When it comes to helping clients understand, evaluate, and mitigate hazards and fire risks of oxygen and other hazardous fluids, our clients deserve the very best and brightest minds on the job. This month, WHA International is proud to announce the arrival of two talented specialists whose experience is already expanding and enhancing WHA’s suite of technical services.
We hope you will help welcome our two latest additions to the WHA team: Dr. Danielle Murphy and Dr. Harold Beeson…
Dr. Danielle “Dani” Murphy joins us from Golden, Colorado where she worked at NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) conducting hydrogen research. Her diverse background also includes several years with CASE Forensics in Seattle (recently acquired by Jensen Hughes), as well as five years working in research and design of microchannel reactors for solid-oxide fuel cell systems at the Colorado School of Mines.
“I worked with Dani a few years ago on a large-scale nitric acid reactor explosion and was very impressed with Dani’s technical skill and strong work ethic,” shares Dr. Barry Newton, WHA’s CEO.
With a diverse range of skills, Dani is poised to enhance WHA’s forensic and hazard analysis capabilities, educating clients and colleagues along the way. “Having an engineer that can also be a strong communicator — written and orally — is very important, and something that has helped me in my career,” shares Dani. “Coming from a PhD program and going directly into forensic engineering, I often work in situations where you have to break down the science and make it more accessible for everybody, whether that’s for a jury, or a client, or your peers.”
Dr. Harold Beeson has consulted with WHA for a number of years and has recently retired from his position as chief of the materials and components laboratories office at NASA White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
“Harold is one of the pioneers of oxygen technology,” shares Dr. Barry Newton, WHA’s CEO. “He’s been in the middle of all the development within NASA — understanding ignition mechanisms and materials and fires. He was the author of the oxygen safety manual and the hydrogen safety manual and hundreds of other important documents on other hazardous fluids.”
After 28 years of service to NASA, Harold has joined the WHA team as principal chemist, and he isn’t shy about stirring up some lighthearted rivalry between engineers and chemists. Jokes aside, however, he’s quite serious about the real-world advantage to having a diverse team: “The chemistry of what we do dovetails very well with the engineering… it brings that diversity of opinion and a science aspect that is a bridge between many of the practical challenges that we confront. 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.”
“It’s the bridge between practical and analytical,” adds Barry.
Both Dr. Murphy and Dr. Beeson bring a number of specific skills particularly oriented to enhance WHA International’s capabilities with forensic investigation and litigation.
Barry, for one, is eager to utilize Dani’s range of forensic skills that he’s already witnessed while partnering on past projects. She has investigated a wide variety of incidents, including medical oxygen fires, chemical industry fires and explosions, and petrochemical industry mechanical and material failures.
“She is comfortable examining physical evidence from start to finish — from processing the fire scene through laboratory analysis,” he explains, mentioning her aptitude with various laboratory scale tools like SEM, XRD, and FTIR.
“I’m often focused on bridging the gap between the physical and the analytical side,” shares Dani. “Most of the forensic work I’ve done combines those two things to support the case in a better way.”
Harold also 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.
Although their backgrounds and specialties are different, both Harold and Dani share a common thirst for answers and an inner drive to improve safety across the board. They see their roles at WHA playing an important part in the advancement of safety and industry.
“Hydrogen is a very promising market, for instance, where the industry is working on taking the next step in a safe way,” explains Dani. “There is this apprehension with hydrogen, not only among scientists and engineers, but among the public… Working together, we can help bridge that gap.”
Are your oxygen, hydrogen, or other hazardous fluid systems safe? Contact us to schedule a free 15-minute consultation with one of our experienced engineers.Contact Us