Employee Spotlight: Michael Brinker, PE, CFEI, CVFI

J.S. Held’s Inaugural Global Risk Report Examines Potential Business Risks & Opportunities in 2024

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November 10, 2021
Michael Brinker, Professional Engineer II - MEP
Michael Brinker, Professional Engineer II - MEP

What truly differentiates J.S. Held is our people — world-class talent driven by a common set of core values. Together, these shared values inspire a culture of integrity, excellence, teamwork, and service.


Michael Brinker joined J.S. Held in 2020 and is based out of Franklin (Nashville), TN. He is a Professional Engineer II within the J.S. Held Forensic Architecture and Engineering MEP Practice. “I work with the global MEP team to assist our clients in determining the origin and cause of failures,” he explains. “I assess the extent of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing damages as a result of a loss and evaluate the cost to return the damaged equipment to a pre-loss condition. I'm always focused on keeping the client updated so that they can resolve the claim as quickly as possible.”

Those who know Michael would agree he is approachable, adaptable, and positive towards clients and his team. “I am also analytical by nature which is valuable in the forensic engineering field,” he says. “Being adaptable may be the most valuable thing, given the sheer variety in jobs, equipment, and situations I encounter.”


“Mike Brinker is a great addition to our MEP Group. Over the past year, he has provided strong technical and leadership support, stepping up without hesitation. Mike welcomes challenging opportunities and is dedicated to enhancing his skills to meet the expanding needs of our business. I appreciate Mike’s efforts and support. He has quickly become an integral member of our group.”

Paul Vaulman, PE, LEED AP BD&C | Senior VP / MEP Forensic Architecture & Engineering | Bingham Farms, MI



Michael’s interest in engineering has roots in his family. “My dad was a mechanical engineer in the power industry,” he says, “so I started there, too. In the beginning, I worked in the fossil fuel sector, but the world was moving away from fossil fuels, so I transitioned to the mineral industry and also worked for some chemical plants.” In addition to being a licensed professional engineer (PE), he is both a certified fire and explosion investigator (CFEI) and a certified vehicle fire investigator (CVFI).

More recently, Michael and his family wanted to relocate to Nashville, TN. There, Michael recalls, he learned of a J.S. Held opening. “J.S. Held had great opportunities for professional development as well as career advancement, and that brought me on board.”

Professional Interests

Michael specializes in HVAC systems, water treatment, fire suppression, and industrial equipment. “I enjoy the variety of assignments that I work on, as well as the ability to balance my time between field inspections, desk work, and travel.” He works with other engineers and estimators and frequently collaborates with the J.S. Held Building Consulting and Fire Origin & Cause experts. “Our clients are primarily adjusters, and we deal with subrogation as well. We work all over the country and recently became international, particularly in the Middle East and Latin America.”

“In my short time at J.S. Held, I have already consulted on some large losses,” Michael says. One of these includes a case involving a completely flooded machinery room meant to serve an entire technical college. “The job involved figuring out what had been damaged by the flooding and what damage was preexisting.”

In another notable case, Michael was brought in to help assess a chlorine facility damaged by Hurricane Laura. “The material they produced in the plant reacted to water from the storm, and, ultimately, the facility caught fire and burned down. We worked to determine the cost to replace the plant, which was fairly old and needed to be brought up to code. It also required additional upgrades, including adjustments for capacity, so the situation was fairly complex.”

“The funny thing about my field,” says Michael, “is a lot of people don’t seem to know it exists and what it’s all about until the experts are needed. It’s not often people think about their insurance until, of course, something happens that warrants relying on it. People are surprised just how many professionals are involved.” When asked about the complexities of his work, Michael says that delays between an initial event and the claim following it tend to make a great impact. “Sometimes we handle a situation where six or so months have passed, and solving certain puzzles can become more of a challenge, given everything that needs to be taken into account.”

Employee Spotlight: Michael Brinker, PE
Employee Spotlight: Michael Brinker, PE

Personal Interests

Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his three-year-old daughter and teaching her new skills. “I also enjoy skiing, riding motorcycles and ATVs,” he says. “My family and I did a lot of skiing especially when we lived in Pennsylvania.” Adventure travel is one of his great interests. “I’ve visited Italy, Hawaii, Nevada, Colorado, and California. I really want to go see Chile and Argentina as soon as I get the chance.”

“The love of family is life's greatest blessing.”

Michael Brinker, Professional Engineer II – MEP Practice | Franklin, TN



Are you interested in learning more about Michael Brinker? Send him an email at [email protected].

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