Expert Details

Expert in Fire, Explosion, Toxic releases, Chemical hazards, Chemical exposure, Risk assessment, Air pollution

Expert ID: 728032 United Kingdom

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Expert has investigated many process related industrial accidents (fire, explosion, toxic release etc), the best known of which was Buncefield, where he was one of two external experts relied on by the owners of the
facility to assist with root cause analysis and to provide a theoretical explanation for this apparently unprecedented vapour cloud explosion. His (confidential) report on the latter came to similar conclusions as, but
preceded by several months, that of the official Major Incident Investigation Board.
Prior to setting up his consultancy, he had spent five years as a post-doctoral research fellow in the combustion physics team of Professor Felix Weinberg FRS at Imperial College, carrying out research on ignition and
flammability limits of flammable gas/air and vapour/air mixtures.
He has advised many clients on the safe storage, handling and processing of hazardous chemicals, and provided expert evidence relevant to process safety in civil and criminal proceedings and in public inquiries in
the UK, US, Canada and Australia. He is currently a member of an International Electrotechnical Commission Working Group, formed to develop a standard for the safe substitution of potent greenhouse gases by
flammable refrigerant (propane) in room air conditioners.

Expert has carried out all stages of risk assessment for the oil and gas, chemical, power generation, hazardous waste and other high hazard industries, from chairing HAZID (hazard identification) and HAZOP (hazard
and operability) studies through the various stages of QRA (quantified risk assessment) to CBA (cost/benefit analysis) and application of acceptance criteria.
He is a member of the IChemE Loss Prevention Panel and has taught modules in risk assessment, mostly at postgraduate level, at several universities in the UK (Sheffield, Loughborough, Greenwich) and abroad
(Cyprus, Hong Kong). He was a co-founder of AGEL-CBI Ltd, a pioneering consultancy in Eastern Europe specialising in process risk assessment.
His research includes participation in pioneering work on behalf of the EU on quantifying risks from major accidents to the environment, which formed the kernel of a book he subsequently edited and co-authored, as
far as he knows still the only practical guide to the technical, legal and insurance aspects of environmental risks from industrial disasters. Expert also co-authored a book used by the insurance industry for EML
(Estimated Maximum Loss) calculations relevant to fire and explosion in the oil and chemical industries.

Expert has investigated and provided expert evidence on many alleged industrial injuries resulting from inhalation or dermal exposure to industrial chemicals, both in the workplace and following emission into the
environment. He has also assisted ... COSHH

Incident investigation - examples:
Modelled fire, explosion and marine pollution aspects of one of the largest oil tanker casualties, Greece, for West of England P&I.
Investigated explosion in a university laboratory fume cupboard, finding conclusive evidence of causation in unauthorised experiment.Regulatory compliance - examples:
Co-wrote COMAH Safety Report for Qatargas South Hook Terminal, Milford Haven, UK.
Developed pilot information system for hazardous inventories in EU TACIS project: Strengthening the State Environmental Inspectorate of Ukraine.
Process risk assessment- examples:
Chaired HAZOP of Ecopetrol Merox unit, alkylation plant, Colombia.
Produced risk analysis of storage/handling of petroleum products, ammonia and explosives for World Bank funded port extension, Port Louis, Mauritius.Occupational exposure assessment - examples:
Assessed worker exposure to endotoxins in metalworking fluid aerosol, implicated in causing outbreaks of serious respiratory diseases.
Assessed dermal exposure of divers to chlorinated solvents released in their vicinity. Environmental exposure assessment - examples:
Quantified the exposure of members of the public to hydrogen sulphide and other noxious gases from a chemical plant during an emergency venting.
Modelled the chronic exposure of nearby to smoke from 'pushing' operations of a coke works that had ceased operations. Land use planning near hazardous installations - examples:
Advised developer of possible alterations to its project near a gasholder so as to lower individual and societal risk to within the regulator's requirements.
Supported developer at public inquiry, with consequence analyses of credible worst-case scenarios at neighbouring oil and chemical storage terminal.Airborne pollution modelling - examples:
Quantified the risk to a food producer of airborne tainting from a spill of volatiles at a proposed neighbouring chemical waste treatment facility.
Modelled dispersion and deposition of acid smuts from a power station onto leaf crops grown in its vicinity; statistically linked emission events to crop damage.


Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1978 Degree: PhD Subject: Nitric oxide formation in flames Institution: University of Sheffield
Year: 1974 Degree: MSc Subject: Combustion science and technology Institution: University of Sheffield
Year: 1969 Degree: BSc Subject: Biochemistry and Pharmacology Institution: University of Sydney

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1983 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: Owner Department: Responsibilities: Consultancy (including expert witness), postgraduate teaching, research, committee work.
Years: 1978 to 1983 Employer: London University, Imperial College Title: Research Assistant Department: Responsibilities: Research on novel ignition devices and relevant mixture and flame properties, occasional consultancy.
Years: 1978 to 1978 Employer: London University, Chelsea College Title: Research Assistant Department: Responsibilities: Reviewing literature on pollutant exposure pathways.
Years: 1972 to 1973 Employer: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux Title: Reseracher Department: Responsibilities: Abstracting scientific literature from several languages.
Years: 1970 to 1970 Employer: University of New South Wales Title: Department: Biochemistry Responsibilities: Supervision of undergraduate laboratory classes.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 1983 to 2018 Country / Region: Various Summary: Consultancy, incident investigation, expert witness. Duration typically less than 1 month.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Institution of Chemical Engineers, Fellow (FIChemE 2009).
Royal Society of Chemistry, Member (MRSC 1989).
Energy Institute (formerly Institute of Energy), Fellow (FEI 1984).
Other professional memberships: Combustion Institute (British Section), UK Explosion Liaison Group, Environmental Law Foundation.
Licenses / Certifications
Chartered Engineer (CEng 2009).
Chartered Scientist (CSci 2004).
Chartered Chemist (CChem 1989).
Professional Appointments
Member of Working Group (IEC SC61D WG16) for developing standard for the safe substitution of potent greenhouse gases by flammable refrigerant (propane) in room air conditioners (2015-to date).
Member, Loss Prevention Panel of IChemE. Peer-reviewing and editing papers for Loss Prevention Bulletin, developing toolbox talks etc (2002-to date).
Member, London Branch Committee, Energy Institute (late 1980s).
Awards / Recognition
Styring Scholarship, University of Sheffield
Publications and Patents Summary
Two books and approximately 20 peer reviewed publications on combustion chemistry, novel igniters, pollutant formation and dispersion, risk assessment techniques, incident case studies.
Patents: Ignition plugs (1980); Liquid sampling apparatus (1988).

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
In over 30 years' experience, Expert has written several hundred expert reports for litigation and appeared many times in civil litigation and arbitration in UK, occasionally also US and Australia, on behalf of claimants, defendants or as single joint expert, as well as on behalf of defendants facing criminal prosecution, and in ten major public inquiries. Issues addressed in his evidence cover the range of his expertise.
Training / Seminars
In addition to university courses on risk assessment mentioned under Core Expertise, Expert has delivered seminars and master classes on fire, explosion, chemical hazards and other process safety matters at European tank storage conferences, UK Environmental Law Association, UK Explosion Liaison Group, Fire Information Group (UK) and various client companies.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
English As native speaker.
Hungarian Mother tongue. Fluent in spoken and written language, though lacking some specialist vocabulary.
French Good understanding of written language.

Fields of Expertise

ignition temperature, ignition source, autoignition, propane fire, oil fire, chemical fire, propane explosion, explosion origin, explosion safety, unconfined vapor-cloud explosion, oil explosion, marine explosion, gas explosion, explosion investigation, explosion hazard, explosion effect, explosion cause, explosion safety and hazards analysis, explosion chemistry, chemical plant explosion, fault tree analysis, process hazard analysis, API-750, hazardous waste, hazardous chemical transportation, hazardous chemical, hazardous area classification, hazard identification, Hazard and Operability study, hazard analysis, chemical hazard, plant risk, risk characterization, risk assessment, environmental risk assessment, human-health risk assessment, toxic chemical risk assessment, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, chemical health hazard management, toxicology risk assessment, toxic chemical safety code, air toxic chemical, solvent toxicity, industrial chemical toxicity, combustion toxicity, chemical toxicity, chemical burn, exposure assessment, chemical exposure, environmental exposure assessment, exposure limit, human exposure assessment, toxic exposure, industrial accident, occupational health & safety, ATEX, occupational exposure, industrial fire, dispersion modeling, flame propagation, flame arrester, vent fire, exothermic chemical reaction, fire risk analysis, fire modeling, explosion prevention, materials safety data sheet, chemical reaction, reaction thermodynamics, fire, chemical kinetics, methane, flame, flame chemistry, air pollutant

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