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Dr Dan O'Neill

Metallurgical Engineer

Professional Background

10 years' experience in the field of failure analysis and assessment of material degradation, particularly those operating at high temperature and pressure (oxidation, creep and microstructural degradation). Condition/life assessment of components using in-situ testing such as surface replication and oxide thickness testing. Remaining life assessment for components exposed to creep conditions and accelerated creep-rupture testing.

Areas of Expertise

  • Failure investigations and root cause analysis.
  • Assessment of material degradation, particularly those operating under high temperature and pressure (oxidation, creep and microstructural degradation).
  • Component condition and remaining life assessment using in-situ testing such as surface replication and oxide thickness testing, and destructive examinations such as metallurgical analysis and accelerated creep-rupture testing.

Relevant Project Experience

  • Development of a procedure and undertaking of field hardness testing of Grade 91 pipework in a HRSG during commissioning. Identification of welds that were not appropriately postweld heat-treated and development of a plan to replace or reheat-treat and confirm acceptable condition. 
  • Detailed failure investigation of refractory anchors in a cement plant and development of an in-situ testing program to assess the performance of a novel coating technology to improve the life of the anchors.
  • Condition assessment of piping, tubing, headers and welds constructed of various materials (low alloy, Grade 91, stainless steel) using NDT, field hardness testing and surface replication. Recommendations provided for future inspection requirements and identification of components experiencing degradation more advanced than expected.
  • Development of an Excel spreadsheet that predicted the current creep life consumption of key components and allowed prediction of future life consumption as a function of proposed annual plant capacity factors. Development and completion of a creep-rupture testing program to determine the life of a dissimilar metal weld joint from a turbine valve repair.


  • Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering (Physical Metallurgy), The University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia, 1996.
  • Ph.D. High temperature oxidation, UNSW, Australia, 2002.

News and

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Defect Tolerance Assessment (DTA) and Life Assessment of Turbine Rotor

Feb 02 2017
Defect Tolerance Assessment (DTA) I ( Ninh Nguygen) have had and two articles presented at the WTIA and IEAust conferences and publishe...

Effects of Mercury on an Aluminium Heat Exchanger in a Natural Gas Plant

Jan 24 2017
Heat Exchange - Major Failure At 2:43 am on the 1st of January 2004 an explosion and fire was caused by the failure of a cold box manifold.&...

Improving Efficiency in Thermal Power Plants

Jan 18 2017
Plant Performance HRL Technology Group's plant performance team has extensive experience in thermal power plant performance testing an...