Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2022
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Arizona State University, 2017
Licenses & Certifications
  • Blasting Certificate of Competency (MA)
Professional Affiliations
  • National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) 2022-Present
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE) 2018-Present
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) 2017-Present

Dr. Zeynep Ayla is a chemical engineer with expertise in the areas of heterogeneous catalysis and reaction engineering. With an experimental background, she has strong skills in catalytic synthesis and characterization, kinetic analysis, batch and flow reactor design, and in-situ UV-Vis, FTIR, and Raman spectroscopy. At Exponent, she specializes in fire, explosion, and chemical release investigations, in addition to industrial chemical engineering arbitration and patent cases, catalyst performance in industrial systems, dust hazard analysis, and consumer product litigation including canned dusters and gasoline containers.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Ayla was a graduate student researcher at UIUC. Her doctoral dissertation centered around kinetic and mechanistic analysis of oxidation reactions in both batch and flow reactors. She developed skills in catalyst design and characterization, reaction engineering, reactor design, and heat and mass transfer. More specifically, she has designed and built a reactor system for gas-phase epoxidation with hydrogen peroxide, developed kinetic models to understand substrate activation to form active forms of oxygen for oxidation reactions, and optimized time-resolved in situ spectroscopy to observe active intermediates formed on reactive surfaces. Dr. Ayla's projects include deconvoluting solvent and steric effects in porous environments in addition to identifying structural, kinetic, and mechanistic differences between catalysts with varying reaction rates.

Dr. Ayla earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2022 and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Sustainability at Arizona State University in 2017. She has also interned with the Reaction Engineering R&D team at Dow Chemical Company in 2021 and is fluent in Turkish.