Dr. Brent Cox

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Dr. Cox specializes in the investigation, analysis, and prevention of incidents involving fires, explosions, and chemical releases. He has helped clients solve technical challenges associated with potentially flammable and/or reactive materials in the chemical process industry, agricultural and agro-industrial facilities, mining and metal processing, pulp and paper manufacturing, hazardous waste treatment and disposal facilities, and consumer products.

Dr. Cox applies his experience and expertise in chemical engineering, risk management, and incident investigation to advise clients on issues associated with potentially hazardous materials, particularly flammable liquids and vapors and combustible dust. He has consulted with clients on matters related to Process Safety Management (PSM), including the OSHA PSM standard (29 CFR 1910.119) and the Canadian PSM standard (CSA-Z767-17). Similarly, he has helped clients manage risks addressed in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publications associated with combustible dust.

Dr. Cox has conducted risk studies for industrial processes and consumer products. He is a trained process hazard analysis (PHA) facilitator whose consulting services have involved hazard identification (HAZID), checklist, what-if, hazard and operability (HAZOP) studies, quantitative risk assessment (QRA), failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA), and consequence modeling. He has also been trained in advanced emergency relief design through a course developed by the Design Institute for Emergency Relief Systems (DIERS), of which he is a member. He is a member of the technical committee for NFPA 214: the Standard Water-Cooling Towers.

Dr. Cox is an active participant in the process safety community, regularly contributing to conferences and technical publications. He has presented papers at the Global Congress on Process Safety (GCPS), the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Hazards Conference, and the Mary K O’Connor Process Safety Center International Symposium. In 2019, he served as chair of the Process Safety Management Mentoring Forum at the GCPS and co-authored a chapter on Risk Assessment to appear in Dust Explosions, a volume of Elsevier’s series on Methods in Chemical Process Safety.

Dr. Cox’s doctoral thesis examined the process dynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics of a single-stage metal casting process. The focus of his research was the prediction and control of process instabilities affecting material thickness. This study included lab-scale casting of various aluminum alloys and theoretical modeling of transport phenomena and interfacial stability. Prior to his thesis research, Dr. Cox assisted in studies of bacterial growth kinetics, the mechanics and stability of powder flow, and the use of siloxane polymer coatings on wine corks to prevent corkage. His laboratory experience includes metal casting, bench-scale biological reactor design and operation, and the use of a variety of analytical equipment, including high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), fluorescent/ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, and optical profilometry. He has captured and analyzed high-speed images at rates up to 50,000 frames-per-second. Dr. Cox also has experience operating mathematical and process design software, such as Matlab, Mathematica, HYSYS, and PHAST.