Derek T. Nolen
M.S., P.E., C.F.E.I.
Engineering Manager and Consulting Engineer

 

Derek Nolen holds a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston.

Mr. Nolen is also a Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator with more than 30 years experience in mechanical engineering and failure analysis. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina Oklahoma, and Virginia.

His primary areas of consultation are: mechanical system and component failure analysis; gas system analysis and testing; including carbon monoxide losses; Liquefied Petroleum (propane) and Natural Gas explosion and fire analysis; and vehicle/equipment failures.

 

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Professional Presentations

  • “Underground Gas Leaks: The Unseen/Unknown Hazard”, Propane Gas Defense Association, Austin, Texas, April 3, 2014
  • “Common Gas System Issues”, Alabama Propane Gas Association, Prattville, Alabama, April 20, 2010
  • “Underground Gas Leaks Documentation Basics and Case Studies”, Natural Gas Claims and Litigation Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 22, 2008
  • “Unique Gas System Issues: Carbon Monoxide Under-Ground Leaks and New Customers”, Fairmont Specialty Group, Houston, Texas, September 28, 2007
  • “Carbon Monoxide: Properties, Detection, Production, and Incidents”, National Propane Gas Association, Atlanta, Georgia, April 14, 2007
  • “Phantom Debris and Other Regulator Tales”, Propane Gas Defense Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 30, 2006
  • “Fuel Gas Explosion Investigation”, Fairmont Specialty Group, Houston, Texas, November 4, 2005
  • “Virtual Loosening of Fittings from Elevated Temperatures”, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Dallas, Texas, February 20, 2004
  • Ranger Insurance Company, Houston, Texas, September 4, 2003
  • “Premature Failure of a Floating Ring Rotary Compressor Incorporating Liquid Lubrication”, American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Atlanta, Georgia, February 11 - 16, 2002
  • “Digital Evidence Presentation”, The American Inns of Court, Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 21, 2000
  • “Cause and Effect of Unintended Releases from Propane Cylinders and Tanks”, Propane Gas Defense Association, San Francisco, California, October 8, 1999

Continuing Education

  • API 579-1/ASME FFS-1 Fitness for Service, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Houston, Texas, October 26 – 28, 2015
  • Detail Engineering of Piping Systems, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Houston, Texas, June 2 – 4, 2014
  • Bolted Joints and Gasket Behavior, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Houston, Texas, October 21 – 22, 2013
  • The Gas Turbine: Principles & Applications, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Houston, Texas, October 25 - 26, 2012
  • Hazardous Materials Transportation Training and Security Awareness Training, U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration,

March 29, 2012

  • Centrifugal Pump Design and Applications, The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Houston, Texas, October 24 - 26, 2011
  • Advanced National Fire, Arson & Explosion Investigation Training Program, The National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI), Sarasota, Florida, August 2 - 4, 2011
  • Gas Transmission and Distribution Piping Systems, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Houston, Texas, October 28 - 29, 2010
  • Hydraulics and Pneumatics, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), December 2009
  • Fundamentals of HVAC Systems - I-P (Full Course), American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, Inc., February 4, 2008
  • Intro to Finite Element Analysis, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), October 2006
  • An Introduction to the Design and Behavior of Bolted Joints Course, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), November 2005
  • Introduction to Fire Dynamics Simulator and Smokeview, The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), Baltimore, Maryland, September 16 - 18, 2002
  • Side Impact Protection TOPTEC Course, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc. (SAE), Summer 1994
  • Airbags in Modern Transportation TOPTEC Course, Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc. (SAE), May 20, 1993
  • Basic Engineering Seminar, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), South Texas Section, Fall 1990
  • Combined S.O.A.R., W.A.T.A.I. and T.A.A.R.S. Accident Reconstruction Seminar, June 16, 1990
  • Combined conference S.O.A.R. and W.A.T.A.I. Accident Reconstruction Seminar, August 15, 1989
  • Air Conditioning Unit and Well Pump Motor Evaluation for Lightning Damage, August 15, 1988
  • National Society of Forensic Engineers Accident Reconstruction Seminar, May 16, 1988
  • Society of Accident Reconstructionist Conference and Seminar, September 30, 1986
  • Texas Engineering Extension Service, Advanced Accident Reconstruction Training, Texas A&M, August 23, 1985

Education

  • Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering
    University of Houston, Houston, Texas, 1999
  • Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering Technology
    University of Houston, Houston, Texas, 1988
  • Associate of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
    Tri-Cities State Tech, Blountville, Tennessee, 1981

Certifications and Professional Memberships

Licenses

  • Licensed Professional Engineer
    • AlabamaNo. 28087-E
    • GeorgiaNo. PE037378
    • KansasNo. 24016
    • KentuckyNo. 25420
    • MarylandNo. 35060
    • North CarolinaNo. 034611
    • OklahomaNo. 24537
    • TexasNo. 71745
    • VirginiaNo. 044956
  • Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (C.F.E.I.)
    National Association of Fire Investigators 2002 by examination

Memberships

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • International Association of Arson Investigators
  • National Association of Fire Investigators
  • The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) – Member
    • ASTM – Committee E30: Forensic Sciences
    • ASTM – Sub-Committee E30.05: Engineering

Research & Testing

  • Brake system analysis with accelerometers on anti-lock brake systems and standard brakes in relation to drag factors on various surfaces.
  • “Window Shade” seatbelt systems, their purpose and effectiveness.
  • Extensive testing and analysis in relation to 1st, 2nd, single stage and appliance regulators and their reaction to over-pressure and/or vent blockage.
  • Testing of various gas controls and their reaction to over-pressurization.
  • Air flow analysis of dryers.
  • Over-filled propane containers and their response to controlled heat application.