Lab Live: Metal – Applied Science in Action to Improve Design and Mitigate Failure

Lab Live: Metal – Applied Science in Action to Improve Design and Mitigate Failure


To understand material performance in the field or determine the causes of underlying building conditions, engineers and material scientists often look to applied science and research methods to improve design and construction processes and probe known issues or problems. By combining technical knowledge with expertise in testing and materials science, these teams can help solve their clients’ most challenging problems by understanding why they occurred in the first place. In Simpson Gumpertz & Heger’s (SGH) virtual “Lab Live” series, we will demonstrate these testing and discovery methods in real time in our Applied Science & Research Center to focus on common and challenging material problems. In these dynamic sessions, we hope to spark discussions that lead to creative ideas and improved collaboration.


In the next session of this series, our technical experts and laboratory specialists will focus on metal as an architectural, structural, and enclosure material and discuss how SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center uses materials testing and metallurgical analysis to evaluate metal-related questions for design and investigation. Through a series of discussions, we will explore metal’s varied applications in the construction industry and demonstrate several evaluation techniques, including mechanical testing of copper solder seams, metallographic testing of cast iron pipe corrosion, and fractographic analysis of steel fasteners.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss how metal is used as a building material in current and historic applications.
  • Review metallurgical principles to understand how fracture, fatigue, corrosion, and other issues can affect performance.
  • Understand various testing methods to see how laboratory specialists can identify underlying characteristics of metal specimens.
  • Recognize case study examples of how metal can be rehabilitated in practice.

Participants will earn 1.0 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for attending the live webinar. Registration is free. Please note that space is limited – email events@sgh.com to join our waitlist if the session is closed when you register. 

About the Speaker

Kelsey Dunn
Kelsey Dunn | Senior Consulting Engineer

Kelsey Dunn is a member of SGH’s Building Technology group with project experience involving investigation, design, and construction administration for existing building repair projects, historic building rehabilitation, and new construction building enclosure consulting.

Alan Humphreys
Alan Humphreys | Senior Technical Manager

Alan Humphreys is a metallurgical engineer specializing in failure analysis and structural assessment for degraded materials systems caused by corrosion, fracture and fatigue, or wear. He has an extensive technical background in laboratory testing and analysis to ASTM International, NACE International, and American Petroleum Institute standards, including the design of fitness for purpose experimentation. He works on a range of projects involving structures, petrochemical, transportation, and materials processing.

Norman Perkins
Norman Perkins | Director of Applied Science & Research

Norman Perkins provides strategic leadership and oversight for SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center and its physical testing, materials science, and research programs. Throughout his career, he has practiced engineering and conducted research on a wide variety of civil, mechanical, environmental, structural, and fire protection engineering efforts.

Nasjela Thodhoraqi
Nasjela Thodhoraqi | Project Consultant

Nasjela Thodhoraqi uses her background in mechanical engineering to perform physical tests on various construction materials, including metal, in SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center. She focuses her work on designing non-standard testing procedures and material testing analyses. Nasjela is trained in operating many universal testing machines, and she conducts data collection instrumentation on a variety of materials and assemblies.

Brian Toney
Brian Toney | Project Consultant

Brian Toney specializes in coating failure analysis. He provides analytical and polymer chemistry expertise for a variety of projects, including litigation, rehabilitation, and new design. He has experience solving complex material failures, using SGH’s Applied Science & Research Center to perform in-house testing. With his broad expertise, he performs comprehensive investigations of many materials and systems, allowing SGH to collaborate with clients on a wide range of materials-related projects and tackle the most challenging industry problems.