Joshua Swann

Joshua Swann, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI

Associate
Thermal Sciences
Bowie
  • CV (English)
  • Contact Card

Dr. Swann leverages his knowledge of fire protection engineering, fire dynamics, and heat transfer principles to analyze building fire protection and life safety systems, evaluate the fire performance of various materials and products, and conduct origin and cause determinations for residential, commercial, and industrial fire and explosion events. Dr. Swann’s diverse training and practical experience includes the design and testing of active and passive fire protection systems and building life safety systems, conducting building and fire code assessments, and performing engineering hazard and risk analyses.

Dr. Swann provides expertise in building and fire code consultation for the installation, maintenance, and operation of active and passive fire protection and life safety systems for residential, commercial, and industrial occupancies. He has identified applicable codes and standards and subsequently evaluated the performance of automatic fire sprinkler systems, pre-engineered suppression systems, occupant egress systems, and automatic fire alarm and detection systems. His experience includes analyzing the fire performance of materials for various applications and the evaluation and inspection of buildings, facilities, and products for code compliance in accordance with codes published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the International Code Council (ICC), as well as requirements of state and local jurisdictions.

Dr. Swann has practical experience developing and performing fire experiments to evaluate the dynamics of pyrolysis, ignition properties, and fire performance of a plethora of materials under a wide range of failure conditions. He is familiar with small- and large-scale standardized fire tests conducted in accordance with standard tests methods such as those published by ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), NFPA, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). Dr. Swann has designed, constructed, and carried out customized fire test procedures to evaluate complex scenarios. He also has practical experience utilizing milligram-scale thermal analysis techniques such as thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) as well as bench-scale tests such as oxygen consumption cone calorimetry. Dr. Swann has experience conducting fire tests on a wide range of materials and products including polymers, fabrics and textiles employed in personal protective equipment (PPE), insulation and building materials, household appliances, lithium ion batteries. He also has practical experience evaluating smoke alarms and high-pressure gas cartridges in various fire exposure scenarios.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Swann conducted material flammability research at the University of Maryland in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering. Dr. Swann’s graduate research included the development, construction, and operation of the Controlled Atmosphere Pyrolysis Apparatus II (CAPA II) to perform gasification experiments on highly charring and intumescent polymeric materials employed in applications ranging from medical devices to construction materials. He subsequently derived and validated comprehensive pyrolysis models based on milligram-scale (TGA, DSC, and Microscale Combustion Calorimetry (MCC)) and gram-scale (CAPA II) thermal analysis and pyrolysis experimental data. This work was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, 2019
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, 2018
  • B.S., Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, 2014
  • Awards

    International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) and the International Forum of Fire Research Directors (FORUM) 2020 Triennial Best Thesis Award – Excellence in Research – for Ph.D. thesis titled “A Comprehensive Characterization of Pyrolysis and Combustion of Intumescent and Charring Polymers using Two-Dimensional Modeling: A Relationship between Thermal Transport and the Physical Structure of the Intumescent Char.” The IAFSS and FORUM recognizes the best research thesis at Ph.D. and Masters’ levels, in all the fields related to fire safety science and engineering.

    International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) and the International Forum of Fire Research Directors (FORUM) 2017 Triennial Sheldon Tieszen Student Award to present a paper entitled “Controlled Atmosphere Pyrolysis Apparatus II (CAPA II): A New Tool for Analysis of Pyrolysis of Charring and Intumescent Polymers.” The IAFSS and FORUM recognizes excellence in an IAFSS symposium paper in fire safety science by a student.

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Fire Protection Engineer, California, #2135

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Investigators National Certification Board, NAFI #24395-14001

Publications

Misera A and Swann JD. New Guidance on Fire Sprinkler Life Cycles Based on the 2020 Edition of NFPA 25. NFSA National Fire Sprinkler Magazine, 2020.

Swann JD and Stoliarov SI. Determination of Pyrolysis and Combustion Properties of Poly(vinylidene fluoride) using Comprehensive Modeling: Relating Heat Transfer to the Intumescent Char’s Porous Structure. Fire Safety Journal; in press; 2020; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2020.103086.

Swann JD, Ding Y, Stoliarov SI. Comparative Analysis of Pyrolysis and Combustion of Bisphenol A Polycarbonate and Poly(ether ether ketone) using Two-Dimensional Modeling: A Relation between Thermal Transport and the Physical Structure of the Intumescent Char. Combustion and Flame; 212:469-485; 2020.

Swann JD, Ding Y, Stoliarov SI. A Quantitative Comparison of the Pyrolysis and Combustion Behavior of Plasticized and Rigid Poly(vinyl chloride) using Two-Dimensional Modeling. Fire Safety Journal; 111:102910; 2020.

Ding Y, Swann JD, Sun Q, Stoliarov, SI. Development of a Pyrolysis Model for Glass Fiber Reinforced Polyamide 66 Blended with Red Phosphorous: Relationship between Flammability Behavior and Material Composition. Composites Part B: Engineering; 176:107263; 2019.

Swann JD, Ding Y, Stoliarov SI. Comparison of Pyrolysis and Combustion Properties of Rigid and Plasticized Poly(vinyl chloride). Proceedings, 9th International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2019.

Swann JD, Ding Y, Stoliarov SI. Characterization of Pyrolysis and Combustion of Rigid Poly(vinyl chloride) Using Two-Dimensional Modeling. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer; 132:347-361; 2019.

Swann JD, Ding Y, McKinnon MB, Stoliarov SI. Controlled Atmosphere Pyrolysis Apparatus II (CAPA II): A New Tool for Analysis of Pyrolysis of Charring and Intumescent Polymers. Fire Safety Journal; 91:130-139; 2017.

Presentations

Swann JD, Ding Y, Stoliarov SI. Characterization of Pyrolysis and Combustion of Polycarbonate using Two-Dimensional Modeling. Oral presentation, European Meeting on Fire Retardant Polymeric Materials, Turku, Finland, 2019.

Swann JD, Ding Y, Stoliarov SI. Comparison of Pyrolysis and Combustion Properties of Rigid and Plasticized Poly(vinyl chloride). Oral presentation, 9th International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2019.

Swann JD, Ding Y, Stoliarov SI. Characterization of Pyrolysis and Combustion of Rigid Poly(vinyl chloride) Using Two-Dimensional Modeling. Poster presentation, 9th International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2019.

Swann JD, Ding Y, McKinnon MB, Stoliarov SI. Controlled Atmosphere Pyrolysis Apparatus II (CAPA II). Oral Presentation, 12th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science, Lund, Sweden, 2017.

Swann JD, Ding Y, McKinnon MB, Stoliarov SI. Experimental Study of Anaerobic Pyrolysis of Poly(vinyl chloride). Oral Presentation, 10th U.S. National Combustion Meeting, College Park, MD, 2017.

Swann JD, Ding Y, McKinnon MB, Stoliarov SI. Controlled Atmosphere Pyrolysis Apparatus II (CAPA II). Oral Presentation, 8th Triennial International Aircraft Fire and Cabin Safety Research Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, 2017.

Swann JD, Ding Y, McKinnon MB, Stoliarov SI. Controlled Atmosphere Pyrolysis Apparatus II (CAPA II): A New Tool for Analysis of Pyrolysis of Charring Polymers. Poster presentation, American Chemical Society: Fire and Polymers Symposium, Philadelphia, PA, 2016.

Swann JD, Scheffey JL. Aircraft Loading Walkways - Literature and Information Review. Oral presentation, National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Conference & Exposition, Las Vegas, NV, 2014.

Reports

Swann JD, Scheffey JL. Aircraft Loading Walkways - Literature and Information Review. National Fire Protection Association, Fire Protection Research Foundation, May 2014.

Professional Affiliations

International Association of Arson Investigators – IAAI (member)

National Association of Fire Investigators – NAFI (member)

National Fire Protection Association – NFPA (member)

National Fire Sprinkler Association – NFSA (member)

Society of Fire Protection Engineers – SFPE (member)

Additional Information

Additional Education Training

Fire Pumps/Controllers & Air Supply Equipment with SPP & General Air, 2 NICET Credits, September 15, 2020.

Planning Ahead – Fire Sprinkler System Accessories for Freeze Protection & Corrosion Monitoring, 1 NICET Credit, July 23, 2020.

Fundamentals of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems Classroom and Hands-On Training, Viking Group, Inc., 13.5 hour course, January 8-9, 2020.

Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) of Water-Based Fire Protection System Classroom and Hands-On Training, National Fire Protection Associated (NFPA), 21 hour course, October 8-10, 2019.

Advanced Fire, Arson & Explosion Investigation Training Program, National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI), 28 hour course, July 15-18, 2019.

Asbestos Awareness Training, in accordance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1001, 29 CFR 1915.1001, and 29 CFR 1926.1101, June 11, 2019.

International Associated of Arson Investigators (IAAI)/CFITrainer.net:

  • Introduction to Appliances, August 13, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Introduction to Fire Dynamics and Modeling, August 7, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Thermometry, Heat, and Heat Transfer, July 24, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Understanding Fire Through the Candle Experiments, July 24, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • The Impact of Ventilation in Building Structures on Fire Development, July 24, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Electrical Safety, July 13, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Arc Mapping Basics, July 13, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Introduction to Evidence, May 22, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Fire Protection Systems, May 20, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Fire Investigation for Fire Officers, April 8, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • How First Responders Impact the Fire Investigation, April 7, 2020, 2 hour tested training
  • Insurance and the Fire Investigation, April 7, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Writing the Initial Origin and Cause Report, April 4, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Effective Investigation and Testimony, April 2, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Fundamentals of Interviewing, April 1, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Explosion Dynamics, March 30, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Residential Natural Gas Systems, March 28, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Investigating Motor Vehicle Fires, March 23, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Physical Evidence at the Fire Scene, March 23, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Documenting the Event, January 24, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Understanding Undetermined, January 24, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Critical Evaluation and Testing of Commonly Reported Accidental Causes, January 23, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Fire Flow Analysis, January 23, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Fire Investigator Scene Safety, January 23, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • Residential Electrical Systems, January 23, 2020, 4 hour tested training
  • Ethics and the Fire Investigator, January 20, 2020, 3 hour tested training
  • NFPA 1033 and Your Career, January 20, 2020, 2 hour tested training
  • The Scientific Method for Fire and Explosion Investigation, November 20, 2019, 3 hour tested training
  • Fire Chemistry, November 18, 2019, 3 hour tested training
  • Fundamentals of Residential Building Construction, November 14, 2019, 3 hour tested training
  • Basic Electricity, November 13, 2019, 4 hour tested training
  • Investigating Natural Gas Systems, November 13, 2019, 3 hour tested training
  • An Analysis of The Station Night Club, October 17, 2019, 4 hour tested training
  • Charting Your Career Path in Fire Investigation, March 19, 2019, 3 hour tested training

Peer Reviewer

Technical Reviewer, 13th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) and special edition of the Fire Safety Journal, 2020.

Technical Reviewer, 1st International Symposium on Lithium Battery Fire Safety, 2019.

News & Events

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, 2019
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, 2018
  • B.S., Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland, 2014
  • Awards

    International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) and the International Forum of Fire Research Directors (FORUM) 2020 Triennial Best Thesis Award – Excellence in Research – for Ph.D. thesis titled “A Comprehensive Characterization of Pyrolysis and Combustion of Intumescent and Charring Polymers using Two-Dimensional Modeling: A Relationship between Thermal Transport and the Physical Structure of the Intumescent Char.” The IAFSS and FORUM recognizes the best research thesis at Ph.D. and Masters’ levels, in all the fields related to fire safety science and engineering.

    International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) and the International Forum of Fire Research Directors (FORUM) 2017 Triennial Sheldon Tieszen Student Award to present a paper entitled “Controlled Atmosphere Pyrolysis Apparatus II (CAPA II): A New Tool for Analysis of Pyrolysis of Charring and Intumescent Polymers.” The IAFSS and FORUM recognizes excellence in an IAFSS symposium paper in fire safety science by a student.

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Fire Protection Engineer, California, #2135

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Investigators National Certification Board, NAFI #24395-14001