James R. Fink, P.E.
Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, 2016
Masters in Business Administration, University of Rhode Island, 2005
US Navy Nuclear Power Engineering School, 1995
Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Union College, 1994
James R. Fink, MSc, MBA, PE is an experienced electrical engineer. Mr. Fink has served as a general manager and lead electrical engineer at Thielsch Engineering, and Chief Technology Officer at Upsite Technologies, a data center infrastructure company.
Mr. Fink has 23 years of experience with electrical and mechanical systems and products. As a licensed professional electrical consulting engineer, Jim has designed and overseen hundreds of electrical infrastructure projects. While working for electrical equipment manufacturers Jim has developed industry changing intellectual property in the data center space.
Today Jim focuses on electrical product research and development activities, electrical consulting and forensic engineering. Expert witness services and investigative reports are provided as necessary to assist with insurance claims, legal challenges, and competitive disputes.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Member
R.I. State Building Code Board of Appeals, Chairman, and Electrical Engineering Representative
R.I. State Electrical Code Committee, Chairman
American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, Member
National Fire Protection Association, Member
HONORS, AWARDS & QUALIFICATIONS:
Purdue University Golden Key Honor Society, 2014
Young Engineer of the Year, 2008
From the Rhode Island Society of Professional Engineers
Qualification by US Dept. of Energy NR Division as senior nuclear plant engineer, 1999
Ralph W. Stearns Award, 1994
For research in external synchronization of spread spectrum radio communications.
Donald C Loughry Hewlett Packard Award, 1994
For research in spread spectrum radio communication.
Eta Kappa Nu, Electrical Engineering Honor Society, 1994
Tau Beta Pi, Multi-discipline Engineering Honor Society, 1994
Sigma Xi, Scientific Research Society, 1994
Synopsis: An electrician working on underground cables experienced a fatal arc flash incident. My assignment was to reconstruct the event sequence.
Synopsis: A high current lithium ion battery being transported experienced a fault, causing severe burns. My assignment was to re-create the event and determine causation.
ELECTRIC UTILITY WORKER ELECTROCUTION
Synopsis: A utility employee working on high voltage overhead wiring was electrocuted. My assignment was to determine the causes of the accident.
Synopsis: An electrician working on equipment known to have defects, and on an installation with certain electrical code deficiencies, was electrocuted. My assignment was to assess the electrical distribution system and determine what if any role the defects and deficiencies played in the accident.
Synopsis: A consumer was shocked while using and electrical appliance. My assignment was to determine cause of the incident and investigate whether product defects existed.
Synopsis: A manufacturing facility incurred major damage during a hurricane. My assignment was to assist with the $40m insurance claim by serving as electrical expert and determining what equipment in the facility was damaged by electrical overstress (EOS).
PERSONAL INJURY – RADIO CONTROL SYSTEMS
Synopsis: A malfunction of a radio controlled cart containment system was alleged to have caused injury to a person at a retail location. My assignment was to determine the mode of failure of the system.
Synopsis: An Electrician was injured during installation of underground cabling.
My assignment was to consult on Electrical Codes & standards, and to physically and mathematically model conditions that would have existed during the incident.
SHIP-SHORE POWER INVESTIGATION
Synopsis: A shore power facility serving a NOAA ship was experiencing excessive voltage drop and spurious breaker tripping.
My assignment was to identify errors & omissions by design engineer, determine root causes for the undesired operation, and investigate the existing design for sizing appropriateness and electrical code compliance.
HIGH VOLTAGE CONTACTOR FAILURE
Synopsis: A 5kV contactor trip coil failed resulting in destruction of a 700 horsepower air compressor. My assignment was to determine cause of failure of the trip coil.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT
Synopsis: Nighttime motor vehicle accident resulting in death, where the circumstances of the accident made roadway lighting central to the cause investigation.
My assignment was to perform roadway lighting surveys and determine whether lighting was in accordance with generally accepted highway lighting design practice.
WATER MAIN RUPTURE
Synopsis: A 10 foot diameter underground water main ruptured, leaving large sections of a city without domestic water service.
My assignment was to prove or disprove a theory that stray ground currents from surrounding railroad and electrical infrastructure played a role in premature corrosion of the failed pipe and fittings.
TRANSFORMER GROUNDING FAULT
Synopsis: Loss of a single utility phase revealed a high impedance ground fault due to installing electrician’s wiring error. No protective action occurred, causing the equipment grounding conductor to melt and damage surrounding feeder conductors also.
My Assignment was to determine the cause of the accident and provide corrective design modifications.
DIGITAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM FAILURE
Synopsis: Widespread intermittent failures in an automated digital communication system.
My assignment was to determine the cause of the failures and determine whether manufacturers allegations of power quality and proper grounding were to blame.
Synopsis: A worker received a shock while using a sheet metal bending machine.
My assignment was to determine the cause of the shock and make recommendations for corrective action.
ELECTRICAL FIRE – WAREHOUSE
Synopsis: A large warehouse was consumed by a fire alleged to have originated in one of two reciprocating compressors.
My assignment was to determine cause & origin of the fire.
ELECTRICAL FIRE – MANUFACTURING FACILITY
Synopsis: An immersion heating element in a manufacturing building was accidentally energized in the course of making repairs to a fan motor, resulting in a structure fire.
My assignment was to determine cause & origin of the fire.
HVAC CONTROL SYSTEM FAILURE
Synopsis: Equipment manufacturer citing power quality for HVAC control system malfunctions following an extensive building energy efficiency upgrade.
My assignment was to determine causes of the malfunctions.
STANDBY GENERATOR – E & O
Synopsis: A 250kW standby generator installation at a school resulted in charges for extra services approaching 400% of the contracted installation quotation.
My assignment was to define implicit responsibilities of parties involved, identify errors and omissions by design-builder, and report on design flaws in material, workmanship and code compliance.
Synopsis: Plaintiff allegedly received shock & burn from hairdryer that experienced an electrical failure. My assignment was to analyze the failure and determine whether the conditions at time of failure would have allowed for the victim to receive a shock.
UNINTERUPTABLE POWER SUPPLY FAILURE
Synopsis: A large redundant power supply system protecting a data center experienced a catastrophic series of failures. My assignment was to determine root cause and contributing factors for the failures.
HYDRONIC HEATING SYSTEM FAILURE
Synopsis: A hydronic heating system leak caused extensive flooding damage in a school.
My assignment was to examine and test electrical heating system components in order to identify root causes and contributing factors to the failure.
“Geomagnetic Induced Current in Power Transformers” IEEE / ICCEM Conference Publications, (accepted for March 2017 publication)
“Plenum Leakage Bypass Airflow in Raised Floor Data Centers” ASHRAE Transactions, Jan 2015.
“Susceptibility of Magnetic Hard Drives to External DC Magnetic Fields” IEEE Potentials Magazine, November 2013.
“Calculating Cooling Inefficiency” Datacenter Dynamics Focus Magazine, April / May 2012.
“Data Center Humidification Strategies” APC Media Website, 2007. Http://www.slideshare.net/datacenters/apc-application-note-128
“Impact of High Density Hot Aisles on IT Personnel Work Conditions” APC Media Website, 2005. http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/JFIK-645ST7/JFIK-645ST7_R1_EN.pdf?sdirect=true
International Conference on Computational Electromagnetics “Geomagnetic Induced Current in Power Transformers” (accepted for Kumamo, Japan, March 2017)
ASHRAE Research Conference, Chicago, IL, January 2015 “Bypass Air Flow in Raised Floor Data Centers”
International Association of Electrical Inspectors, Swansea, MA, April 2012 “National Electric Code – Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment”
International Association of Electrical Inspectors, Swansea, MA, February 2009 “Arc Flash Electrical Hazard – What it is and what you need to know”
AFCOM Data Center Conference, Atlanta, GA, March 2006 “Modularity in the Data Center, an Evolutionary Necessity”
“EMC World” Trade Show – Boston, MA, April 2006
“Cooling the High Density Data Center”
ASHRAE (RI chapter) – West Kingston, RI, June 2006 “Challenges in the High Density Data Center”
Stanford University High Performance Computing Conference, Stanford, CA, Aug 2006 “Predictable Performance in the High Density Data Center”
Ziff Davis Blade Server Summit – Atlanta, GA, Dec 2006 “Modularity in the Data Center, an Evolutionary Necessity”
US Patent 9016696; “Air Seal for Server Rack”
US Patent 6859366; “Data Center Cooling System”
US Patent 20060162357; “Split Power Input to Chiller”
European Patent 2079000; “Data Center Cooling System”
US Patent 8708164; “Internal Seals For Server Racks”
US Patent Pending 61/593,706; “Under PDU Grommet Device”