Brenton Cox
Brenton L. Cox, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI
Senior Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Warrenville

Dr. Cox specializes in the investigation and analysis of incidents involving fires, explosions, and chemical releases. These investigations have involved reactive chemicals, agricultural commodities, hazardous waste, and consumer products. As part of his project work, he has developed computer models and performed calculations to evaluate cause hypotheses, to characterize chemical releases (source characterization), and to analyze risk (consequence modeling). Dr. Cox also consults on issues of process safety and has participated in risk assessments for consumer products and industrial facilities. He is a trained process hazard analysis (PHA) facilitator whose consulting services have involved hazard identification (HAZID), checklist, what-if, hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies, quantitative risk assessment (QRA), failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), and consequence modeling.

Dr. Cox is active in the chemical engineering and chemical process safety community. He currently serves on the programming committee for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Midwest Regional Conference. He is also involved with the Global Congress on Process Safety, having presented papers and chaired sessions in the areas of Process Safety Management (PSM) and loss prevention. Several of his recent papers involve lessons learned through incident and near-miss investigations and historical case studies.

Dr. Cox’s doctoral thesis examined the dynamics of planar-flow melt spinning (also known as planar-flow spin casting), a single-stage metal casting process associated with rapid solidification. The focus of his research was the prediction and control of process dynamics and stability through process and material parameters. This study included lab-scale casting of various aluminum alloys and theoretical modeling of transport phenomena and interfacial stability. After receiving his PhD, Dr. Cox was employed by Cornell University as a lecturer in heat and mass transport.

In addition to his thesis research, Dr. Cox has assisted in studies of bacterial growth kinetics, the mechanics of powder flow, and the use of siloxane polymer coatings on wine corks. His laboratory experience includes metal casting, bench-scale biological reactor design and operation, as well as the following equipment: high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), fluorescent/ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, and optical profilometry. He has captured and analyzed high-speed images at rates up to 50,000 frames-per-second. Dr. Cox also has experience operating mathematical and process design software, such as Matlab, Mathematica, HYSYS, and PHAST.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, 2011
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Florida, 2005, magna cum laude
  • Alternate Member: Technical Committee on NFPA 214: Standard on Water-Cooling Towers, National Fire Protection Association (effective October 2012)

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Illinois, #062-066182

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) National Certification Board per NFPA 921 Section 13.6.5.

Publications

Dee SJ, Cox BL, Hart RJ, Farina R, Morrison DR. Effects of cooking on the thermal ignition behavior of vegetable oil. Proceedings, 2015 Fire and Materials Conference, San Francisco, CA, Interscience Communications Limited, London, February 2015, pp. 889–904.

Cox BL, Carpenter AR, Ogle RA. Lessons learned from case studies of hazardous waste/chemical reactivity incidents. Process Safety Progress 2014; 33(4):395–398.

Cox BL, Dee SJ, Hart RJ, Morrison DR. Development of a steel component combustion model for fires involving pure oxygen systems. Process Safety Progress 2014; 33(3):299–304.

Dee SJ, Cox BL, Ogle, RA. Using near misses to improve risk management decisions. Process Safety Progress 2013; 32(4):322–327.

Cox BL, Steen PH. 'Herringbone' defect formation in planar-flow melt spinning. Journal of Materials Processing Technology 2013; 213(10):1743–1752.

Cox BL. Operating rooms as wet/dry locations risk assessment. Report for the Fire Protection Research Foundation, August 2012.

Cox BL, Steen PH. Finite-amplitude dynamics of coupled cylindrical menisci. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 2011; 362(1):215–220.

Conference Proceedings and Presentations

Cox BL, Dee SJ, Carpenter, AR, Ogle RA. Hazards inherent to batch processing: Lessons learned from case studies. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2015 Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, March 13–14, 2015

Ogle RA, Cox BL, Dee SJ. Scaling analysis for confined dust flame propagation. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2015 Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, March 13–14, 2015

Dee SJ, Cox BL, Ogle RA. Ignition of flammable vapors in partially filled containers. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2015 Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, March 13–14, 2015.

Dee SJ, Cox BL, Hart RJ, Farina R, Morrison DR. Effects of cooking on the thermal ignition behavior of vegetable oil. 14th International Conference, Fire and Materials, San Francisco, CA, February 2-4, 2015.

Cox BL, Carpenter AR, Ogle RA. Overlooking hazards in hazardous waste: lessons learned from case studies of hazardous waste/chemical reactivity incidents. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2014 Spring National Meeting, 48th Annual Loss Prevention Symposium, New Orleans, LA, March 30–April 3, 2014.

Dee SJ, Cox BL, Ogle RA. Process safety in the classroom: the current state of chemical engineering programs at US universities. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2014 Spring National Meeting, 10th Global Congress on Process Safety, New Orleans, LA, March 30–April 3, 2014.

Ogle RA, Carpenter RA, Dee SJ, Cox BL. Inherently safer design: lessons learned about the principle of simplification. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2014 Spring National Meeting, 10th Global Congress on Process Safety, New Orleans, LA, March 30–April 3, 2014.

Cox BL, Dee SJ, Hart RJ, Morrison DR. Development of a steel component combustion model for fires involving pure oxygen systems. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2013 Spring National Meeting, 47th Annual Loss Prevention Symposium, San Antonio, TX, April 28–May 2, 2013.

Viz MJ, Ogle RA, Dee SJ, Cox BL. Hydrogen sulfide exposure from molten sulfur—A Forgotten Hazard? American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2013 Spring National Meeting, 9th Global Congress on Process Safety, San Antonio, TX, April 28–May 2, 2013.

Dee SJ, Cox BL, Ogle RA. Using near misses to improve risk management decisions. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2013 Spring National Meeting, 28th Center for Chemical Process Safety International Conference, San Antonio, TX, April 28–May 2, 2013.

Cox BL, Steen PH. High-frequency casting-defects in planar-flow melt spinning. Thousand Islands Fluid Dynamics Meeting, Gananoque, ON, Canada, 2010.

Cox BL, Steen PH. Capillary oscillations and periodic defect formation in planar-flow spin casting of molten metal. American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics 62nd Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, 2009.

Cox BL, Steen PH. Finite-amplitude dynamics of coupled cylindrical menisci. American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics 61st Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, 2008.

Cox BL, Steen PH. Dynamics of coupled liquid menisci. Thousand Islands Fluid Dynamics Meeting, Gananoque, ON, Canada, 2007.

Cox BL, Steen PH. Volume scavenging in multi-element capillary droplet systems. Thousand Islands Fluid Dynamics Meeting, Gananoque, ON, Canada, 2006.
scavenging in multi-element capillary droplet systems. Thousand Islands Fluid Dynamics Meeting, Gananoque, ON, Canada, 2006.

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Chemical Engineers—AIChE (member)

National Association of Fire Investigators—NAFI (member)

National Fire Protection Association—NFPA (member)

Design Institute for Emergency Relief Systems—DIERS (member)

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Cornell University, 2011
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Florida, 2005, magna cum laude
  • Alternate Member: Technical Committee on NFPA 214: Standard on Water-Cooling Towers, National Fire Protection Association (effective October 2012)

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Illinois, #062-066182

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) National Certification Board per NFPA 921 Section 13.6.5.