Staff and Contacts

SEL’s engineering and investigative staff provide a full range of forensic services and expert testimony.


Donald J. Hoffmann
Donald J. Hoffmann, PhD., P.E., CFI – IAAI (download vCard)

Don has been with SEL since 1988 and is now the President and a Senior Scientist. He leads the engineering analysis of fires and explosions, conducts testing and analysis of products and materials, oversees process safety projects and provides expert testimony.

John M. Hoffmann
John M. Hoffmann, CSP (Emeritus), PhD.

Since 1986 when he founded SEL, John has investigated and analyzed hundreds of fires and explosions and has provided expert testimony throughout the United States, U.S. Territories and Canada. His investigations have ranged from incidents involving household products to major hotel fires and industrial plant explosions.

Erik M. Swonder
Erik M. Swonder, M.S., P.E. CFI – IAAI (download vCard)

Erik is an Electrical Engineer and Certified Fire Investigator responsible for laboratory and on-site forensic failure analysis and examination of electrical systems, equipment, and devices. He also facilitates and conducts testing and analysis of electrical products and appliances to evaluate alleged failures. Erik has been with SEL since 2003.

Michael T. Burr
Michael T. Burr, M.S., P.E. (download vCard)

Mike, a Materials Engineer with SEL since 2006, provides fire and non-fire related failure analysis of metal and plastic components, supervises our library of analytical and testing equipment including FTIR and SEM-EDS, performs data acquisition during product and burn testing, and executes data analysis in large-scale projects. Mike is also trained and experienced in the use of fire models in incident analysis.

Benjamin D. Drullinger
Benjamin D. Drullinger, B.S. Chemical Engineering, B.S. Chemical Physics (download vCard)

Ben has been part of SEL’s team since 2015. He assists in designing and performing fire and non-fire related failure analysis of a variety of systems and components, performs data acquisition during product and burn testing, and assists with the engineering analysis of fires and explosions and process safety projects.


Certified Fire Investigators

  • Michael Kroll, M.S., CFI- IAAI, 30 years experience in Fire Research and Fire Investigation (download vCard)
  • Jose Martinez, CFI – IAAI, 12 years experience in Fire Testing and Fire Investigation (download vCard)
  • Brian Sampson, B.S., CFI – IAAI, 23 years experience in Fire Service and Fire Investigation (download vCard)
  • Jerry Wallace, B.S.HS., A.E.M.T., CFI – IAAI, 23 years experience in Fire Service, Health and Safety and Fire Investigation (download vCard)
  • Larry “Lee” West, CFI – IAAI, C.F.E.I., 46 years experience in Fire Service and Fire Investigation (download vCard)

Graphics and Animation Services: Philemon Mabry (download vCard)

Information Services: Laura Logan, MLIS. (download vCard)

Administrative Assistants: Robin Olowniuk (download vCard) and Miranda Benoit (download vCard)

For inquiries, call 586-771-0660 or contact info@safetyengineeringlabs.com.

Billing questions may be directed to billing@safetyengineeringlabs.com.