 2016
  • Ethics Forum: Engineering Expert Witnesses and Litigation, 2016
  • Texas Statutes, Rules, and Ethics for Professional Engineers, 2016
  • Wisconsin Statutes, Rules, and Ethics for Professional Engineers, 2016
  • Indiana Statutes, Rules, and Ethics for Professional Engineers, 2016
  • New Battery Technologies, 2016
  • Understanding Fire through the Candle Experiments, 2016
  • Fire Investigator - Scene Safety, 2016
  • Fire and Arson Investigator Academy, 2016
  • Fire Investigator - Scientific Method, 2016
  • Marine Electrical Training and Certification, 2015
  • Electric Shock Drowning, 2015
  • NFPA 70E - Electrical Safety in the Workplace, 2015
  • NFPA 70 - National Electric Code, 2015
  • Electric Power Substations, 2015
  • Electric Power Generation, 2015
  • Electric Power Transmission and Distribution, 2015
  • The Pros & Cons of Using Consultants, 2015
  • Ethics and Sustainable Development, 2015
  • Team Building Skills for Engineers, 2015
  • Leading as an Engineering Responsibility, 2015
  • Seven Secrets to Successful Negotiation, 2015
  • Ethics and Risk Management, 2015
  • Engineering Ethics: Professional Issues, 2015
  • How Effective Leaders Manage Conflict, 2015
  • Fire Investigators 10 Most Common Errors, 2015
  • Fire Investigators Report Writing, 2015
  • Engineering Ethics: Technical Issues, 2015
  • Engineering Ethics: Business Issues, 2015
  • Expert Witness Daubert Challenge, 2015
  • Chemistry of Fire, 2015
  • Engineering Ethics Expert Witness and Engineering Review Issues, 2014
  • Conduct Effective Meetings, 2013
  • NSPE –Conflicts of Interest Proposed Federal Rules, 2013
  • Federal Contracting Laws, 2013
  • Legal Realities of Project Scheduling, 2013
  • Strategic Planning, 2013
  • Maintaining Objectivity Truthfulness, Preserving Confidentiality, 2013
  • Impact of the Ongoing Economic Crisis on Engineering Ethics, 2013
  • Project Management and Ethics, 2013
  • Whistleblowing - PEs Obligations to Report Misconduct, 2013
  • Project Management, 2012

Professional Memberships

  • National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE)
  • National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
  • Michigan Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • Nation Association Fire Investigators (NAFI)
  • American Association of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • American Boat Yacht Council (ABYC)
  • Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel 60947 - Industrial Control Equipment, Low-Voltage Switchgear and Controlgear, Contactors and Motor Starters
  • Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel 61496 - Safety Light Curtains
  • Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel 60730D - Timer Controls
  • Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel 60730E - Appliance Controls
  • Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel 1998 - Software in Programmable Components
  • Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel 1026 - Electric Cooking Appliances
  • Underwriters Laboratories Standards Technical Panel 2157 - Electric Clothes Washers and Dryers

Publications and Presentations

  • Siemens Automation Summit – Users Technical Conference presentation, Time to Market - Engine Assembly Build during Production, June 2014
  • Indusoft webinar presentation, System Integrator Best Practices Webinar, March 2013
  • Control System Integrators Association – Annual Conference presentation, Top 5 Secrets to Passing the CSIA Registration Audit, April 2003

Other Experience

  • Boating (inland water): Recreational boating, PWC’s (sit-down and stand-up), kayaks and canoes, including maintenance, modifications, repairs, rebuilding. Boating safety navigation rules/laws. Completed Safety Certification training.
  • Snowmobiling: Recreational snowmobiling, including maintenance, repairs, rebuilding. Snowmobiling rules/laws. Completed Safety Certification training.
  • Automobiles classic/historic: maintenance, modifications, repairs, rebuilding. Home Remodeling: Completely restored/remodeled a 95 year home - electrical, plumbing, mechanical, framing, stairs, cabinetry, roofing, siding, decking
  • Sports and activities: swimming, biking, running, triathlons, boating, canoeing, kayaking.

Volunteer Activities

  • First Robotics: Mentor/Coach for High School robotics team. Robot Inspector, 2010-2015
  • Christmas in Action: home renovation projects for the elderly, 2005-present
  • Meals on Wheels: deliver meals to the elderly, 2002-present
  • Boy Scouts of America: Assistant Scoutmaster, Eagle Scout Advisor, Treasurer, 2000-2014
  • Habitat for Humanity: home building – framing, roofing, siding, drywall, trim, cabinetry, painting, electrical, plumbing, managed electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and foundation contractors, 1994-2004
  • Science Olympiad: Elementary School Charged Up (electricity) event supervisor 2019-pres

v. 08/17/22

Related Resources

See All of Ken's Published Content

Battery Fires and Explosions: Lithium Battery Cell Protections

By Kenneth J. Kutchek
Expert Article

In this 2017 update of articles from 2015, and 2016, the technical experts at Robson Forensic highlight the safety protections built into Lithium-ion batteries. Failure of these battery safety…

Electronic Machine Safety Guards

By Kenneth J. Kutchek
Expert Article

In this article, Electrical Engineer, Kenneth J. Kutchek, P.E. provides an introduction to electronic machine safety guards. Designed to enhance the safety of industrial processes and machinery, the…

Electrocutions & Shock Injuries: the Basics of Human Electrical Exposures

By Kenneth J. Kutchek
Expert Article

In this article, electrical engineer, Kenneth Kutchek, P.E. provides an introduction to electrocutions and electric shock injuries. His discussion includes the basic principles of electricity,…

Electrical Controls and Product Malfunctions

Thursday, May 27, 2021
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Featuring Jeffrey M. Kobilka & Kenneth J. Kutchek
Video Webinar

The failure of a product or system to turn on/off or respond to input can lead to a broad range of injuries or property damage. Whether it be a seemingly innocuous device like a coffeepot, or a heavy…