Provides Opinion & Testimony In:
Fire Protection Engineer, Process Safety Specialist, Dust Explosion Hazards, Flashfire Hazard, Gas Vapor Explosion Hazard, Gas, Liquid Dust Flammability Hazards, Spontaneous Combustion Hazard, Electrostatic Ignition Hazards, Electrical Hazardous Areas Classification, Fire Prevention Protection, Explosion Prevention Protection, Static Elimination Equipment Selection, Fire Explosion Safety Training, Process Safety Training, Regulatory Analysis Compliance
Expert has earned an accomplished career encompassing nearly 30 years in fire and explosion safety, with extensive consulting practices and many publications. His successful works on fire and explosion safety are attributed to his strong background in fires and explosions. With process engineering background, he started his career with dust explosions, and later obtained a Ph.D. based on his extensive research on gas explosions under the supervision of Prof. Rolf K. Eckhoff, the author of the book â€œDust Explosions in the process Industriesâ€. He has built up expertise on electrostatic and other ignition sources through numerous incident investigations and laboratory studies. By obtaining Professional Engineer (PE) license on fire protection and Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification, he broadened his career foundation and is well versed with safety engineering, regulations, codes and standards. Expert serves as a Principal Member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Combustible Metals and Metal Dusts (NFPA 484) and the NFPA Technical Committee on Aerosol Products (NFPA 30B). Through this unique combination of expertise and experience and with understandings of the complexities and the challenges of process safety in various industries, Expert has successfully served his clients and delivered his services as highlighted below.
Incident Investigations and Expert Witness
Expert has assisted diversified industrial clients to investigate many dust, liquid and gas fire and explosion incidents and convincingly identified the ignition sources and other causes. He has been retained as a fire and explosion expert and provided expert opinions and advices for law firms in legal cases involving multiple fatalities, injuries and severe property damages, which include those high-profile cases that drew attentions of the Congress, OSHA and general public.
The high-profile cases involved lawsuits on the scale of hundreds of millions of dollars. These services included participations in the very early onsite investigations of fire and explosion scenes, analyses of site inspections, development of hypotheses, laboratory analyses, and reviews of investigation reports and depositions. Working as a leading expert, he has played instrumental roles in these litigations.
The major incidents investigated include:
- Kleen Energy Natural Gas Explosion, Middletown, CT (2010);
- Imperial Sugar;
- West Pharmaceutical Kleen Energy;
- Jahn Foundry Explosion, Springfield, Massachusetts;
- Malden Mills Fire/Explosion, Massachusetts; and
- Flax Dust Explosion, Harbin Flax Textile Company, Harbin, China.
The type of fire and explosion includes:
- Liquid fires and explosions;
- Gas/vapor fires and explosions;
- Dust fires and explosions;
- Electrostatic discharges;
- Self-heating/spontaneous combustions; and
- Runaway chemical reactions.
The investigated fire and explosion incidents occurred in various industrial processes and operations, which include but are not limited to:
- Liquid metal (e.g aluminum) atomization;
- Fluid bed dryers;
- Chemical reactors;
- Spray dryers;
- Dust collectors;
- Pneumatic conveying systems;
- Mechanical conveying;
- Feeding hoppers;
- FIBC unloading;
- Product packaging;
- Adhesive coating;
- Tape making;
- Transdermal drug coating;
- Painting booth;
- Powder coating;
- Gravity feed
- Waste gas stream scrubbing;
- Bucket elevators;
- Belt conveyers;
- Automobile parts welding plant;
Consulted for fortune 100 companies and other diversified companies in various industries including:
- Petroleum oil and gas;
- Petroleum refinery;
- Pharmaceutical (API, formulation & dermal patch);
- Nutritional (infant formula);
- Dairy powder/protein;
- Powdered fats;
- Coffee mate;
- Sugar refinery;
- Powdered sugar;
- Chewing gum;
- Crop protection (herbicide & pesticide);
- Animal feed additives;
- Printing ink;
- News paper ink;
- Toner cartridge recycling;
- Environmental (chemical disposal);
- Metal powder (aluminum);
- Energetic metal powder/oxide powder mix;
- Metal recycling;
- Power plant;
- Powder manufacturing;
- Powder coating;
- PVC powder blending;
- Organic peroxides;
- Adhesive coating;
- Liquid coating;
- Foam making;
- Glass fiber;
- Cellulose fiber;
- Sulfur formation (prills) and storage;
- Sulfuric acid;
- Aircraft engine repair;
- Automobile parts;
- Semiconductor manufacturing;
- Military installations;
- Medical testing equipment.
The services include key PSM elements such as hazards and risk assessment, safety audit, code/ standard analysis, and safety training. These services have been provided in various projects such as:
- Building new plants;
- Making extension of existing facilities;
- Making new products that may have different physical and chemical, and fire and explosion properties;
- Establishing corporate safety standards; and
- Formulating a Process Safety Management (PSM) program.
Safety Training Courses
Developed and presented the following process safety training courses:
- Electrostatic hazards, assessment, prevention and protection;
- Electrical area classification in areas associated with powder/dust and flammable/combustible liquids are handling operations;
- Gas/liquid vapor fire and explosion hazards, assessment, prevention and protection;
- Dust fire and explosion hazards, assessment, prevention and protection; and
- Chemical/thermal reaction hazards, assessment, prevention and mitigation;
to industrial safety and engineering professionals, loss prevention professionals from insurance companies, officials from OSHA and officers of the US Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms (ATF). These courses incorporated technical principles, compliance with regulations, practical solutions and hands-on experience in incidents/accidents investigations.
Managed and supervised research and testing of materials’ fire and explosion properties, which involved:
- Electrostatic hazards of aerosols, liquids, and dusts;
- Ignition sensitivity properties of gases, liquids, and dusts;
- Flammability properties of materials in gas, liquid, solid (dust) and other forms;
- Explosion violence of gases, liquids and dusts;
- Self-heating/thermal runaway reaction/spontaneous ignition hazards of materials;
- Preventive and protective techniques against electrostatic hazards; and
- Fire and explosion hazards of industrial/household equipment and devices.
Developed test protocols, apparatus and test setup for fire and explosion tests under special conditions, such as:
- Flammability hazards under high pressure, high temperatures and oxidant atmospheres other than air;
- Electrostatic charges;
- Spontaneous ignition of solid materials;
- Flame propagation along powder layers in air, nitrogen (inert) and oxygen (100%).
Developed test protocols and supervised onsite measurements of electrostatic charges and flammable vapor concentrations.
2008 to present:
Principal Engineer, Private Company, New Jersey.
1996 - 2008:
Manager, Fire & Explosion Hazards, and Senior Consulting Engineer,
Chilworth Technology, Inc., New Jersey.
1989 - 1996:
Research Scientist, Department of Process Safety, Christian Michelsen Research (now GexCon), Bergen, Norway.
1986 - 1989:
Lecturer, Assistant, the Industrial Explosion Protection Institute, Northeastern University, Shenyang, China.
- Ph.D. in Applied Physics/Process Safety Engineering, University of Bergen, Norway 1996. Thesis: Initiation and Turbulent Propagation of Gas Explosions – an Experimental Study of Selected Aspects, Supervised by Prof. Rolf K. Eckhoff.
- M.S. in Process Safety Engineering, Northeastern University of Technology, China, 1986 Thesis: Flame Propagation in Laminar Calcium – Silicon Alloy Dust and Coal Dust (Dust Explosions)
- B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering, Northeastern University of Technology, China, 1983.
- Professional Fire Protection Engineer (PE) (Maryland Reg)
- Certified Safety Professional (CSP), the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, USA.
FIRE/EXPLOSION SAFETY TECHNICAL COMMITTEES
- Principal Member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Combustible Metals and Metal Dusts (NFPA 484)
- Principal Member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Aerosol Products (NFPA 30B)
- Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE)
- Member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
- Member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE)
- Process Safety Progress, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).
- International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion, the Begell House.
- Most of the consulting, testing and investigation work products have been documented in confidential reports. If requested, brief summaries of numerous confidential reports for various clients can be provided without compromising confidentiality agreements and trade secrets.