fire scientists

At our core, McDowell Owens’ team of professional engineers, fire scientists, and consultants specialize in failure analysis. Since 1986, we have established ourselves as a leader in the forensic engineering and failure analysis industry. Our commitment is to provide top-notch, highly trained, and skilled engineers and investigators who provide quality and cost-effective solutions to customers. McDowell Owens Engineering, Inc. is a multi-disciplinary, worldwide forensic engineering firm that provides comprehensive, unbiased forensic engineering and failure analysis services addressing the needs of our clients in the legal, oil and gas, insurance, electrical, petrochemical fields, and other industries, as well as the private sector.

McDowell Owens does not publish the names of clients unless required to do so. They include some of the largest and most sophisticated Forensic Engineering services purchasers in the Western Hemisphere. We believe we were hired to help solve their problems and the problems of their clients, not to use their names to attract business.


The next best thing to a scientific eyewitness

Laboratory, Research, and Testing Facilities


The ideal time for a fire scientist and/or forensic engineer to investigate a fire, explosion, or other loss is while it is occurring. However, such ideal circumstances rarely occur.

McDowell Owens laboratory services, research facility, and expertise are available for third-party inspections. Since every case and need is different, please call for quotes of the approximate costs.

Laboratory Services and Capabilities

Our “clean” laboratory services are utilized by our staff on a regular basis to provide our clients with the most accurate and complete analysis possible. Additionally, our laboratory capabilities are available to anyone who needs lab space and/or the proper documentation, including the following:

  • Fire debris X-ray and photography
  • Electrical testing and recording and photography
  • Mechanical Failure Analysis (X-ray and Digital Microscopy)
  • Appliance Fire, water loss and other Failure Analysis/testing/documentation
    • Dryers and Other Appliances
    • Water Losses (Washing Machines, Dishwashers, Sink & Toilet Valves, Etc. Testing capabilities and X-ray where needed)
  • Various Product Testing
  • Specialized Laboratory Testing (Designed as needed and with your protocol).

Our laboratory has full video recording capability with real-time observation and participation via the internet for those who cannot be present.
All inspections, examinations, and testing can be recorded and copies furnished.
All digital microscope work can be recorded and copies furnished.

Our “dirty” laboratory services are available to anyone who needs dirty lab space for the teardown of engines, transmissions, and all other aspects of large non-clean items. Various item components can then be examined/documented/photographed/x-rayed in the “clean” lab as needed.