Harold Beeson Head Shot

Harold Beeson, PhD

Principal Chemist

“Having a chemist in the room always brings something different to the table… I’ve always worked hard to bring real engineering solutions to tough technical issues — very difficult safety problems like oxygen, hydrogen, or aerospace fuels. And that takes a diverse collaborative team with complementary skills.”

Dr. Harold Beeson, WHA principal chemist
  • BS and PhD in chemistry from University of New Mexico
  • Extensive aircraft and spacecraft fire safety expertise
  • Specializing in combustion chemistry, fire extinguishing, failure analysis, hazard analysis, and materials compatibility with oxygen and other hazardous aerospace fluids
  • Unique expertise with the safe use of hydrogen, oxygen, and composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV)

Dr. Harold Beeson has consulted with WHA for a number of years before officially joining the staff in 2019. After 28 years of service to NASA, Harold retired from his position as the chief of the materials and components laboratories office at NASA White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Harold brings an impressive portfolio of past experience with forensic investigations. With NASA, he spent time investigating notable incidents like the Russian Mir space station fire, the Columbia shuttle accident, and the Challenger space shuttle explosion. In industry, he’s also investigated many different oxygen incidents involving a range of technologies from oxygen regulators to submersibles.

During his time at NASA, Harold also led the team that literally wrote the book on hydrogen safety for NASA, which was later adapted into AIAA guide to hydrogen systems. He was also involved in joint training efforts between WHA and NASA to teach safety courses on composite-overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV).

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