DC White Engineering Consultants

We are mechanical engineering consultants who have built upon our seismic expertise and expanded our reputation for developing aspects of impact analysis and probability methods.

We continue to provide exceptional high levels of mechanical engineering consultancy to commercial timescales, as well as offering academic levels of mechanical and civil engineering solutions.

Vibration analysis and seismic structural engineering are at the core of our business with additional expertise in fractural investigation, pipe design and stress analysis, together with testing services and bespoke instrumentation.

Pipe Design and Stress Analysis

DC White have long experience in ensuring the integrity of piping systems in the chemical and nuclear industries. This has also lead us to the design of piping brackets for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, London Jubilee Underground Line and the analysis of the St. Pancras station platform extension project (see case studies).

We operate to the highest standards and our philosophy is to 'go the extra mile' to find the right solution for our clients. 

Our services cover Design Substantition, Safety Assessment and Failure Analysis, which deliver three key benefits:
1. Minimizing plant and piping failure rates
2. Ensuring your plant operates safely
3. Demonstrating to the Safety Officer that a failure is not critical, and thereby keep your plant running 

For expert advice, get in touch today.  

Pipe Design and Stress Analysis

Finite Element Analysis

Our finite element analysis is undertaken for design substantiation of machinery and structures, validation of machinery and structures and design verification to national and international standards.

Our experience in finite element analysis ensures you benefit from a range of analytical tools and receive accurate, cost-efficient and fast solutions. Our tools include SolidWorks, Mathcad, Geostar, and COSMOSWorks Advanced Professional.

We pride ourselves on fulfilling our client's demands and requirements and can analyse structures using solid elements, beams and shells. Our comprehensive FE packages enable us to perform static, frequency, thermal, buckling, and non-linear.

Finite Element Analysis

CFD Computational Fluid Dynamics

Leading-edge CFD (computational fluid dynamics) can help you create more efficient products and significantly reduce your testing costs - and now it's an affordable service, available from the team at DC White & Partners.

At DC White & Partners, we have invested in the people and the software development to enable CFD to be applied to virtually any product or process, without the eye-watering price tag.

CFD Computational Fluid Dynamics

Vibration Analysis

Vibration problems frequently figure in our workload and we have developed an innovative attitude to these issues providing cost-efficient solutions in short time scales.

Vibration analysis covers a variety of approaches including seismic assessment of critical plant, seismic design and monitoring, and inspection of earthquake damaged plant and recommendations for repair to earthquake damage.

The types of vibration analysis we have undertaken include response spectrum based computer analysis, investigation into effects of structural vibration in industrial building and human response to vibration. Our qualified engineers have a wealth of experience in a diversity of testing areas such as computer modelling, long term monitoring and assessment to design codes.

Vibration Analysis

Structural Design Optimisation

Structural design optimisation means designing a product that most economically meets its performance requirements. Our engineers have years of experience in optimising existing designs or brand new designs.

Our structural design optimisation expertise covers a huge range of machinery design. For example we recently got asked to design a new swaging machine based upon a previous design. The client wanted a reduced weight to the assembly whilst having the structural integrity and performance of components optimised.

Whether you have a technical issue with a piece of machinery, process or plant we are confident we can solve the problem.

Structural Design Optimisation

Safety Cases

The nuclear industry has always been required to produce safety cases but it is a relatively new advancement for other industrial sectors to require them.  DC  White & Partners have produced seismic safety cases for most of the UK nuclear power stations.

We have supplied safety cases for a variety of industries including petrochemical refineries, motorsport, manufacturing, offshore oil and gas platforms, and food and chemical process. Our assessments have included peer assessment, hazard surveys, risk analysis, and the development of new safety cases.

Impact Analysis

The prediction of how equipment behaves under impact is of great engineering significance.

An FEA approach to impact behaviour is sometimes necessary in augmenting physical testing, or in some cases may be required to replace it altogether, for example:

- in the nuclear industry, or with other high value and high severity scenarios,
- where designs need to be tested before tooling and manufacture,
- where stress and failure margins need to be quantified,
- where detailed scrutiny and design insight is required.

We have many years experience within the nuclear sector which includes analysis of dropped nuclear fuel rods, fuel casks, nuclear lifts, crane boom impacts and seismically induced impacts.

Nuclear case studies are sensitive, so shown here is a standard pharmaceutical vessel dropped on a corner vertically over its centre of gravity. This analysis will provide detailed insight into the prediction of deformation, buckling, fracture and tensile failure, and form the basis of a safety case or inform modifications and redesign.


We have an explicit FEA impact capability with material plasticity and secondary contact logic. We also use non-linear implicit FEA, energy based hand-calculations and, as always, are willing to extend our software capabilities to suit our clients' needs.

The issue of finding the critical drop orientations and impact points is often a conundrum in itself, but the possibilities can be narrowed down considerably with some careful deduction, considering for example:

- Physical constraints (geometry, available time, terminal velocity)
- Centre of gravity location, surface profile and friction
- Local impact deformation versus global stress-wave propagation
- Priority to weak and critical features   

Impact Analysis

Bespoke equipment and design

Bespoke Design - What We Do

Designers and manufacturers encounter unique problems when producing cutting-edge products. Using off the shelf machinery can be an unsatisfactory compromise of the company’s requirements.

Many problems can only be solved using unique, tailor-made pieces of equipment. DC White Consulting Engineers are able to design and arrange manufacture of these items for you.

When a world-leading producer of wind turbines needed new pieces of test equipment, we were able to design and fabricate bespoke machines that cost significantly less than quoted by test equipment suppliers, without the compromises on the client’s requirement.

For more information on our highly cost-effective bespoke design service service, email us or call 01252 811641. 

Bespoke equipment and design

Altoona Seismic Damper

NEW - The Altoona DamperTM

DC White has been involved in seismic design of safety-critical structures for over 25 years. Recently, this has led to an interesting bespoke design development that we wanted to share with you, which we think demonstrates well our capabilities in this field.

Proven Techniques
The design is for a range of structural dampers, known as Altoona Seismic DampersTM, which use proven techniques to provide isolation and greatly increase damping of a structure - but only at the time of a seismic event.

The Altoona Damper can be incorporated into any critical steel framed structure such as buildings, support frames and cranes. For normal duty, it is completely passive; for seismic or fault loading it is an isolator.

Simple Concept
Like many effective designs, the concept is simple: a damper is placed directly into the seismic input load path but it is locked to carry all design loads as a “rigid” unit. When the design load is exceeded (tensile or compressive, plus an agreed margin), the foolproof lock is instantly released and the damper/isolator becomes effective, greatly reducing the forces input to the critical structure. Read more

Bespoke Design Can Make The Difference
Currently in the final stages of production, the Altoona Seismic DamperTM is already receiving strong interest: we hope this demonstrates the breadth of our engineering knowledge and the potential that our approach to bespoke design has in finding new, cost-effective ways to solve problems old and new.

Contact us on 01252 811 641 or email enquiries@dcwhite.co.uk - we'd be very happy to help.


Altoona Seismic Damper

Seismic analysis

Seismic Analysis & Assessment

Relatively little of human civilization is designed to be earthquake resistant.

Even in the developed world, earthquake design is often seen as having intangible risks, expensive preventative measures, and as being unnecessary away from seismic hot-spots.

However, a seismic analysis assessment is often highly rational no matter the location, and we can often demonstrate seismic resistance with minimal or no redesign.

Seismic projects figure extensively in our workload and we have established a reputation for innovative approaches to these problems.

Seismic Analysis - Why is it important?

  • location - Is your project based near the Asian / American / Pacific 'ring of fire', or the Middle East? Even in the UK it can be essential to analyse.
  • it's often mandatory - is Eurocode 8 lurking within the spec?
  • is it nuclear, civil, or otherwise high value or high risk severity?
  • too big to test - vibration characteristics can often only be assessed analytically.
  • reassurance - justify expenditure, improve safety credentials.

Seismic Analysis - Why DCWhite?

DC White offers over 25 years seismic experience:

  • a clear and deep understanding of mechanical engineering theory,
  • many collective decades of experience,
  • numerous past projects for reference,
  • an extensive range of analytical software and vibration instrumentation,
  • practical advice, detailed reporting, fixed scope and prices agreed upfront, good value and fast service.

Seismic Analysis - Our Services

We provide a full seismic service and our approach offers:

  • Seismic coefficient calculations
  • Response spectrum based computer analysis
  • Soil-structure interaction analysis
  • Time-marched, linear and non-linear numerical modelling
  • Design and modification of plant for seismic resistance
  • Investigation into the effects of structural vibration in industrial buildings
  • Integrity assessment of bridges by natural frequency and velocity measurements
  • Substantiation of individual components
  • Seismic monitoring Assessment
  • Small scale model tests
  • Assessment to design code
  • Inspection of earthquake damaged plant
  • General Vibration Assessment and Stress Analysis
  • SafePlantTM assessment to monitor the health of plants in operation.

Contact us on 01252 811641 or email enquiries@dcwhite.co.uk

Seismic analysis

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DC White Engineering Consultants Overview