LIST OF UC BERKELEY EXPERTS ON TOPICS RELATING TO NOV. 12 CRASH OF AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 587 IN NEW YORK
The following UC Berkeley researchers are available to speak with reporters about various aspects of the American Airlines Flight 587 crash on Nov. 12 in New York. Potential causes of the crash mentioned by the National Transportation Safety Board include wake turbulence and failure of the vertical stabilizer, or tail fin, which is made of light-weight composite materials and is pinned to the fuselage.
Professor of mechanical engineering and an expert in aerodynamics
Office phone: (510) 642-5705
Interview topics: Savas' research focuses on turbulence and multiple-vortex wakes. He can explain the danger posed when wake turbulence disrupts airplane stability, particularly during takeoff.
Professor of mechanical engineering and an expert on composite materials
Phone: (510) 329-9490
Interview topics: Director of the Berkeley Composites Laboratory, Dharan researches the design of composites, such as the carbon fiber/epoxy laminates used in airplanes, and how they fail by fracture or fatigue. He can discuss the strengths and weaknesses of such composites, and how they fail. He consults with the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization on the structural design and materials used in the consortium's many Intelsat communications satellites, and supervised the recent switch from aluminum skin to lighter and stronger carbon fiber materials.
Professor of materials science at UC Berkeley and head of the Structural Materials Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Office phone: (510) 486-5798
Interview topics: Ritchie investigates the fatigue and fracture of advanced metals, intermetallics and ceramics. He can discuss how damage can occur in individual components, and how that can lead to the catastrophic failure of a larger system. He also has served as an expert witness in several airplane crashes, including the 1989 crash of a United Airlines DC-10 in Sioux City, Iowa.