Expert Witness Forensic Engineer Industrial Controls Automation New Orleans
Arthur Zatarain
Arthur Zatarain, PE
Arthur Zatarain, PE - Career Timeline
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1975: After working in marine and medical electronics as an undergrad, Arthur Zatarain became an equipment engineer with Boeing at NASA's Michoud Facility. From there he went to SECO Industries to perform design and construction for industrial and oilfield clients while attending graduate school in Engineering.

1977: Shell Offshore recruited Arthur as an electrical & instrumentation engineer for both continental shelf and deepwater projects. This offered opportunity to design and program some of the first computer-based control and remote monitoring systems in the Gulf of Mexico oilfield. He also taught controls & instrumentation to Shell's worldwide engineers for over a decade. In his "spare time" he began building the microcomputers that kickstarted the remainder of his professional career. Read about it here: AMZ Micros

1980: After graduate school, Arthur formed Dataran Engineering while teaching Engineering at the University of New Orleans. In addition to delivering electrical and instrumentation projects, Dataran was an early adopter of industrial personal computers for industrial, oilfield, and medical clients.

1982: Dataran developed some of the first Personal Computer "clones" tailored for high performance engineering applications. This experience pioneered the use of ruggedized computers for industrial control and automation. This innovative technology was used to control a patented nuclear medical device on which Arthur is a named inventor.

1988: Dataran Engineering was acquired by TEST Automation & Controls to form TEST's Technical Services Division. Dataran's industrial computer technology quickly evolved into the SCADAware product line. Arthur initially served as TEST's engineering manager with responsibility for domestic and international projects.

1994: TEST promoted Arthur to Vice President of Engineering while he further developed the SCADAware product line. He continued consulting for global industrial and oil field customers to design, program, fabricate, and install control systems and SCADA around the world.

1997: Arthur added a VP-Operations role to help guide TEST through a public offering. Adjunct to TEST, he privately provided forensic engineering beyond TEST's traditional oilfield and industrial client base. Initial engagements involved a battery recycling accident  and a patented pill counting machine.

2000: With TEST now a public company, Arthur continued to provide independent consulting for forensic engineering and patent-related matters. He testified as an expert witness in US Federal Court for a computer monitoring patent.

2001-2007: Arthur privately consulted on a variety of forensic matters while continuing to serve as TEST's only Vice President. The engagements involved forensic engineering as well as deposition and court testimony related to patents, accidents, and commercial disputes. Click these links to view Consulting Projects and Forensic Cases.

2008: Arthur retired from TEST to focus on industrial and legal clients. MicroMotion retained him in regard to a patented intrinsically safe Coriolis Flow Meter. ABB received forensic engineering services related to a dual fuel boiler explosion.

2009: Siemens relied on Arthur for detailed analysis of a steam turbine overspeed accident. Other forensic engagements involved electrical shock and linear pump operation.

2010: Key Energy relied on Arthur for forensic engineering and expert testimony for a patented Well Service Rig monitoring system. He also performed forensic analysis of an accident involving a pneumatic / hydraulic press.

2011: BP America selected Arthur as a forensic engineer and expert witness for the Deepwater Horizon / BP Macondo Oil Spill investigation. His analysis of forensic testing on the blowout preventer (BOP) subsea control system led to testimony in US Federal Court regarding the AMF / Deadman system performance during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Other forensic work included a vehicle assembly line accident involving a safety PLC.

2012: Rockwell Automation retained Arthur for patent matters related to PLC File Storage that resulted in trial testimony. Fisher Controls retained him for forensic engineering on a boiler explosion involving burner management using a Safety Instrumented System.

2013: Rockwell Automation again relied on Arthur for a patent matter on Modular Fieldbus I/O Devices. Another IP matter involved large-scale chiller control and optimization. Forensic engineering was also performed for a bridge crane accident involving lockout-tagout issues.

2014: ABB engaged Arthur to assist in patent litigation regarding motion control software. Forensic engineering was also performed for a boiler explosion at a prison, an offshore platform electrocution, and a bagging machinery accident.

2015: Arthur investigated inadvertent operation of an overhead crane having a wireless control system. He also analyzed PLC software for drilling rig control, and analyzed infringement for approx. 20 patents in the field of motion control and precision device positioning. Arthur also served as "second chair" for a graduate student's thesis on artificial intelligence and cyber security in industrial control systems.

2016: Work continued on an Inter Partes Review (IPR) process with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) for a series of patents related to remote monitoring and control with user alerts via a central server computer. He was also engaged in a $50+ million international control system dispute, and several control system accident matters. He rendered opinions on invalidity and non-infringement for patents related to drilling rig control systems. He also performed forensic testing on high-reliability radios for industrial control applications. He testified on a trade secret matter involving remote (global) monitoring and control of renewable energy sites and farms.

2017: Arthur consulted in Peru with a German and Colombian manufacturer / systems integrator for an international arbitration related to a copper mine automation system. He was also engaged on several patent matters related to centralized  monitoring and control systems. Another engagement involved investigation of an explosion proof motor starter on a drilling rig. He also investigated a maritime accident involving a navigation light power and control system.

2018: Arthur testified at an international arbitration in Taiwan regarding his investigation of a nuclear power plant control system.  He was engaged by a major telecommunications provider in a patent dispute involving wireless monitoring systems. He investigated accidents involving automated control of a plastic molding machine, a plywood production plant, and tape manufacturing. He also investigated a large insurance claim for total replacement of a vintage VME-based  automation system at a steel production plant.

2019: Arthur was engaged for patent matters involving wireless building automation and industrial automation systems. He was also engaged to investigate an accident involving automated cinema equipment. He continued work on a patent matter involving remote monitoring and control through a central server computer. He inspected an explosion proof enclosure in a crane control application. He provided a report and testimony for a wireless control system for a vehicle lift system.

2020: Arthur continued work on several ongoing patent matters and accident investigations. He was engaged for a patent matter involving industrial control fieldbus networks. He prepared a report for a patented dosing (chemical injection) control system. He prepared a report and testified in a trade secret matter involving cremator control systems. He participated in an inspection of a level control transmitter, and inspected a bridge crane control system.

2021: Arthur performed industrial accident investigations related to safety procedures, LOTO, and automated control systems. He performed further work on ongoing patent matters, and consulted on PLC performance issues at an automated food packaging plant. He attended equipment inspections for matters related to performance of equipment and instrumentation sensors. He testified in regard to an industrial accident, and also in regard to remote monitoring patents. 

2022: Work continued on a long-running dispute over patents for remote monitoring and control technology. Arthur investigated the technology and costs to replace a boiler control system at a chemical plant, resulting in testimony at international arbitration. He began work on a patent dispute involving several technical aspects of HVAC control systems. Failure of a submersible level transmitter was investigated in regard to a tank overflow incident. 

2023: Arthur stayed busy (despite semi-retirement) with several existing patent disputes and accident investigations. He participated in a building inspection regarding a pump control system. He provided consulting on a wireless control system incident, and also on a beverage cooler fire. Former clients contacted him for help on new matters including an international incident involving a wastewater SCADA system, another international matter for PLC control of a utility-grade generator system, and a fueling station fire.

2024: Arthur continued work on existing engagements. He investigated the emergency stop system for a fueling dispenser fire. He assisted a client with vetting experts having several areas of expertise. He investigated and reported on a water tank level sensing incident, and reported on an incident related to an Ethernet interface device.


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