Sean Kelly
Sean B. Kelly, Ph.D., P.E., CMAT, CFEI
Senior Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Menlo Park

Dr. Sean Kelly is a Senior Engineer in Exponent’s Thermal Sciences practice.  Dr. Kelly specializes in the analysis of products and systems in the automotive, thermal design, consumer product, and industrial environments.  His work includes investigations of technical issues related to vehicles, liquid and gas flows, consumer appliances, and consumer electronics. He has particular expertise in automotive component design, especially associated with the engine and powertrain systems - including fuel, ignition, cooling, braking, and drivetrain systems.

His mechanical and aerospace engineering background includes extensive experience in laboratory-based testing and experimental design, advanced manufacturing processes, and rapid prototyping - including a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan for the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force to engineer and manufacture technology solutions directly to soldiers.

At Exponent, Dr. Kelly conducts investigations of failures in ground vehicles and passenger cars and trucks, thermal design issues including industrial heat transfer, consumer appliances, and lithium ion battery failure in devices such as consumer electronics and aircraft. He often performs large-scale testing and analysis in support of his testimony as an expert witness in litigation. Additionally, Dr. Kelly has performed analysis on emissions and pollution-related concerns associated with combustion engines and other devices- including violations of the Clean Air Act and other regulations enforced by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Kelly was a Research Assistant in the Combustion and Propulsion Laboratory at the University of Florida where he performed research funded by NASA for the Constellation program.  His doctoral work focused on cavitation in liquid rocket engines with an emphasis on the Space Shuttle’s Main Engines (SSME).

Dr. Kelly has served as an instructor and teaching assistant in over 10 courses in mechanical and aerospace engineering including gas dynamics, propulsion, and machine shop operations at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has published and performed peer review of research publications in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Journal and Journal of Propulsion and Power.

Before joining the University of Florida, Dr. Kelly held positions at a research company investigating small-scale gas pyrolysis from organic matter for the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), in research and development of industrial and residential fluid metering systems at Neptune Technology Group, as a machinist and instructor at Auburn University, as a plant engineering co-op in tire manufacturing for Michelin North America, and founded and operated C-Tech Racing, a business involved in automotive fabrication and racing, specializing in forced induction (turbocharger) and performance engine systems.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, 2012
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Auburn University, 2007
  • American Welding Society Fellowship Award, American Welding Society, 2007 President’s Scholarship, University of Florida, 2009

    Member, Green Racing Committee, Society of Automotive Engineers International

    Member, Engine Power Test Code Committee, Society of Automotive Engineers International

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician (CMAT) – # 5507-4728

Combat Firearms Familiarization, American Firearms Training and Tactics

Licensed Mechanical Engineer, California, #34082, California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

Fire Investigation 1A Certification, accredited by the California State Fire Marshal

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI, Registration No. 20906-11895) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) National Certification Board per NFPA 921 Section 11.6.4

Publications

Kelly S, Segal C., “Characteristics of thermal cavitation on a two-dimensional hydrofoil.”, AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power, in press.

Kelly S, Segal C, Peugeot J., “Simulation of cryogenics cavitation.”, AIAA Journal 2011; Vol.49, No. 11, 2011.

Presentations and Lectures

Cavitation in Rocket Engines. Presentation to the Clean Combustion Group, KAUST, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 2012.
Kelly S, Segal C. Experiments in thermosensitive cavitation of a cryogenic rocket propellant surrogate. 50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Nashville, TN, 2012.

Kelly S, Segal C. Cryogenics cavitation. 49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Nashville, Orlando, FL, 2011 (Invited).

Kelly S, Segal C. Experimental simulation o cryogenics cavitation. 48th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Nashville, Orlando, FL, 2011.

Cantera (chemical kinetics software) Tutorial. University of Florida Graduate Combustion Course, 2011.

Prior Experience

Graduate Research Assistant, Combustion and Propulsion Laboratory, University of Florida, 2009-2012

Research Engineer, Green Liquid and Gas Technologies, 2008-2009 R&D Engineer, Neptune Technology Group, 2008

Machinist and Instructor, Auburn University, 2006-2007

Engineering Co-op, Michelin North America, 2005-2006

Owner, C-Tech Racing, 2003-2008

Academic Appointments

Adjunct Faculty, Department of Mechanical Engineering, San Francisco State University

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (member)

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (member)

Society of Automotive Engineers (member)

American Welding Society (member)

National Fire Protection Association (member)

Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, University of Florida, 2012
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Auburn University, 2007
  • American Welding Society Fellowship Award, American Welding Society, 2007 President’s Scholarship, University of Florida, 2009

    Member, Green Racing Committee, Society of Automotive Engineers International

    Member, Engine Power Test Code Committee, Society of Automotive Engineers International

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician (CMAT) – # 5507-4728

Combat Firearms Familiarization, American Firearms Training and Tactics

Licensed Mechanical Engineer, California, #34082, California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists

Fire Investigation 1A Certification, accredited by the California State Fire Marshal

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI, Registration No. 20906-11895) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) National Certification Board per NFPA 921 Section 11.6.4