Brett D. Ellis, Ph.D., P.E.
Managing Engineer
Mechanical Engineering
  • Atlanta

Dr. Ellis’s professional interests primarily lie in the areas of designing, manufacturing, and process improvement via analyses of processes, materials, and products. He is experienced in materials selection, development, and design; failure analysis; finite element analysis (FEA); design of products, tooling, and processes; and a wide range of materials, including polymers, ceramics, metals, and composites. Dr. Ellis has applied his expertise to a broad range of products (e.g., consumer electronics, consumer packaging, industrial machinery) subject to a variety of conditions (e.g. automated product handling, pressurization, overloading, cyclic loading, impact, chemical, thermal) and failure criteria (e.g., ductile yielding, brittle fracture, fatigue, buckling, environmental stress cracking, thermo-mechanical failure). Dr. Ellis has also applied his expertise in due diligence and patent infringement matters.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Ellis worked in the oil and gas industry for approximately 2 years and the plastics industry for 10 years. While in the plastics industry, Dr. Ellis: (1) designed, analyzed, and commercialized dozens of new polymer packages, including preforms, bottles, and finishes for pressurized and non-pressurized applications; (2) designed tooling for molding operations (e.g., blow molding and injection molding); (3) designed components for a variety of industrial pieces of automated equipment (e.g., blow molding machines, injection molding machines, hoppers, dumpers, grinders, airveyors, palletizers, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), silos); (4) designed and commercialized processing machinery to cure polymers; and (5) championed continuous improvement (CI) activities (e.g., Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED), Design of Experiments (DOE), Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA)). Through a combination of these efforts, lead times for new bottles were reduced by up to 96% and plastic part weights were reduced by approximately 7%. In addition to his industrial experience, Dr. Ellis has taught a 70-contact-hour Six Sigma course. 

Dr. Ellis obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in December 2013. During his dissertation work, he developed and implemented a computational materials design framework, which was used to design Ultra-High-Performance Concrete (UHPC) materials and structures to withstand blast and impact loads. The computational materials design framework consisted of multi-scale Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and inverse design algorithms to determine properties, structures, and processing steps which satisfied specified blast and impact performance criteria. 

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2013
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2009
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, 1997, magna cum laude

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Georgia, #PE038791

Publications

Ellis BD, DiPaolo BP, McDowell DL, Zhou M. Experimental investigation and multiscale modeling of ultra-high-performance concrete panels subject to blast loading. International Journal of Impact Engineering 2014 July; 69:95–103.

Ellis BD, McDowell DL, Zhou M. Simulation of single fiber pullout response with account of fiber morphology. Cement and Concrete Composites 2014 April; 48:42–52.

Conference Proceedings

Ellis BD, Zhou M, McDowell DL. Energy dissipation and strength evolution of ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC). Proceedings, Hipermat 2012 3rd International Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete and Nanotechnology in Construction, Kassel, Germany, pp. 273–282, March 7–9, 2012.

Ellis BD, McDowell DL, Zhou M. Energy dissipation in ultra-high performance fiber-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) subjected to rapid loading. Proceedings, American Physics Society (APS) Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter (SCCM), Chicago, IL, pp. 1061-1064, June 26–July 1, 2011.

Presentations and Published Abstracts

Ellis, BD, McDowell DL. Computational materials design via the Inductive Design Exploration Method (IDEM). The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) 144th Annual Meeting & Exhibition, Orlando, FL, March 17, 2015.

Ellis BD, McDowell DL, Zhou M. Design of ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete to withstand blast and impact loading. Society of Engineering Sciences (SES) 50th Annual Technical Meeting, Providence, RI, July 31, 2013.

Ellis BD, McDowell DL, Zhou M. Design of ultra-high-performance concrete to withstand blast loading. Society of Engineering Sciences (SES) 49th Annual Technical Meeting. Atlanta, GA, October 12, 2012.

Ellis BD, Zhou M, McDowell DL. Multiscale modeling of ultra-high-performance concrete subject to blast loading. Society of Engineering Sciences (SES) 49th Annual Technical Meeting, Atlanta, GA, October 11, 2012.


Prior Experience

Product Development Manager, Southeastern Container Incorporated, 1999–2009

Adjunct Instructor, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, 2007

Senior Field Engineer, Schlumberger, 1997–1999

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Mechanical Engineers—ASME (member, 2014–2015 Atlanta-Section Chair, 2013–2014 Atlanta-Section Secretary)

American Society for Quality—ASQ (member)

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), 2013
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2009
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, 1997, magna cum laude

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Georgia, #PE038791