Our Professionals

Michael Sutton, MSME, PE

Consulting Engineer


Mike founded Accident Research Specialists in 2001. He has been in the field of accident investigation and analysis since 1987, providing technical assistance in thousands of accidents and failures to a variety of clients. Mike has testified in numerous state and federal courts as an expert in accident reconstruction and mechanical engineering.

Sean Dennis, BSME, PE

Consulting Engineer


Sean joined ARS in 2001 shortly before graduating from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Working in the field of forensic engineering since 1999, Sean has provided technical investigation, analysis, deposition and trial testimony regarding accidents and failures in a multitude of cases.  Sean’s areas of work and expertise include accident reconstruction, engineering analysis, failure analysis and standards research.  He also specializes in laboratory testing in the areas of mechanical/automotive engineering and machine design, applied to vehicle accidents (commercial vehicles, heavy trucks, automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians), heavy equipment accidents, construction accidents, and product failures.

Allen C. Eberhardt, Ph.D.

Consulting Engineer

Dr. Eberhardt joined ARS in 2018.  He has over thirty years experience in product failure analysis, design evaluation, experimental data and performance testing. His professional activities include 15 years of research and teaching with North Carolina State University, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. During his tenure he was actively involved in failure analyses, electro-mechanical systems, and computer assisted design. His expertise in product test and evaluation has been applied to analyze and solve problems ranging from delicate mechanical heart valves to large excavators and power-generating hydro turbines.

John Flanagan, BSME, PE, CFEI

Consulting Engineer

John has worked in the forensic engineering field since 1990, investigating accidents and failures involving a variety of products and equipment. Although his primary focus is in motor-vehicle accident reconstruction,  John also performs origin and cause investigations of fires and explosions.

Kevin Gilliland, EI

Consulting Engineer

Kevin began working at ARS in 2015 immediately after graduating from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. While in college, he was employed by companies that specialized in heavy highway construction as well as commercial building construction. In both instances, he gained experience and knowledge in the estimation and on-site project management aspects of the industry. Kevin primarily focuses on applications of the building code and industry standards to the built environment as well as scene documentation through the use of 3D measuring tools and devices.

Aaron Kiefer, MSME, PE

Consulting Engineer


Aaron joined the ARS team in 2005 after graduating from North Carolina State University with bachelor's and master's degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Aaron conducts forensic analyses of accidents and failures involving vehicles and machinery; his primary focus is motor vehicle accident reconstruction.  While at ARS, Aaron has co-authored four peer reviewed journal and conference papers in the areas of accident reconstruction and human factors engineering. In addition, Aaron is a US patent holder and the founder of TrailerGuards LLC, an engineering company that is researching and developing commercial vehicle guarding systems (www.TrailerGuards.com).  

Matt Sams, PE

Consulting Engineer / Arbitrator


Matt joined ARS in 2006, bringing with him years of experience in Structural Engineering where he managed large scale industrial construction projects; provided structural design and project development.  Matt provides investigation/analysis to the cause, nature, and effect of civil, structural, and construction-related defects and accidents.  Applications include highways, buildings, bridges, and a variety of public and private facilities. Investigate / apply codes and standards to above applications as required.  He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University.  Current Member;  American Arbitration Association’s Roster of Arbitrators.

Ryan McMahan, BSME, PE

Consulting Engineer


Ryan McMahan graduated from North Carolina State University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering as well as minors in both graphic communication and business. He joined ARS in 2006 and received his professional engineer’s license in 2008.  Ryan’s areas of work and expertise include technical investigation, engineering analysis, failure analysis, and accident reconstruction including but not limited to commercial motor vehicles, passenger vehicles, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and heavy equipment.  He has deposition and trial experience in state and federal courts and has conducted investigations throughout the United States.  He also has extensive experience in providing technical yet straightforward and effective visual aids for meetings, mediation, deposition and trial.

Andrew Webb, BSME

Consulting Scientist


Andy joined ARS in 2003 after 18 years of industry experience in Fortune 500 companies. Andy conducts engineering and forensic analysis of accidents and product failures. He has testified in numerous state and federal courts as an expert in accident reconstruction and mechanical systems. Andy has co-authored a peer-reviewed paper and is the recipient of a US patent.

Michael Whitley, MSBME

Consulting Engineer

Michael joined the staff at Accident Research Specialists, PLLC in 2008 after graduating from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).  Michael received his bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics with a specialization in biomechanics and followed that with a master’s degree from the Virginia Tech-Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences including a master’s thesis concerned with trips and falls in the elderly and obese populations.  While with ARS, Michael has provided technical investigation, analyses, and testimony regarding accidents and failures in a variety of cases.  Michael’s areas of expertise include accident reconstruction, engineering analysis, technical investigation, slip/fall accidents, premises liability, visibility assessment, failure analysis, and standards research.  He also specializes in laboratory testing in the areas of mechanical and biomedical engineering applied to vehicle accidents (commercial vehicle/heavy trucks, automobiles, motorcycles, marine vessels, bicycles, and pedestrian/vehicle), heavy equipment accidents, construction accidents, and product failures and testing.

1631 NW Maynard Road, Suite 101, Cary, NC 27513                 919-467-8134     Fax 919-678-1231