Sean Dee
Sean J. Dee, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI
Senior Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Warrenville

Dr. Dee specializes in the investigation of fires, explosions, chemical releases, and process safety management. His expertise is applying fundamentals of chemistry, reaction engineering, and kinetics to accident evaluation and prevention. Dr. Dee’s responsibilities include conducting origin and cause investigations of residential, commercial, and industrial fires; assisting with risk assessments and hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies; and evaluating consumer product failures. He is also trained and certified in TapRoot® incident investigation and root cause analysis and Equifactor® equipment troubleshooting.

Dr. Dee has a wide variety of project experience. He has conducted investigations for incidents involving combustible dusts, enriched oxygen atmospheres, and flammable, combustible, and self-heating materials. He has assisted with process hazard analysis studies for production and distribution facilities in both the energy and chemical industries. He has evaluated potential liability issues for construction products, sterilization technologies, and consumer goods including candles, wax warmers, aerosol air fresheners, and gardening tools.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Dee’s completed his doctorate in Chemical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His thesis focused on the catalytic conversion of biomass to biofuels in ionic liquid solvent systems. Dr. Dee’s work demonstrated the key kinetic relationships in the optimization of thermochemical degradation of polysaccharides to monomeric sugars and furfurals. At Exponent, Dr. Dee has used his catalysis background to assist in development and assessment of catalyst design and catalytic processes. He has experience with experimental approaches for catalyst characterization, application, and evaluation. Dr. Dee has also assisted in the optimization of safe catalytic processes using a combination of kinetic modeling and best practices for handling flammable mixtures and combustible dusts. In addition to catalysis, Dr. Dee also includes biomass processing, biomaterials (production and application including bioplastics), and green technology as areas of specific expertise.

In addition to his chemical engineering expertise, Dr. Dee also finished the New Product Development Certification program at the University of California, Berkeley, and has a Sociology degree from Case Western Reserve University where he focused on deviant behavior, criminology, and law. He has prior work experience in large scale production facilities for polymers including spunbond and melt blown fibers, specialty chemicals for household cleaners, and fuel additives. He also serves as a principle voting member of NFPA 53 - Recommended Practice on Materials, Equipment, and Systems Used in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres and an alternate member of NFPA 30B - Code for the Manufacture and Storage of Aerosol Products.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2012
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 2007, magna cum laude
  • B.A., Sociology, Case Western Reserve University, 2007, magna cum laude

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Illinois, #062.065967

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), #18311-10103

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120

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.

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

Ogle RA, Carpenter AR, Dee SJ. Promoting commitment to process safety. Process Safety Progress 2013; 32(4):319–321.

Ogle RA, Morrison DR, Dee SJ. Using assessments to improve process safety culture. Process. Safety Progress 2013, Published in Early View. doi: 10.1002/prs.11629.

Dee SJ, Bell AT. Effects of reaction conditions on the acid catalyzed hydrolysis of miscanthus dissolved in an ionic liquid. Green Chemistry 2011; 1467–1475.

Dee SJ, Bell AT. A study of the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of cellulose dissolved in ionic liquids and the factors influencing the dehydration of glucose and the formation of humins. ChemSusChem 2011; 4:1166–1173.

Presentations

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.

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.

Cox BL, Dee SJ, 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, 2014

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, 2014

Dee SJ, Ogle RA, Morrison DR. applying game theory to understand process safety culture. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2014 Midwest Regional Conference, Chicago, IL, March 10–11, 2014.

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.

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. Available on-demand: http://www.aiche.org/ccps/resources/chemeondemand/conference-presentations/development-steel-component-combustion-model-fires-involving-pure-oxygen-systems

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. Available on-demand: http://www.aiche.org/ccps/resources/chemeondemand/conference-presentations/using-near-misses-improve-risk-management-decisions

Ogle RA, Morrison DR, Dee SJ. Using assessments to improve process safety culture. 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. Available on-demand: http://www.aiche.org/ccps/resources/chemeondemand/conference-presentations/using-assessments-improve-process-safety-culture

Ogle RA, Carpenter AR, Dee SJ. Promoting commitment to process safety. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2013 Spring National Meeting, 15th Process Plant Safety Symposium, San Antonio, TX, April 28–May 2, 2013. Available on-demand: http://www.aiche.org/ccps/resources/chemeondemand/conference-presentations/promoting-commitment-process-safety

Dee SJ, Hart RJ, Hetrick TH, Morrison DR. Hot surface ignition of bearing grease in horizontal and vertical orientations. National Association of Fire Investigators, International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology, College Park, MD, October 2012.

Dee SJ, Bell AT. Effects of reaction conditions on the acid catalyzed hydrolysis of miscanthus dissolved in an ionic liquid. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2011 Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, October 20, 2011. Available on-demand http://apps.aiche.org/chemeondemand/Preview.aspx?ID=bda4d916-e4de-4539-ab75-75d659bd7744.

Dee SJ, Bell AT. A study of the acid-catalyzed hydrolysis of cellulose dissolved in ionic liquids and the factors influencing the dehydration of glucose and the formation of humins. North American Catalysis Society, 2011 North American Meeting, Detroit, MI June 9, 2011.

Dee SJ, Bell AT. Depolymerization of cellulose using mineral acids in ionic liquids. American Chemical Society Annual Spring Meeting, San Francisco, CA, March 24, 2010.

Dee SJ, Chidambaram M, Bell AT. Biomass dissolution and conversion to transportation fuels in ionic liquids. American Institute of Chemical Engineers Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, November 11, 2009.


Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

National Association of Fire Investigators

National Fire Protection Association Principle member of NFPA 53 Committee on Oxygen

  • Enriched Atmospheres
  • Alternate member of NFPA 30B Committee on Aerosol Products 

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2012
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 2007, magna cum laude
  • B.A., Sociology, Case Western Reserve University, 2007, magna cum laude

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Illinois, #062.065967

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI), #18311-10103

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.120