Barry Newton, Ph.D., PE

Chairman of the Board; Senior Principal Engineer, Failure & Hazard Analysis

Barry Newton is Senior Principal Engineer and Chairman of the Board for WHA International. Barry served as Chief Executive Officer at WHA for ten years, from 2013 to 2023.

Dr. Newton currently mentors the WHA failure analysis engineers and assists clients on projects where his specialized experience is needed. As Chairman of the Board, he continues to monitor the direction and growth of WHA and support the new CEO (Gwenael Chiffoleau, PhD) as well as the rest of the leadership team.

History with WHA

Dr. Newton joined WHA in 1989 after spending nine years with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). For the past thirty-four years, he has conducted forensic investigations and consulted with private industry and government in the evaluation of pneumatic system/component failures, structural and component fires, fuel gas explosions, and fire risk analysis on industrial and medical oxygen systems. Dr. Newton helped develop the early forms of the WHA Oxygen Fire Hazards Training courses and instructed these courses worldwide for many years.

In his role at WHA, he has managed development of:

  • WHA pressure system capabilities
  • remote test area capabilities for high-energy blast/fire testing
  • fuel gas (hydrogen, acetylene, and LP gas) combustion test systems
  • nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) materials test systems
  • and oxygen materials/components test capabilities, including WHA’s Component/Materials Adiabatic Compression, Autogenous Ignition Temperature (AIT), and Metals Promoted Combustion test systems

Years at NASA

Dr. Newton has also coordinated the testing of materials and components between commercial industry and NASA WSTF.

Between 1981 and 1989, Dr. Newton was involved in pneumatic system design, failure analysis, and testing while working for NASA WSTF. Prior to joining WHA in 1989, he managed the materials testing, pressure system qualification, and oxygen compatibility special projects performed at NASA WSTF for the Shuttle Orbiter pneumatic systems and ground support equipment.

From 1986 to 1989 he acted as facility manager for the NASA WSTF Materials Test Facility where hazardous flammability, explosion, and compatibility tests for the Johnson Space Center were performed.

Other Industry Contributions and Recognitions

Dr. Newton is an Award of Merit recipient with the honorary title of “Fellow” for contributions to the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee G04 on Flammability and Sensitivity of Materials in Oxygen-Enriched Environments. He is also active with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and has contributed to the NFPA 99, “Health Care Facilities”, Technical Committee for Hyperbaric and Hypobaric Facilities and NFPA 53, Recommended Practice on Materials, Equipment, and Systems Used in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres.  Dr. Newton contributes to several International Standards Organization (ISO) committees.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Bonvillain Kamin

Clark Hill Strasburger

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