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Crane Hot Line

Casper, Phillips & Associates Adds New Owners

Phillips Jr. Hanek

March 1, 2022 - Casper, Phillips & Associates Inc. (CPA) has named employees Richard Phillips Jr. and Andrew Hanek as minority associate principals. That elevates them to being part owners of the company.

Phillips is a mechanical engineer and Hanek is a civil engineer. Both are now adding leadership roles to their current duties.

CPA offers a variety of services, including procurement, specification, design, manufacturing review, modification, and accident investigation.

The company’s three current principals — Jeff Hubbell, Tom Hubbell, and Mike Zhang — lead the company after Rich W. Phillips Sr., stepped down in 2020.

Phillips Jr. and Hanek represent a new generation of ownership.

Richard Phillips Jr.

Phillips, 35, has 11 years of company experience, performing peer reviews of contractors’ crane designs, including some of the world’s largest container cranes. His experience also includes machine design. He has designed mechanical systems for use on container cranes, overhead cranes, airplane paint stackers, and other systems.

Phillips has performed finite element analysis of container cranes, rail-mounted gantry cranes, Goliath cranes, and whirly cranes.

After graduating from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, he earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California. CPA hired him as soon as he’d graduated, and he has worked in all of CPA’s major branches.

Andrew Hanek

Hanek, 32, has eight years of design experience with CPA, focusing on container cranes and overhead crane systems, in addition to performing peer reviews of crane designs, designs of repairs and retrofits, custom software programming for finite element analysis, and 3D point cloud scanning and processing. Other notable work includes developing a container crane anti-seismic system, assisting clients in planning, and purchasing of cranes, and 3D solids modeling of wharf to soil interface for offloading.

Hanek grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Washington and a master’s degree in civil engineering from Oregon State University.

Ongoing Collaboration

The team is well prepared to meet the immediate, mid-, and long-term challenges of customers. Jeff and Tom Hubbell are licensed structural engineers; Hanek is a civil engineer and has a goal to become a licensed structural engineer; while Zhang and Phillips are licensed mechanical engineers.

Proprietary Software Development

One of Hanek’s immediate objectives is to maintain and develop the proprietary structural software suite, previously overseen by Rich W. Phillips Sr., while Richard Phillips Jr. creates a proprietary mechanical software suite.

Without proper planning, the increasing size of vessels can make equipment and facilities obsolete long before the capital investment is amortized. Before the cranes are purchased, CPA can quickly analyze different crane geometry, such as the effect of rail gauges, and help ports procure cranes that best suit their specific needs. Pre-purchase engineering can ensure the cranes do not overload the dock, and the specified crane is buildable.

Phillips said: “Crane manufacturers like to re-use old designs because it saves money on engineering. However, it is impractical to design a standard crane that meets the requirements of all ports worldwide.

Geological conditions where the cranes will be used dictate many different design considerations. A container crane being designed for use in Florida will be designed for hurricane winds, while a crane destined for Los Angeles will be designed for earthquakes. Some locations will require that the cranes pass under a bridge during delivery.”

Hanek concurred: “The challenge of standardizing a crane design starts to become more apparent when these conditions are considered. Designing a standard crane for a standard earthquake to be shipped under a standard bridge and placed on a standard dock is impractical. Therefore, CPA developed proprietary software—to analyze cranes for all the different conditions and requirements.”


Crane Hot Line is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.