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NMSU students find careers in forensic engineering

When it comes to solving a high-tech mystery, some of the best detectives are armed with engineering degrees. With that in mind, Wendell Hull and Associates, a company that specializes in investigating super-intense fires, industrial accidents and conducting other engineering-based services, actively seeks students from New Mexico State University.

"We feel it's a really important thing to hire and help these students through their school," said Wendell Hull, founder of Wendell Hull and Associates. "I really do believe the quality of students we've seen at NMSU is superior."

Hull started as a forensic engineering consultant while working as a professor in mechanical engineering at NMSU, applying science and engineering principles to investigate and develop conclusions about how industrial and other accidents occur. A few years later, he founded Wendell Hull and Associates.

"I started as a single individual with my daughter as my secretary out of a room in my house," Hull said. "The business has expanded since the beginning. It's expanded many times over."

The company is based in Dona Ana and is best known for training in oxygen safety and fire science technology. The company began by suggesting design changes for oxygen valves. Now it writes international safety standards for the entire industry and conducts world-class training in oxygen design, analysis, operations and maintenance. When oxygen valves are not properly engineered and maintained, they can explode and generate heat intense enough to turn the metal in the valve into a fuel source.

Hull has 21 employees, and eleven of those are current NMSU students or graduates. Hull said many NMSU students would like to stay and work in southern New Mexico but often don't have the opportunity. He said the level of work done by his company is comparable to the work done at NASA or the national labs in the northern part of the state.

Wendell Hull's lead investigators are often called around the world to test and research theories and equipment in regard to potential failure mechanisms. The company does business with attorneys, insurance companies and corporations with products involved in accidents. The results of their investigations can be used in litigation.

More information about Wendell Hull and Associates, Inc. can be found at http://www.wendellhull.com.