Mark Fecke
Mark Fecke, P.E., CFEI
Principal Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Warrenville

Mr. Fecke applies his experience and expertise as a mechanical engineer to solving complex technical problems and performing scientific investigations. He specializes in the operation, maintenance, repair, and design of both large and small combustion systems including: boilers, burners, kilns, dryers, furnaces, ovens, oxidizers, process heaters, heat exchangers, incinerators and steam engines. Mr. Fecke has led complex failure analysis investigation of fires, ASME-listed pressure vessels, bearings, pumps, compressors fans, valves, and pulverizers. He is experienced in various types of risk assessment and hazard analysis.

Mr. Fecke is active in the field of combustion safety with his efforts especially focused on burner management and combustion control systems.. He has consulted on solid fuel operations (e.g. coal, biomass including wood pellets), liquid fuel operations (e.g. oil, gas, and ethanol), and gaseous fuel operations (e.g. biogas, propane, and natural gas). He has assisted his clients in identifying the appropriate level of safeguards necessary for safe operation and control of their systems, the implementation of those safeguards, and the auditing of their installations. He is well versed in the industry standards and has used those in combination with process hazard analysis techniques to conduct these studies.

In addition to consulting on various types of combustion systems, Mr. Fecke applies his expertise as a mechanical engineer to the failure analysis and investigation of industrial incidents, with particular emphasis on fires, explosions, and failures of pulverizers, mills, grinders, valves, pumps, fans, compressors, regulators, AMSE-listed pressure vessels, bearings and other mechanical systems. He also has experience in investigating combustible dust fires and explosions involving bulk solid conveying systems, such as bucket elevators, screw conveyors, pneumatic conveying systems, as well as bulk solid storage systems such as concrete and metal silos, and dust collection systems.

Besides projects involving combustion systems and incident investigations, he has performed scientific investigations and failure analyses on hazardous materials tank cars, induction furnaces, marine vessels, chemical process equipment, residential house fires, commercial property fires, rail accidents, and amusement park equipment. He has significant experience operating in confined spaces under supplied air, Level B PPE. Prior to joining Exponent, he worked as a Field Service Engineer for The Babcock and Wilcox Company.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • M.S., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), 2010
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, 2003

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Illinois, #062-061204

Confined Space Entry training program in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.146

40-Hour HAZWOPER training program in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.120

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) National Certification Board per NFPA 921 Section 11.6.4

Principal Member: Technical Committee on Stoker Operations, NFPA 85 Boiler Combustion System Hazards, National Fire Protection Association International, effective July 2006

Principal Member: Technical Committee on Pulverized Fuel Systems, NFPA 85 Boiler Combustion System Hazards, National Fire Protection Association International, effective July 2006

Publications

Bishop J, Fecke M, Ogle R. Explosion proof may not be the answer. Powder & Bulk Solids 2014. http://www.powderbulksolids.com/article%5CExplosion-Proof-May-Not-Be-the-Answer-07-22-2014.

Morrison DR, Smyth S, Ramirez JC, Fecke MT. Understanding and managing the often-ignored fire & explosion hazards of industrial air systems. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 6th Latin American Conference on Process Safety, Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 15–17, 2014.

Fecke M, Bishop J. Identifying hazards. Presentation at the PFI Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, July 28, 2014.

Fecke M, Ogle RA. Combustible dust risk evaluation made simple. Presentation at the Biomass Conference, Orlando FL, March 26, 2014

Ogle RA, Dillon SE, Fecke M. Explosion from a smoldering silo fire. Process Safety Progress 2014; 33:94–103.

Fecke M, Ogle RA, Carpenter A. Combustible dust risk evaluation made simple. Presentation at the Corn Refiners Association Safety Meeting, Washington DC, November 11, 2013. 

Morrison DR, Fecke, M. Evaluating self-heating and ignition hazards in combustible dust handling equipment. 5th CCPS Latin American Process Safety Conference and Expo, Cartagena, Columbia, August 12–14, 2013.

Bishop J, Fecke M. Case study: American Wood Fibers Circleville, OH facility plant safety review—One year later. Presentation at the PFI Annual Conference, Ashville, NC, July 29-30, 2013.

Fecke M, Ogle R, Dillon S. Explosion from a smoldering silo fire. Presentation at the PFI Annual Conference, Ashville, NC, July 29–30, 2013.

Ogle RA, Dillon SE, Fecke M. Explosion from a smoldering silo fire. Presentation at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2013 Spring National Meeting, 9th Global Congress on Process Safety, San Antonio, TX, April 29–May 1, 2013.

Morrison DR, Fecke M, Ramirez JC. Using LOPA to understand necessary safeguards for steam boiler operation. Process Safety Progress 2012; 31(3):248–254.

Fecke M, Bishop J, Dillon S. Case study: American Wood Fibers Circleville, OH facility plant safety review. PFI Annual Conference, Mashantucket, CT, July 30, 2012.

Martens J, Fecke M, Bishop J, Ogle R. Functional testing for industrial control systems. ASME International Engineering Congress & Exposition, Denver, CO, November 15, 2011.

Morrison DR, Fecke M, Martens, JD. Migrating an incident reporting system to a CCPS process safety metrics model. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries 2011; 24:819–826.

Fecke M, Morrison DR, Martens J, Cowells J. A guide to developing and implementing safety checklists: Plant steam utilities. Process Safety Progress Aug 2011; 30(3).

Morrison DR, Fecke M, Ramirez JC. Using LOPA to understand necessary safeguards for steam boiler operation. 3rd CCPS Latin American Process Safety Conference and Expo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 8–10, 2011.

Ramirez JC, Fecke M, Morrison DR, Martens J. Root cause analysis of an industrial boiler explosion (and how hazard analysis could have prevented it). ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition, Vancouver, B.C., November 17, 2010.

Morrison DR, Fecke M, Martens J. Migrating an organizational incident reporting system to a CCPS process safety metrics model. 2010 Annual Symposium, Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, October 2010.

Fecke M, Morrison DR, Martens J, Cowells J. A guide to developing and implementing safety checklists: Plant steam utilities. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2010 Spring National Meeting, 25th Center for Chemical Process Safety International Conference, San Antonio, TX, March 22–24, 2010.

Morrison DR, Fecke M, Dillon SE. Lessons learned from a thermal runaway incident involving an organic peroxide intermediate during a power outage. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2010 Spring National Meeting, Case Histories and Lessons Learned Joint Session, San Antonio, TX, March 22–24, 2010.

Morrison DR, Su YS, Fecke M. Spontaneous combustion tendency of household chemicals and clothes dryers—Part 2. Appliance Magazine, July 2006. 

Morrison DR, Su YS, Fecke M. Spontaneous combustion tendency of household chemicals and clothes dryers—Part 1. Appliance Magazine, June 2006. 

Morrison DR, Su YS, Fecke M. Spontaneous combustion tendency of household chemicals and clothes dryers. 2006 International Appliance Technical Conference, March 2006. This paper received the Dana Chase Memorial Award for the Best Paper presented at the conference. 

Prior Experience

Field Service Engineer, Babcock and Wilcox, 2003–2005

Research and Development Co-op, Cintas, 1999–2002

General Laborer, Mulhall Becker Construction, 1997–1998

Research Apprentice, Compressor Aero Research Laboratory WPAFB, 1995–1996

Professional Affiliations

American Society of Mechanical Engineers—ASME (member)

National Fire Protection Association—NFPA (member)

National Association of Fire Investigators—NAFI (member)

Principal Member:  Technical Committee on Stoker Operations, NFPA 85 Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code, National Fire Protection Association International, effective July 2006

Principal Member:  Technical Committee on Pulverized Fuel Systems, NFPA 85 Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code, National Fire Protection Association International, effective July 2006

Principal Member: Technical Committee on Fundamentals of Combustion, NFPA 85 Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code, National Fire Protection Association International, effective March 2014

Alternate Member: Technical Committee on Single Burner Boilers, NFPA 85 Boiler and Combustion Systems Hazards Code, National Fire Protection Association International, effective August 2015

Principal Member:  ASME CSD-1 Standard, Controls and Safety Devices for Automatically Fired Boilers, effective March 2011

Principal Member: ASNI/HI 14.4 Rotodynamic Pumps Installation, Operation and Maintenance

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • M.S., Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), 2010
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, 2003

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Engineer, Illinois, #062-061204

Confined Space Entry training program in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.146

40-Hour HAZWOPER training program in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR Part 1910.120

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) National Certification Board per NFPA 921 Section 11.6.4

Principal Member: Technical Committee on Stoker Operations, NFPA 85 Boiler Combustion System Hazards, National Fire Protection Association International, effective July 2006

Principal Member: Technical Committee on Pulverized Fuel Systems, NFPA 85 Boiler Combustion System Hazards, National Fire Protection Association International, effective July 2006