Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, 2023
  • M.S., Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, 2020
  • B.Eng., Chemical Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa, 2017
Licenses & Certifications
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI)
Professional Affiliations
  • Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE)
  • National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
  • International Assosiation of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
  • National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI)
  • National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA)

Dr. De Beer leverages his knowledge of fire protection engineering, fire dynamics, and material flammability principles to analyze fire protection and life safety systems and enclosure fire behavior, as well as to evaluate the burning behavior of various materials. Dr. De Beer has practical experience designing and performing fire experiments used to evaluate the pyrolysis, ignition, and flame spread behavior of a myriad of materials. He also has experience developing numerical pyrolysis models used to emulate the thermal decomposition and burning behavior of condensed-phase materials under a wide range of external heating conditions. Dr. De Beer has industry experience as a Fire Investigation Technician (IAAI-FIT), conducting origin-and-cause investigations for residential, commercial, and industrial fire and explosion events.

Dr. De Beer is familiar with large-, and bench-scale standardized fire tests such as those published by ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials), International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Dr. De Beer has experience conducting and analyzing cone calorimetry (ASTM E1354), microscale combustion calorimetry (ASTM D7309), and polymer flammability testing (UL 94). Dr. De Beer has experience using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), milligram-scale flaming calorimetry (MFC), and controlled-atmosphere pyrolysis apparatus (CAPA II).

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. De Beer conducted material flammability research at the University of Maryland in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering. Dr. De Beer's graduate research included the quantification and modeling of ignition of common Wildland-Urban Interface structural materials when exposed to piles of glowing firebrands. This research included the evaluation of the ignition susceptibility of lignocellulosic materials when exposed to firebrand piles, quantification of firebrand pile thermal exposure under wind using a custom-built bench-scale wind tunnel, as well as the development and validation of numerical pyrolysis models.