Matthew Fenton

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Matthew Fenton
Matthew Fenton

Consultant Marine Engineer

BSc, I.Eng, MIMarEST, MNI, MCMS, Captain USN (Ret.)

work San Francisco

cell +1 707 209 8656

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Career Summary

Curriculum Vitae

Matthew Fenton holds an unlimited U.S. Coast Guard Chief Engineer's License of Steam, Motor or Gas Turbine vessels of Any HP in addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering Technology from the California Maritime Academy.  He joined Brookes Bell Hong Kong in November 2012, and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in August 2021.


During his 40-year career in the marine and offshore industries, Matthew has served as a senior officer and Chief Engineer on chemical tankers and roll-on/roll-off (Ro/Ro) vessels and as a junior officer served aboard bulk carriers, survey vessels, and passenger/cargo ships before coming ashore as a Superintendent Engineer, then moving into marine consultancy in 2000.

Clients have employed him as an expert witness in a range of cases, including stern tube bearing failures, vessel performance and fuel consumption issues in newbuildings, charter redelivery, and floating production system disputes.  He has given evidence in LMAA and ICC arbitrations and is a member of the Korean Civil Arbitration Board’s panel of arbitrators. 

As a consulting marine engineer, Matthew has investigated many hull and machinery cases, including main and auxiliary engine damage (low and medium speed motor as well as steam turbine), hull casualties, shipboard fires and fuel contamination.  His experience includes both commercial and naval vessels.

When Brookes Bell was appointed to provide forensic investigation support to an Asian government’s enquiry into a passenger ferry sinking, Matthew led the machinery investigation team. 

Matthew’s naval background resulted in his appointment by an Asian nation’s Ministry of Defence, where he led the Brookes Bell, forensic team investigating a shiplift failure; he also developed the shiplift’s salvage program.  In addition, he has also been part of a salvage team attending an LPG carrier after an engine room fire. 

He has applied his project management experience in many cases involving shipyards, both for repair and newbuilding.   The issues involved concerned delivery, guarantee and vessel performance. 

He has employed his offshore operational experience in the survey, management and adjustment of energy claims involving platforms, support vessels and floating production systems.  Matthew was responsible for developing and implementing risk engineering programs for vessel fleets, ports, and terminals, and for factory-to-site transportation of heavy lift and project cargo supporting insurance policies that included Delay in Start Up coverage. 

While working as a Superintendent Engineer, he was responsible for day-to-day operation, maintenance repair and conversion of ocean-going ships as well as floating production systems (FPSO).  He was the project manager for the conversion of two RoRo vessels in the United States, and the service life extension of an FPSO in Singapore.  His global superintendency background has given him a wide variety of experience in the management of repair projects, including the technical and commercial aspects of working with designer and shipyards.  

Matthew served in the US Navy’s reserve component in the Middle and Far East, both at sea and ashore in support of fleet and ground logistic operations. His service included carrying out risk assessments of port and shipyard facilities in several countries.  His expertise was employed in the development of counter-piracy doctrine and operations in the Horn of Africa.  He was decorated for his management of guarantee repairs to the naval logistic ship USNS WASHINGTON CHAMBERS (T-AKE-11). At the time of his retirement in June 2012, he held the rank of Captain after 30 years of service. 

During his 24-year residence in East Asia from 1997 to 2021, Matthew lived and worked in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Singapore.  He is conversational in Mandarin Chinese and has a basic knowledge of Indonesian, German and French.

Professional Qualifications

U.S. Coast Guard licensed Chief Engineer of Steam, Motor and Gas Turbine vessels, Any HP with 2010 STCW endorsements

Captain, United States Navy (Reserve Component – Retired)

Certified Marine Surveyor—National Association of Marine Surveyors (CMS No. 105-1086)

Test of Standard Chinese (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi—HSK); Level 3

Academic Qualifications

Bachelor of Science, Marine Engineering Technology, California Maritime Academy, 1982

Chartered Engineer, The Engineering Council (UK) Registration No. 417740

Professional Status and Membership of Professional Bodies

Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (UK)

Member of the Society of Consulting Marine Engineers and Ship Surveyors (UK)

Member of the Nautical Institute (UK)

Member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (USA)

Member of the National Association of Marine Surveyors (USA)

Member of the International Institute of Marine Surveying (UK)

Surveying and Consultancy Employment History

Liberty International Underwriters; Senior Marine Risk Engineer

Charles Taylor Consulting; Technical Manager, North East Asia

Civilian Superintendency and Sea-Going Employment History

Alliance Marine Services, Superintendent Engineer (China)

Keystone Shipping Co., Port Engineer (USA)

First Assistant Engineer, U.S.T.S. GOLDEN BEAR (Training Ship)

Interocean Management Corporation

  • Chief Engineer, M.V. CAPE HENRY (RoRo)
  • First Assistant Engineer S.S. AUSTRAL LIGHTNING (LASH)

OMI Corporation

  • First/Second Assistant Engineer, M.V. OMI HUDSON (Chemical Tanker)

American Maritime Officers

  • Second Assistant Engineer, M.V. SUGAR ISLANDER (Bulk Carrier)
  • Second Assistant Engineer, U.S.N.S. SILAS BENT (Oceanographic Survey)
  • Third Assistant Engineer, U.S.T.S. EMPIRE STATE (Training Ship)
  • Third Assistant Engineer, M.V. CAPE EDMONT (Ro-Ro)
  • Third Assistant Engineer, M.V. PVT. HARRY FISHER (Ro-Ro, Break Bulk)
  • Third Assistant Engineer, M.V. PFC WILLIAM B. BAUGH (Ro-Ro, Break Bulk)
  • Assistant Engineer, M.V. GRIFFIN (Ocean going tug) 
  • Fourth Engineer, M.V. ENNA G. (Break bulk, passenger)

Engineer Cadet, California Maritime Academy, U.S.T.S. GOLDEN BEAR

Military Superintendency and Sea-Going Service History (Reserve Component)

Superintendent for post-delivery guarantee repairs to USNS WASHINGTON CHAMBERS


Chief Engineer/Engineering Watch Officer (Motor), USS GALLANT (MSO-489), Ocean Minesweeper

Engineering Watch Officer (Steam), USS OKINAWA (LPH-3), Amphibious Assault Ship (Helicopter Carrier)

Engineering Watch Officer (Steam), USS REASONER (FF-1063), Anti-Submarine Frigate

Engineer Midshipman, Junior Engineering Watch Officer (Motor) USS BARBOUR COUNTY (LST-1195), Tank Landing Ship

Particular Surveying and Consultancy Experience

Hull and Machinery Surveys, including:

  • Hull and machinery repairs, including preparation of specifications,
  • inspections, assessment of costs, etc. for merchant and naval vessels.
  • Newbuilding disputes acting for Buyers and Sellers
  • Quality claims against builders
  • Fuel oil consumption claims
  • Bunker quality and quantity disputes
  • Collision damage
  • Electrical power failures
  • Engine room fire and flooding investigations
  • Grounding damage assessment
  • Main and auxiliary engine failure investigations
  • Turbocharger failure investigations
  • Speed and angle of blow
  • Rudder and propeller damage
  • Structural surveys of tankers and bulk carriers


  • Forensic investigation of machinery aboard salvaged vessels
  • Shiplift failure investigation and damage claims
  • Development of salvage invitations to tender and specifications
  • Vessel condition and safety surveys
  • Pre-loading, loading, securing and discharge surveys for heavy lift and  project cargo
  • Surveys of land routes and hazards for heavy lift and project cargo
  • Securing of cargo aboard trucks and railcars; claims for same
  • Shipboard crane failures
  • Damage to shore-based container cranes
  • Damage to quays
  • Pre-risk surveys of vessels (JH115), shipyards (JH143) as well as ports and terminals
  • On/Off-hire and pre-purchase surveys
  • Piracy investigations
  • Damage and condition surveys of floating production systems, semi-submersible and jack-up oil rigs and mooring systems

Maker’s Training and Experience of Main and Auxiliary Engines

  • MAN ME Series Engine Control System Standard Operation Course, MAN PrimeServ Academy, Shanghai China 2016
  • Wartsila RT-flex Operation & Practical Course, Wartsila Land & Sea Academy, Shanghai China 2018
  • MAN-B&W Engineer’s Training Course for L-GB and L-MC engines, California Maritime Academy 1985.
  • Sulzer Engineer’s Training Course for RND, RND-M, RL and RTA engines, Winterthur, Switzerland 1985

Types of Engines

  • MAN-B&W
  • Sulzer/WGD 
  • Wartsila
  • Daihatsu
  • Mitsubishi
  • Colt and SEMT-Pielstick
  • ALCO
  • General Electric Steam and Gas Turbines
  • Kawasaki Steam Turbines
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