Berkeley Engineering And Research, Inc.
Plures Intelligens Modicum Machinatorem
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BEAR Project Receives Award

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BEAR wins Best Paper of the Year

BEAR paper on preventing gasoline can explosions wins Best Paper of the Year

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Alcohol Containers Explode Too!

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BEAR Research Papers

 

 
 

BEAR Research Papers are published occasionally and result directly from our work. These papers are thoroughly researched and based on scientific literature review. Additionally, our research has been peer reviewed and in many instances has been used to shape public policy.

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BEAR Team awarded Best Paper of the Year

Journal  
 

Journal "Failure Analysis and Prevention of Fires and Explosions with Plastic Gasoline Containers" is recognized as the Best Paper of the Year for 2011 (Volume 11) by the Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention. The Award was formally presented at the ASM Leadership Awards Luncheon held in Pittsburgh, Pa., October 8, 2012.

Download full paper here.

 
 

Minimizing risk through improved safety features:
How to choose technologies

Journal In 2011, the BEAR team was asked to provide forensic engineering and economics analysis on the BP Deepwater Horizon well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. One piece of the analysis consisted of evaluating the possibility of a stand-by blowout preventer that might have shortened the time and amount of uncontrolled release of oil and hence lessened the damages cause by the well blowout. A straight forward cost/benefit analysis was performed.

Download full paper here.

 
 

Your Pink Cadillac! How Much Is It Worth?
What Can Forensic Economists Learn From Nonpecuniary Benefits?

Abstract: A review of the literature on nonpecuniary benefits derived from employment is provided in order to assess nonpecuniary losses and damages suffered by an employee in wrongful termination cases and in injury cases that lead to long-term unemployment. The review shows instances where nonpecuniary damages are quantifiable in terms of a multiplier, and this research allows the forensic economist to provide opinions in specific cases. This review also shows where forensic economists cannot comment on nonpecuniary damages in easily quantifiable terms.

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BEAR Project Receives Award from American Society of Civil Engineers

The American Society of Civil Engineers awarded the GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE SEISMIC RETROFIT PROJECT the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award for 2007. BEAR founder and CEO, Dr. Glen Stevick and his longstanding colleague, Dr. Weili Cheng, designed the seismic dampers for this historic project and determined the seismic energy for the retrofit of this majestic bridge. Congratulations!

Download full paper here.

 
 

US Liftboat Trinity II: Engineering Design, Risk Assessment, and Ethics

Abstract: On Thursday, September 8, 2011 the US Liftboat, Trinity II, experienced damage to the stern jacking leg from heavy weather associated with Hurricane Nate. Listing badly, the crew decided their best course of action was to abandon ship. A detailed review of the Trinity II's history revealed that it was previously owned by an engineering company providing offshore risk and hazard assessment services. This same company sold the Trinity II "as is" despite numerous design deficiencies. These design deficiencies were known in engineering circles. This paper discusses the Trinity II's deficiencies and the ethical duties of a registered engineering company to correct deficiencies and to inform unaware future owners of deficiencies in a highly complex engineered structure such as a liftboat.

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The Deepwater Horizon Blowout:
An Update - Drill String Buckling and Shearing

Abstract: On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon mobile offshore drilling rig experienced a blowout while abandoning a well (after cementing operations). The primary piece of equipment used to stop a blowout in progress is the blowout preventer (BOP). This six story tall, 400-ton piece of equipment is located on top of the well head on the ocean floor 5,000 feet below sea level on the Macondo well. The BOP contains five dual ram like devices to control a well which are described in numerous reports. The backstop device, if all fails, is the blind shear ram (BSR) that can both shear drill pipe that may be in the well and seal the well. The Chemical Safety Board (CSB), in approving its final report last month (April 2006), claimed the BSR "failed to seal the well because the drill pipe buckled for reasons the offshore drilling industry remains largely unaware of..." Pipe buckling due to high internal pressure when one end of the pipe is open has been known in the oil production industry (upstream) and described in the open literature since the 1960's. However, it is an issue that must be considered in shearing drill pipe in an emergency along with upper bound pipe shear properties and the friction forces that develop in closing a BSR during a blowout. All three of these issues have been inadequately addressed in the industry and are discussed in detail in this paper.

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Gall Thomson Connecter Release - Hawaii Single Point Mooring Terminal

Summary: On May 19, 2006 at 23:20 hours, a Gall Thomson marine breakaway connector (GTC) in a floating hose released unexpectedly during the offloading of the ship Front Sundra at the Tesoro Hawaii single point mooring (SPM). The analysis clearly indicates the GTC release resulted from the combination of three causes:
1) A new breakstud preload procedure
2) A breakstud design that is highly susceptible to fatigue
3) Lack of a proper "Fitness For Service" evaluation

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Flame Arrestors for Gelled Alcohol Containers

Summary: The vapor space in an alcohol container is in the explosive range at room temperature at the time of purchase. This paper describes pour and explosion testing and analysis performed on gelled alcohol containers with and without flame arrestors at BEAR. This research shows that flame arrestors can be used on gelled alcohol containers without inhibiting flow and that flame arrestors are effective in preventing injuries to users by inhibiting ignition inside an alcohol or gelled alcohol container.

Download full paper here