Brian Ott
Brian A. Ott, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI
Managing Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Los Angeles

Dr. Ott uses his expertise as a chemical engineer to analyze chemical processes in the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries. He has experience conducting investigations of refinery incidents and performs analyses related to the prevention of future failures. He performs hazard and regulatory compliance analyses with an emphasis on implementing and improving asset integrity strategies, risk based inspections, and integrity operating windows (IOWs). Dr. Ott is a certified Corrosion and Materials Professional (API 571) and has extensive experience in analyzing chemical manufacturing practices and standards in the context of API, ASTM, ASME, OSHA, NFPA, CFR and DOT standards and regulations; and federal, state, and local regulations.

Dr. Ott has field experience at chemical processing facilities, including refineries, and inspects crude distillation, vacuum distillation, FCC, coker, hydrotreaters and isomerization units. He analyzes process data including temperature, pressure, composition, and flow rate and Process Safety Information (PSI) to simulate chemical processes using HYSYS/AspenOne.

Dr. Ott performs flammability and explosion testing of flammable consumer liquids and refined petroleum products. He recreates large scale fires and explosions, including recreational vehicles and lithium ion battery systems and analyzes chemical hazards via the analysis of ARC, DSC, explosivity testing, and additional, supplemental analyses, including GC-MS, FTIR, SEM, and analytical chemistry techniques.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Ott was a Research Assistant at Michigan Technological University's (MTU's) Center for Environmentally Benign Functional Material (CEBFM), where he conducted research on polymerization reactions and polymer/solvent interactions. In addition, Dr. Ott researched biological devices as a research scientist at Diametrics Medical, Inc., specializing in the development and improvement of blood analysis sensors.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 2009
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 2008
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1999
  • GAANN Fellowship, Michigan Technological University, 2005–2008

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Chemical Engineer, California, #CH6520

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Training (29 CFR 1910.120)

Fire Cause and Origin Investigation Training 1A, California State Fire Marshal's Office

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI), #17686-10424

Certified Corrosion and Materials Professional, American Petroleum Institute, API 571, #63118

Publications

Ott, B, Reza, A, Veloo, S. Assigning API 570 pipe classifications based on the composition and temperature of complex hydrocarbon streams. ISOPE-2017 – The 27th International and Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, San Francisco, California, June, 2017. (Submitted)

Reza A, Veloo P, Ott B. Damage mechanisms in the petrochemical industry: identification, influencing factors, and effective monitoring strategies. The 26th International Ocean and Polar Engineering Conference, Rhodes, Greece, June 2016.

Hetrick TM, Morrison DR, Ramirez JC, Ott BA, Karneskey J. Analysis of flammable liquid ejection from a container following headspace vapor ignition. Proceedings, International Symposium on Fire Investigation Science and Technology, College Park, MD, National Association of Fire Investigators, Sarasota, FL, September 22-24, 2014.

Ott B. Phase equilibrium as modeled by the Statistical Associated Fluid Theory (SAFT) Equation of State. Ph.D. dissertation, Michigan Technological University, 2009.

Caneba G, Renier M, Ott B. Towards the development of CO2 separation membranes. Journal of Minerals & Materials Characterization and Engineering 2008; 7(2):175-191.

Reports

Ott, B. Investigation of the MSC Flaminia explosion and fire. Rebuttal Report in the matter of M/V MSC Flaminia. Exponent, PC. September, 2016.

Ott, B. Investigation of the MSC Flaminia explosion and fire. Expert Report in the matter of M/V MSC Flaminia. Exponent, PC. June, 2016.

Ott, B. Affidavit in the matter of Safety-Kleen Sovent Cases. Exponent Failure Analysis Assoicates. May 2014 – February, 2015.

Ott, B. Affidavit in the matter of Lauren Sclafani v. Brother Jimmy’s BBQ, Inc, et al. Exponent Failure Analysis Associates. February, 2014.

Reza A, Ott B. Assessment of the extent of damage due to the hydrochloric acid spill at Chartered Semiconductor, Singapore. Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, May 2010.

Patents

US Patent 6794877, Apparatus and Method for Analytical Determinations, 2004 (Blomberg S, Sin KV, Ott B).

Prior Experience

Graduate Research/Teaching Assistant, Michigan Technological University, 2003–2009

Associate Scientist, Diametrics Medical, Inc., 2000–2003 

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Society of Petroleum Engineers 

Project Experience

Evaluated reactive and flammable chemicals via calorimetry and analytical chemistry data.

Evaluated process data, inspected process units, reviewed process safety information, and performed chemical process simulations to evaluate asset integrity programs and identify active damage mechanisms.

Evaluated the flammability and explosivity of refinery products, flammable beverages, and flammable consumer liquids through full scale testing of alleged incidents.

Evaluated the safety of consumer products, including lithium ion battery systems and recreational vehicles, through the use of full scale testing.

Performed fire origin and cause investigations of residential, commercial, and industrial incidents.

Performed non-destructive and destructive testing of evidence related to fires and explosions.

As a graduate research assistant at MTU, Dr. Ott developed Factorial Design of Experiments (DOE) and authored Job Safety Assessments (JSAs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for high pressure/high temperature polymerization processes and solvent/polymer saturation experiments. His polymerization experience includes free-radical precipitation and solution polymerization of monomers including vinylidene chloride, methyl methacrylate, acrylonitrile, butyl aldehyde and/or other monomers in various solvent environments including methylethylketone, dimethylformamide and t-butanol. His solvent/polymer experience includes solvent/polymer saturation experiments and polymer purification via supercritical fluid extraction. Thermodynamic modeling included the use of MatLab, Unisym, and other chemical engineering software packages to model vapor-liquid and vapor-polymer equilibrium systems using complex equations of state, including the Statistical Associated Fluid Theory (SAFT), and phase separation phenomena as observed by nucleation-and-growth and spinodal decomposition schemes.

At MTU, Dr. Ott was the lead instructor for courses in Transport Phenomena and Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering, as well as a teaching assistant in a variety of courses including Chemical Process Safety, Plant Design, Thermodynamics, Process Control, Engineering for the Environment, and Polymer Science.

At Diametrics Medical, Inc. his duties included thick-film design, membrane formulation, and signal translation for the determination of blood substrates including BUN, HCT, creatinine, glucose and lactate. Part of his research at Diametrics was rewarded with a patent related to a novel approach to hematocrit (HCT) sensor design.

Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

International Society of Polar and Offshore Engineers

Knowledge

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 2009
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Michigan Technological University, 2008
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1999
  • GAANN Fellowship, Michigan Technological University, 2005–2008

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Professional Chemical Engineer, California, #CH6520

Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Training (29 CFR 1910.120)

Fire Cause and Origin Investigation Training 1A, California State Fire Marshal's Office

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI), #17686-10424

Certified Corrosion and Materials Professional, American Petroleum Institute, API 571, #63118