Michael Stern
Michael Stern, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI
Managing Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Natick

Dr. Stern is a chemical engineer in Exponent’s Thermal Sciences Practice working in the areas of industrial and chemical processing, process safety, product safety, failure analysis, and incident investigation. He specializes in the areas of chemical separations, fire and explosion investigation and prevention, reactive materials, and electrochemical systems including batteries. Dr. Stern has experience investigating, analyzing, and simulating chemical separations, electrochemical systems, and fires and explosions. Specifically, he has investigated chemical separation systems ranging from biomedical devices to full-scale industrial facilities producing a range of chemical products. Dr. Stern has performed numerous experiments and analyses to assess the feasibility of a fire or explosion scenario for consumer products, home utilities, industrial processes, and chemical plant processes. His ongoing research includes investigating the competency of ignition sources in industrial flash fires, combustible dust hazards, and mechanisms for electrical fires. Dr. Stern serves on several committees responsible for authoring standards related to chemical hazards and electrical classification in hazardous environments.

Since joining Exponent, Dr. Stern has evaluated membrane transport phenomena for biotechnology applications, investigated the consequences of battery failures, designed small-scale automated oil/water separators for the petroleum industry, and performed hazard analyses on processes with flammable liquids, reactive materials, and combustible dust ranging from large production plants to bench-top analytical equipment. He is an active professional in the chemical engineering, process safety, and fire investigation fields participating in committees, presenting at conferences, and publishing in relevant journals.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Stern was a graduate research assistant in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He developed a new electrochemically-mediated technology for carbon dioxide separations from post-combustion flue gases.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2014
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2011
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, 2008

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Chemical Engineer, California, #6730

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators National Certification Board per NFPA 921 Section 13.6.5.2

Blasting Certificate of Competency, Massachusetts, #BL-007223

Publications

Stern MC, Rosen JS, Ibarreta, AF, Ogle RA, Myers TJ. Quantification of the thermal hazard from metallic and organic dust flash fires. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries 2016, 44: 528–537.

Stern MC, O’Hern SC, Morse TL, Bishop J, Kytomaa HK. Fire risks due to unintentionally energized metal structures. Proceedings, International Symposium of Fire Investigators, Scottsdale, AZ, 2016.

Myers TJ, Ibarreta AF, Stern MC, O'Hern SC, Page CD. Combustible dust hazards in additive manufacturing operations, Proceedings POWDERMET 2016, International Conference on Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials, Boston, MA 2016.

Stern MC, Budiansky N, Somandepalli V, Reza A, Myers TJ. Accidents during turnarounds, cleanings, and other infrequent operations. Proceedings, 12th Global Congress on Process Safety, American Institute of Chemical Engineers Spring Meeting, Houston, TX, 2016.

Ibarreta AF, Stern MC, Myers TJ. Fire and Explosion Hazards in Enclosed Powder Conveyors. Powder & Bulk Solids 2016, 34(6):26-30.

Stern MC, Rosen JS, Ibarreta, AF, Myers TJ, Ogle RA. Quantification of the thermal hazard of metallic and organic dust flash fires. Proceedings Mary K O'Connor Process Safety Symposium, College Station, TX, 2015.

Stern MC, Rosen JS, Ibarreta, AF, Myers TJ, Ogle RA. Unconfined deflagration testing for the assessment of combustible dust flash fire hazards. Proceedings, 11th Global Congress on Process Safety, Austin, TX, 2015.

Stern MC, Ibarreta AF, Myers TJ. Assessment and mitigation of combustible dust hazards in the plastics industry. Proceedings, 30th International Conference of the Polymer Processing Society, Cleveland, OH, 2014.

Ponchaut NF, Colella F, Somandepalli V, Stern MC. Thermal management modeling for thermal runaway avoidance in lithium-ion batteries. Proceedings, Battcon Stationary Battery Conference, Boca Raton, FL, 2014.

Stern MC, Braff W, Biteau H, Marr K, Somandepalli V. Fire safety with high energy batteries. Proceedings, 2014 AICHE Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, 2014.

Stern MC, Hatton TA. Bench-scale demonstration of CO2 capture with electrochemically-mediated amine regeneration. RSC Advances 2014; 4:5906-5914.

Eltayeb AO, Stern MC, Herzog HJ, Hatton TA, Energetics of electrochemically-mediated amine regeneration. Energy Procedia 2014; 63:595-604

Stern MC, Simeon F, Herzog HJ, Hatton TA. Post-combustion carbon dioxide capture using electrochemically-mediated amine regeneration. Energy and Environmental Science 2013, 6(8):2505-2517.

Stern MC, Simeon F, Herzog H J, Hatton TA. An electrochemically-mediated gas separation process for carbon abatement. Energy Procedia 2013; 37:1172-1179.

Stern MC, Simeon F, Hammer T, Landes H, Herzog HJ, Hatton T A. Electrochemically mediated separation for carbon capture. Energy Procedia 2011; 4:860-867.

Oral Presentations

Stern MC, O’Hern SC, Morse TL, Bishop J, Kytomaa HK. Fire risks due to unintentionally energized metal structures, International Symposium of Fire Investigators, Scottsdale, AZ. September 14, 2016.

Myers TJ, Ibarreta AF, Stern MC, O'Hern SC,. Mitgating fire and explosion hazards of metal powders: update on changing consensus standards,POWDERMET 2016.

International Conference on Powder Metallurgy & Particulate Materials, Boston, MA. June 8, 2016.

Stern MC, Budiansky N, Somandepalli V, Reza A, Myers TJ. Accidents during turnarounds, cleanings, and other infrequent operations, 12th Global Congress on Process Safety, American Institute of Chemical Engineers Spring Meeting, Houston, TX,. April 6, 2016.

Stern MC, Ibarreta AF, Myers, TM.. Quantification Methods for Dust Fueled Flash Fires, POWDERMET 2016, 4C HSE Conference, Austin, TX. June 8, 2016.

Stern MC, Myers, TJ. Mitigating safety and regulatory risk in a chemical project effort. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2015 Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, November 9, 2015.

Stern MC, Rosen JS, Ibarreta, AF, Myers TJ, Ogle RA. Quantification of the thermal hazard of metallic and organic dust flash fires. Mary K O'Connor Process Safety Symposium, College Station, TX, October 27, 2015.

Stern MC, Rosen JS, Ibarreta, AF, Myers TJ, Ogle RA. Unconfined deflagration testing for the assessment of combustible dust flash fire hazards. 11th Global Congress on Process Safety, Austin, TX, April 28, 2015.

Stern MC, Braff W, Biteau H, Marr K, Somandepalli V. Fire safety with high energy batteries. American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 2014 Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, November 20, 2014.

Stern MC. Electrochemically-mediated amine regeneration for carbon dioxide scrubbing. ACS Fall Meeting, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Division, Graduate Student Award Symposium, Indianapolis, IN, September 2013. Awarded 2nd Place.

Stern MC. Electrochemically-mediated amine regeneration for CO2 separations. ACS Spring 2013 Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 7, 2013.

Stern MC. Electrochemically-mediated amine regeneration for CO2 scrubbing systems. AIChE Fall 2012 Conference, Pittsburgh, PA, October 29, 2012. Was recognized as a 'Best Paper' for session.

Stern MC. CO2 separation using electrochemical regeneration of amine sorbents. AIChE Fall 2011 Conference, Minneapolis, MN, October 20, 2011.

Stern MC. A graduate student's perspective on carbon mitigation. Separations Technology VIII, Kona, HI, December 10, 2010.

Patents

Stern MC, Simeon F, Hatton TA. Methods and systems for carrying out a pH influenced chemical or biological reaction, USA Patent No.: US9302219 B2, Published April 5, 2016.

Professional Affiliations

American Institute of Chemical Engineers—AIChE (Senior Member)

American Chemical Society—ACS

National Association of Fire Investigators—NAFI (Member, CFEI)

American Society for Testing and Materials—ASTM (Member of Committee E27 Hazard Potential of Chemicals)

National Fire Protection Association—NFPA

– Alternate Member of the Committee on Electrical Equipment in Chemical Atmospheres responsible for NFPA 496 Standard for Purged and Pressurized Enclosures for Electrical Equipment, NFPA 497 Recommended Practice for the Classification of Flammable Liquids, Gases, or Vapors and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas, and NFPA 499 Recommended Practice for the Classification of Combustible Dusts and of Hazardous (Classified) Locations for Electrical Installations in Chemical Process Areas

– Alternate Member of the Committee on Fundamentals of Combustible Dusts responsible for NFPA 652 Standard on the Fundamentals of Combustible Dust

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2014
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2011
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Lehigh University, 2008

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Chemical Engineer, California, #6730

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators National Certification Board per NFPA 921 Section 13.6.5.2

Blasting Certificate of Competency, Massachusetts, #BL-007223