Milestones During the Last 35 Years

This year, Knott Laboratory celebrates 35 years in the forensic engineering business.


Dr. Richard Ziernicki, P.E.
Dr. Richard Ziernicki, P.E.

This year, Knott Laboratory celebrates 35 years in the forensic engineering business. Through the years, we have made a significant imprint in the fabric of forensic engineering in the United States. Our success is due to our talented employees and the application of the newest technologies in forensic engineering, as well as the results we have achieved working in high profile forensic cases.

The following are just a few of the many significant projects Knott Laboratory has worked on over the years.

In the early ‘80’s Dr. Albert Knott, one of the pioneers of forensic engineering, worked as a prime investigator in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency walkway collapse which killed 114 people and injured over 200.

When the Denver 16th Street Shopping Mall was built, Knott Laboratory’s expertise was called upon in a dispute between the contractors and the owner regarding the construction quality.

After Denver International Airport construction costs sky rocketed, Knott Laboratory worked with the architect, Fentress Bradburn Architects, in a dispute with the city of Denver. The architect prevailed.

In the late 1990’s, Knott Laboratory used pioneering computer visualization which utilized photogrammetry to reconstruct the Princess Diana car accident that happened in Paris France. Knott Laboratory’s findings were highlighted on several television stations, namely: NBC (“Dateline”), the Discovery Channel (“Unsolved History”), National Geographic, Fox News, Dr. Oz and all local Denver news stations.

Knott Laboratory’s expertise was also called upon to investigate when “Big Blue,” the tallest crane in North America, collapsed during the lift of a 400-ton section of a retractable roof. The roof bent in half and collapsed inside the new Miller Park stadium being built for the Milwaukee Brewer’s professional baseball team. Three workers were killed and five others were injured.

When the Kansas City Hawthorn Power Plant exploded, Knott Laboratory’s expertise was utilized to find out the cause of the explosion which caused material damages of 621 million dollars. Knott Laboratory’s engineering analysis demonstrated the explosion was the result of an extraordinary sequence of errors by power plant personnel.

In early 2004, Knott Laboratory was hired to investigate the highly-publicized car accident involving Dany Heatley and his teammate Dan Snyder of the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team. Dany Heatley slammed into a brick column supporting a wrought iron fence causing his Ferrari to split in half. Dan Snyder, the right front passenger fell into a coma and later died.

When Air France Flight 447 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris crashed into the Atlantic killing 288 people, Knott Laboratory was consulted regarding the physics of the accident.

Just recently, Knott Laboratory engineers finished the analysis and reconstruction of a fatal accident involving NASCAR racer Tony Stewart and pedestrian Kevin Ward, Jr.

The President and CEO of Knott Laboratory, Dr. Richard Ziernicki, P.E. served eight years on the Board of Directors and in 2012 he served as the President of the National Academy of Forensic Engineers, the most prestigious forensic engineering organization in the world.

Over the past 35 years, we have served thousands of clients, including United States Department of Justice, United States Department of Defense, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), State of Colorado Attorney General’s Office and more . . .

We appreciate our clients and the trust put in Knott Laboratory’s Engineers and Animators! We look forward to the years to come and continuing to provide our services from the cutting edge of forensic engineering in the United States.

Richard Ziernicki, Ph.D., P.E.
President and CEO