Failure Analysis Specialists and Expert Witness

For over 30 years, Gilmore Engineers Pty Ltd has been a leader in the investigation and analysis of accidents and failures. We are one of only a few consultancy groups in the world that has a speciality in failure analysis. Services are provided to many corporations, insurers, individuals, and their counsel. Typical failures include machinery and system-of-work failures leading to property loss, loss of life and personal injury.

Specific services include acting as an expert witness, analysis of component failure and redesign, experimental testing, design auditing, Finite Element Analysis (FEA), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) material testing, corrosion analysis, fire investigation and auditing of safety standards.

Further services include the analysis of motor vehicle accidents to establish the probable cause, forensic analyses to assist criminal investigations including arson and murder, intellectual property defence support (copyright and patents), and product liability reviews and experimental testing.

  • Expert Engineering Opinion with a comprehensive report
  • Over 1500 Expert Witness Reports have been prepared over the past 25 years.
  • Machine Failure
  • System of Work assessment
  • Product Liability
  • Personal Injury
  • Patent/Copyright defence support
  • Motor Vehicle Accident Analysis
Detailed Examples - Read More


Machine Failure

  • Helicopter/aircraft failures
  • Construction Crane collapse
  • Mobile Crane collapse
  • Industrial equipment explosion
  • Heavy Transport Vehicle Cracking
  • Engine failures
  • Fracture Mechanics

Product Liability

  • Consumer Product analysis and testing
  • Furniture/equipment testing
  • Analysis of material stress
  • Supply of defective machinery
  • Motor vehicle compliance with standards
  • Swimming pool heating system
  • Analysis of fire spread and behaviour

Loss of Life

  • Portable industrial grinder
  • Industrial heavy equipment incident
  • Forensic murder evidence defence
  • Suffocation
  • Elevating Platforms
  • Arson investigations

Personal Injury

  • Cumulative trauma disorders
  • Slips and Falls, Impact
  • Ergonomics
  • Back injuries
  • Noise and Vibration effects
  • System of work assessment
  • Ladder failures
  • Motor Vehicle Injuries

Motor Vehicle Accident Analysis

  • Passenger car head-on impacts/rollover
  • Pedestrian impacts
  • Heavy vehicle roll-over, seatbelts
  • Stopping distances, brake failure
  • Position of vehicle pre-impact
  • Bicycles/Motorcycles
  • Tyre, suspension, other component failure

Patent/Copyright defence Support

  • Fish harvesting machine patent
  • Industrial conveyor belt system
  • Heavy haul trailer design copyright
  • Heavy vehicle suspension performance patent
  • Building product patent infringement
  • Sunshade and playground products
  • Engineering comparisons of technology

Failure Analysis Case Studies

Car Accident – Fatality

The driver of a motor vehicle, involved in a collision, was charged with dangerous driving causing death. A critical aspect of the case was the claimed speed of the vehicle before the impact. Gilmore Engineers’ expert was able to review the available evidence and determine the likely speed range of the vehicle based on tyre skid marks left at the incident scene, measured road friction and slope, and the impact damage. 

​Amusement Park Ride

Dr Duncan Gilmore was requested to assist the Coroner with investigations and safety assessments of an amusement park ride following multiple fatalities. Dr Gilmore advised the Coroner on the design and maintenance of the ride in relation to Australian Standards and Workplace Health and Safety requirements. Dr Gilmore also reviewed the reports and evidence from expert witnesses acting for other parties in the case.

​Workplace Machinery Injury

A worker suffered serious injury while operating machinery at a manufacturing plant in Brisbane. Gilmore Engineers investigated the incident and provided expert evidence to the court on the design and maintenance of the machine in relation to Australian Standards on Safety of Machinery and Workplace Health and Safety requirements.

Expert Witness – Manslaughter Case

An excavator operator was charged with Manslaughter, after a death on a work site. Our expert engineer investigated the available evidence and was able to identify a failure mode in the excavator that was not identified by either Workplace Health and Safety or Police investigators. Gilmore Engineers’ expert provided in person evidence in the Supreme Court and the client was found not guilty of all charges.

​Motorcycle Accident Investigation

After the fatality of a motorcycle rider in Brisbane, Gilmore Engineers were engaged to act as an expert witness in the case. The driver who’s vehicle struck the motorcycle claimed not to have seen the motorcycle until the last minute. Our expert engineer examined the incident site and was able to provide strong evidence as to the contributing factors that could have made the motorcycle difficult to perceive leading up to the incident.

​Car Accident – Lights on or off analysis

Gilmore Engineers were provided with globes from headlights, brake lights and indicator lamps of a vehicle involved in a car accident in Sydney. Our expert engineer examined the remains of the globes under a microscope and was able to provide expert evidence on which of the globes were likely to have been illuminated at the time of the impact.

Failure Analysis of a Boom Crane

A boom crane was supporting a large piece of mining equipment, when it failed causing catastrophic loss of both pieces of equipment. Gilmore Engineers investigated the source of the failure and identified a number of factors that contributed to the multi-million dollar loss.

Helicopter Crash due to Driveline Failure

A helicopter driveline component ruptured its fuel tank mid-air, resulting in a crash and loss of life. A bolted joint was put under scrutiny to determine whether the design, installation or maintenance was responsible for the crash, after an incorrect component sequence was discovered.

Semi-Trailer Rollover Carrying Live Load

A prime mover and semi-trailer combination carrying livestock rolled over while negotiating a curve on a NSW highway. Gilmore Engineers investigated the incident, including the design of the road, road surface condition and signage, and provided an expert engineering report for the court explaining the contributing factors to the incident.

Safety Investigation for Haul Truck Personnel Access

After a mine safety incident, Gilmore Engineers were engaged to design a safe access system for a Caterpillar 777D. Australia Standards requirements were researched and a new access platform was designed both to minimise cost, and ensure the safety of operators.

Modelling of a Building Fire

A CFD study was undertaken on a building fire within an accommodation complex. Results from the study were integrated into the police investigation enabling determination of cause and qualification of the overall building hazard. The same simulation technology has since been successfully validated by Gilmore Engineers against experimental data in a full-scale mock building burn.

Failure Analysis of a SAG Mill

Failure Analysis of a SAG Mill

A 34ft diameter SAG mill developed cracks in the corner weld near the end of its service life. Gilmore Engineers inspected and conducted Finite Element analysis on the mill to determine the reduction in stress intensity at the repaired site and provided recommendations for continuing use and the potential replacement. Gilmore Engineers also performed a design review of the replacement Mill, including visits to the manufacturer in Pennsylvania, USA, and independent Finite Element analysis.  Independent quality assurance during the manufacture of the new SAG Mill components in Turkey and China was also provided.

Drill Rig Continual Maintenance

4 drill rigs were reviewed after a history of failures. A determination was made about the failures, and whether they were caused by design, manufacturer or operator error. Issues involving the pneumatic system, compressor shaft, cooling system and overheating were identified and detailed.

Helicopter Bearing Catastrophic Failure

A rurally operated helicopter crashed resulting in serious injury. The cause of the crash was investigated by CASA, and Gilmore Engineers reviewed the failed components to provide an opinion on the cause of failure. A series of impact tests on a rotor bearing were conducted and data used to determine the failure mode.

Water Pipe Sight Glass at Parliament House, Canberra

In 2004, a Perspex water pipe sight glass failed, flooding the cabinet room of the Australian Parliament House in Canberra, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. e3k modelled the sight glass, analysing the strength using the Finite Element method and conducted destructive tests on the proposed replacement.

Rock Hammer Accelerated Wear and Failure

In 2013, Gilmore Engineers inspected a series of failed rock hammer components. Based on visual inspection alone, various failure methods were able to be ruled out, resulting in a renewed focus on the remaining likely causes of failure.

Truck Differential Yoke Failure

An underground mine concrete truck impacted a wall on a relatively steep decline. Concern about whether the truck’s brakes or driveline had failed or whether operator error was responsible was investigated. Gilmore Engineers determined the cause of failure and provided an expert report for the courts.

Crane Engine Fire

A mobile crane caught fire whilst driving between sites, causing a high level of damage. Gilmore Engineers investigated the fire initiation and drew attention to the engine turbocharger and its heat shielding. The role of engine coolant was also investigated.

Bouncing Rock

A football-shaped rock was struck by a vehicle travelling at 100km/h. It was claimed that the rock rolled and bounced high off the bitumen road, striking another vehicle and injuring one of the occupants. Gilmore Engineers used advanced computer simulation to map the potential path of the rock showing that the bouncing motion was indeed possible, and was much like that of a Rugby ball.

Failure Analysis of a Girth Gear

A gold mining company contracted Gilmore Engineers to review a mill girth gear failure and the numerous reports that had been produced regarding the repair excavation. Gilmore Engineers produced a management-level report analysing the failure and providing a recommendation for the potential remaining life of the gear.

Flying Fox Personal Injury

A father who was carrying his child on a flying fox was injured when the cable broke. Gilmore Engineers were engaged to analyse the evidence and provide expert engineering evidence for the court.  Gilmore Engineers identified an area of the flying fox design which did not comply with Australian Standards and were able to explain why this resulted in the premature failure of the cable.

Contact Us

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BTP Conference Centre
1 Clunies Ross Court
Eight Mile Plains, 4113
Queensland, Australia


+61 7 3853 5250


+61 7 3853 5258