DEKRA Process Safety

About DEKRA Process Safety

Bio’s of DEKRA Process Safety Experts

Mike Snyder, PE, CSP, CFPS, Vice President DEKRA Process Safety. Mike Snyder has over thirty years of experience transforming safety performance and improving leadership capabilities across the world. He offers his clients award-winning expertise and problem-solving skills that get results, reduce exposures, and save lives.

Mike is a team builder and a problem solver, who knows how to bring disparate groups together for a common purpose. He has helped transform decentralized and fragmented safety processes into globally standardized and integrated systems, and has led global process safety and occupational safety development programs across multiple educational and collaborative networks.

Before joining DEKRA Insight, Mike was global director of safety, industrial hygiene, and loss prevention for one the world’s leading specialty chemical companies. While there, he led international programs in employee health and safety, emergency preparedness, and chemical process safety. He also assured his company’s commitment to continual improvement of health, safety, and environmental performance through the chemical industry's global Responsible Care™ initiative.

Mike served as a standing member of his company's global hazardous materials shipping governance team and was the corporate compliance process owner for occupational and process safety disciplines. He led programs that received notable honors, including IChemE’s North America Safety Award and EHS Today Magazine’s award for America’s Safest Companies. His work in professional development of loss-prevention technical staff has also been featured in the National Fire Protection Association Journal.

Mike is actively engaged in the global thought leadership areas of loss prevention and chemical process safety, serving as a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standards Council and the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) Advisory Board. He also brings extensive experience from the municipal emergency service sector, having served as a fire marshal and fire chief of a local fire department.

Mike holds a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Cornell University and a master of science in occupational safety and health from Columbia Southern University. He is a licensed professional engineer and a certified safety professional, as well as a certified fire protection specialist.


Thaddeus C. Speed, physicist and safety professional, is the Senior Technical Engineer for Chilworth Technologies’ explosives testing and analysis division, Safety Consulting Engineers, Inc. Mr. Speed has more than 25 years’ experience in hazards analysis, process and system safety, and in testing, evaluating and characterizing explosives and other energetic materials. He has published numerous papers on electrostatic discharge safety (ESD), explosives testing methods, ignition and initiation phenomena, in-process classification of energetic materials, and similar topics. B.S. Physics and Astronomy (1984); Certified Safety Professional (1994); approved by the DOT to examine explosives and recommend classifications (per 49 CFR 173.56) (1999).

Mr. Speed’s explosives process hazards and characterization expertise is further enhanced by an in-depth understanding of system safety and the inter-related areas of facility siting, regulatory compliance, process safety management, material characterization and incident analysis. He has developed courses and trained government officials, plant managers, other safety professionals and line operators in various aspects of explosives safety, both as general courses and as tailored training for specific issues, companies and operations.


Michael F. Carolan, BSE, Ph.D. is the Flammability Group Manager of Process Safety Solutions and Manager of Operational Excellence for the U.S. Process Safety Laboratories. Proven Technology Developer who uses disciplined approach to solve difficult technical problems and to cost effectively advance technology. Experimental chemical engineer experienced in designing and safely operating equipment using flammable gases at high pressures and temperatures. Internationally known for inventing first-of-its-kind ceramic membrane gas production technologies.


Emmanuel Kwasi Addai, PHD, DR.-ING., Process Safety Specialist. Dr. Emmanuel Kwasi Addai has over 5 years of experience in the field of Process Safety Engineering. He has participated in the design and construction of numerous chemical-processing facilities and provided support and training in all areas of PSM. As a Process Safety Engineer, he has led process hazard analyses, risk assessments and facility siting reviews. Dr. Addai has both his masters and PhD in Process Safety Engineering specializing in industrial fire and explosion prevention and mitigation. He has over 30 peer review international publications and presented in several international conferences.


John Wincek, CCSP, Senior Process Safety Specialist has over 25 years of industry experience, including 17 years dedicated to managing all aspects of Process Safety in the Specialty Chemical Manufacturing industry. He has led Process Hazard Studies, conducted Frequency and Consequence Analyses, Layer of Protection Analyses and Chemical Reaction Safety Assessments for facilities around the globe.


Chantell Laing, CEng, CSP, M,Sc is a Senior Process Safety Specialist. She has over 17 years’ experience in fire and explosion hazards including gas/vapor explosions, dust explosions and fire and explosion protection strategies. Prior to joining DEKRA Process Safety she spent the last 7 years as the Global Process Safety Manager for Schering-Plough Pharmaceutical company where she developed and implemented dust explosion prevention programs, risk assessment tools, conducted incident investigations and developed training courses in Process Safety and Dust Explosion hazards. She also was responsible for process safety reviews for all new drug products transferred from research to manufacturing facilities globally. She also has 10 years’ experience as a Process Safety engineer and consultant within a variety of industries including Oil & gas, fine chemicals and precious metals refining. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology and a Masters in Process Safety & Loss Prevention both from the University of Sheffield in the UK.


Andrew Kusmierz, Sr., Process Safety Specialist has extensive experience (over 20 years) in dealing with hazards involving dust, liquids and vapors. Graduate of Warsaw University of Technology, worked there for 11 years in Combustion Lab of Aerospace Engineering Department. He was involved mainly in studies of various combustion processes: single droplet and spray combustion, shock tube studies for gaseous and hybrid mixtures, gasification of coal particles by detonation wave, large scale dust explosions, explosibility limits, explosion venting studies, as well as computer modeling and simulation.

He experience includes designing and conducting non-standard tests (i.e.: solvent vapor migration, gas evolution, electrostatic charging of liquids in pipe flow or sprays, flammability and fractionation testing specific to refrigerant blends containing flammable components, testing for investigative projects, etc.).

He has investigated numerous flash fire and explosion incidents; safety reviews and audits; consulting on industrial systems or processes that involve solids, vapors and gases. He has conducted hazards assessment on numerous processes; has conducted code compliance studies, and has made safety improvement recommendations.


Bernadette Reyes, Operations Manager and DOT Examiner. She has extensive experience in characterizing the combustion, fire, explosion and detonation properties of gases, liquids and solids. She has participated on numerous engineering hazard analyses of chemical process plants, bulk powder plants, propellant, explosive and pyrotechnic manufacturing facilities. She has conducted extensive computer analyses to characterize gaseous and dust cloud combustion, explosion and detonation reactions.

She has provided hazard analysis methodologies (which include FMEA, FTA and HAZOPS) for food and chemical processing plants, propellants, explosives and pyrotechnics facilities. Ms. Reyes has supervised hazard and performance testing on powders, liquids and gases, propellants, explosives and pyrotechnics at Safety Consulting Engineers, Inc., laboratory and open-air testing facility to determine initiation sensitivity and potential hazards.


Abdollah Kashani, Senior Safety Project Engineer has over 30 years’ experience providing innovative solutions and services for a variety of industrial, pharmaceutical, medical device manufacturing, and governmental customers. He has been providing services for various processes and operations such as material handling, heat generation, material transfer and transportation, hybrid mixtures (liquid-gas-solid) and other operations.

He has provided customized services for qualification of materials and equipment for end user, such as ignition protection study of electrical devices, in flammable environments, simulated to understand the cause of fire or explosion related to particular incident investigations.

His experience also includes: material flammability and fire resistance, demilitarization service, open gas/vapor and dust cloud explosion, hydrocarbon spray and pool fire, electrostatic charge/discharge study, propellant and energetic material burning rate combustion, design and setup for testing of hazardous material for DOT Class 1,2,3,4,5,8 & 9 per applicable standard methods, and non-destructive evaluations.

He managed the customized service to be efficient and cost effective with quick turn-around-time. Other expertise includes limiting oxygen concentration, flammability envelope and ignition energy, characteristics, assessing the risk runaway reaction of material at a variety of conditions, and validation for exothermic and kinetic reaction. He published jointly a number of technical papers.

He obtained his Associate Degree in Civil Engineering (1972) and Bachelor of Science in Medical Technology and Sciences (1975). He obtained his Master of Science in Bioengineering from University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois (1985).


David E. Kaelin, Sr., B.S.Ch.E., Mr. Kaelin has over 25 years’ experience in the specialty chemical manufacturing industry and 15 years specializing as a Process Safety Engineer. He has participated in the design and construction of numerous chemical processing facilities and provided support and training in all areas of PSM. As a Process Safety Engineer he has led process hazard analysis, risk assessments and facility siting reviews. At the corporate level he has created and taught courses in PSM and hazard recognition methods.

Mr. Kaelin has led or provided technical assistance to many fire, explosion and runaway reaction incident investigations including incidents involving nitrations, chlorinations, hydrogenations, thermal heat transfer fluids, spontaneous combustion, dust explosions and thermal oxidizer and incinerator operations.

Mr. Kaelin is an expert in the application of hazard recognition techniques including: HAZOP, FMEA. What-If, Fault Tree Analysis, Risk Screening and Checklist. He is an active member of AIChE, and NFPA.


Dr. Swati Umbrajkar, Ph.D. is the Manager of the Chemical Process Evaluation Group. Dr. Umbrajkar received her Doctorate from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Her research interests include the synthesis of metal/metal oxide nanocomposites; analysis of highly energetic materials using X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and a number of post analysis techniques to characterize the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of a test system.

Dr. Umbrajkar consults with clients on a variety of process safety issues including but not limited to high-pressure DSC cell tests, adiabatic calorimetry (ARC and ADC), reaction calorimetry (RC-1), all of which allow for the safe scale-up of batch and semi-batch processes. She has expertise in determining self-acceleration decomposition temperature (SADT) and time to maximum rate (TMR), which are critical issues associated with the storage of bulk materials. As the Manager and Consultant in the Chemical Process Evaluations Laboratory, she is proficient in the interpretation of data for a wide variety of process safety scenarios. She has authored several articles in the fields of, ‘Synthesis and Analysis of Highly Energetic Materials’ and ‘Chemical Process Safety’.

She received the Excellence Award from NASA for her services in NASA’s SHARP student program in 2005 and Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) students at the New Jersey Center for Engineered Particulates (NJCEP) in 2006. She was awarded the Best Graduate Student Research Overall presented at the Graduate Student Research Day on November 6, 2006. She is also the recipient of the ‘best presenter’ award at the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) Young Professionals in Science and Engineering Conference (Northeast Section) in November 2006. She is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.


Richard W. Prugh, M.S.Ch.E., CSP, PE, Mr. Prugh is a Senior Process Safety Specialist at Chilworth and provides process safety engineering expertise to clients at large and small plants, to improve the safety of chemical manufacturing operations. During his career with the Du Pont Company, he was involved in instrument engineering, explosion-hazards testing, explosives manufacturing and testing, pilot-plant supervision, organic-chemicals research, safety and fire protection audits, and process-safety consulting. Since 1985, he has provided process safety services to chemical and petrochemical plants in thirty-two states and in twelve foreign countries. He is the author of “Guidelines for Vapor Release Mitigation” and 25 presentations to Loss Prevention Symposia, and he prepared the “Toxicity” section for the 2008 issue of “Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook” and the “Safety” sections for three encyclopedias. His recent experience involved overseeing the safety analyses of nerve-gas destruction plants and auditing the safety status of a dozen off-shore installations, including evaluation of management and employee safety culture.


Vladimir Stetsovsky, M.S., is a Senior Process Safety Specialist with over 19 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry and utilities, and 7 years specializing as an Electrostatic Safety Engineer. His career involved converting and specialty chemical manufacturing with numerous hazardous chemicals in both batch and continuous operations. He has participated in the design and construction of several large chemical and converting processing facilities and provided support and training in all areas of Process Electrostatic Safety Management. As an Electrical Engineer he has led process hazard analysis, risk assessments and facility siting reviews. At the corporate level he has created installation specifications and taught courses in ESD and hazard recognition methods and provided technical safety support to manufacturing sites producing adhesives and pressure sensitive products.

Mr. Stetsovsky has led or provided technical assistance to many fire and explosion incident investigations including incidents involving thermal heat transfer fluids, spontaneous combustion, dust explosions and thermal oxidizer and incinerator operations. In these investigations he has provided valuable insight into the root cause and made practical suggestions for eliminating or controlling the identified hazards.


Steven J. Luzik PE, CFEI, is a Senior Process Safety Specialist at Chilworth Technology, Inc. with over 30 years’ experience in the area of fire and explosion hazards including gas/vapor explosions, dust explosions and fire and explosion protection strategies. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Pennsylvania and a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) with the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI). As a former Mine Safety and Health Administration [MSHA] manager and technical specialist, he has investigated a multitude of incidents involving flammable vapors, gases and dusts that have included surface and underground mining facilities and industrial facilities where fires and explosions have occurred. He has conducted dust explosion hazard assessment at several coal-fired power plants.

He also has served as a moderator of a flammability and dust explosibility laboratory, processing requests from MSHA and other Federal agencies for testing to determine the flammability and explosibility properties of solids, liquids, dusts and vapors. In this capacity, he has been called upon to provide expert testimony on the explosibility hazards associated with the manufacturing, processing and handling of these materials. He is a member of the American Society for testing and Materials (ASTM) E-27 Committee on Hazardous Properties of Chemicals, the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) and the National fire Protection Association (NFPA). He has authored numerous publications in the areas of fire and explosion prevention, protection and investigation.


David Y. Kohn, B.S. Ch., is a Chemist at Chilworth He has 8 years of experience in process safety testing, scale-up, optimization, transportation (UN/DOT regulations) and thermal runaway reactions. As a Chemist in the Chemical Reaction Hazards Laboratory, he is proficient in the performance of tests using RC1, ARC, Adiabatic Dewar and Carius Tube; he is skilled in a variety of transportation and storage testing; and he is experienced in the interpretation of data for process safety. He has co-authored papers on such topics as process safety and thermal instability of reactions. David has been a member of the American Chemical Society since 1996.


Robert L. Gaither, CSP, Ph.D., is a Senior Process Safety Specialist for Chilworth. Dr. Gaither has more than 28 years’ experience in company operations, regulatory compliance, management consulting, and process safety/risk management experience. He has led organizations at site, division and corporate levels to achieve record safety performance, significant cost savings, and external / internal recognition for accomplishments.

Dr. Gaither has proven leadership and interpersonal skills that enable customers to discover synergies for business excellence. His keys to successes are working effectively with all organizational levels, strong communication skills, assessing customer/business partner needs and finding solutions, mentoring staff, promoting teamwork, and leveraging systems and resources already in place.

Dr. Gaither is a trained expert in HAZOP and SIL/LOPA Facilitation; and Chevron RISKMAN2 / IHAZID Process. He is also a trained and experienced PHAST User.


Pieter Zeeuwen, M. Sc., is a Senior Process Safety Specialist at Chilworth. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the gas and dust explosion fields, including materials testing, small and large scale explosion research, and consultancy for industry and government agencies in number of countries. His areas of expertise include gas and dust explosion hazard assessment, gas and dust explosion prevention and protection, electrostatic hazard assessment, hazardous area classification, and gas cloud explosions as well as incident investigations.

Over the years, Mr. Zeeuwen has served on many working groups including various Standards committees, both nationally and internationally, e.g. most recently CEN (European Standards Committee) working groups on explosion protection methods and on test methods. He regularly lectures on various aspects of explosion safety and acts as seminar chairman and course director. Mr Zeeuwen has published numerous articles in scientific journals and presented many papers at international conferences.


Craig S. Rudenstein, P.E., M.S. Eng Mgt., B.S.Ch.E., Sr. Process Safety Specialist for Chilworth Technology, Inc. Mr. Rudenstein is a licensed Professional Chemical Engineer with over 35 years’ experience and education in Process Safety, Employee Safety, Environmental Compliance, Process Engineering, Project Management, Energy, and Quality Management Systems. For 25 years he has developed expertise in facilitating and managing PHA studies using methodologies of HAZOP, What-If, Checklist, FMEA and LOPA for specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, foods, and petrochemicals industries. He is experienced in new PHA’s, design- stage or preliminary hazard reviews, and PHA revalidations as well as consequence screening modeling. He possesses a full understanding of regulatory requirements and how to incorporate site- specific work practices, policies and procedures into PSM and RMP compliance programs. Mr. Rudenstein has led numerous regulatory compliance audits and process safety management assessments. Mr. Rudenstein is an experienced trainer for process safety management topics. He has led Incident Investigations involving witness interviews and application of factual tree analysis, reviewed by enterprise management and legal counsel. Mr. Rudenstein is a Senior Member of AIChE.


Lisa C. Hutto, B.Sc., MBA, SIIRSM, is a Senior Process Safety Specialist at Chilworth Technology, Inc. with 20 years of HSE&S experience in manufacturing, chemical and oil and gas industries with 11 of the years specializing in Process Safety Management. She has an extensive background in health, safety, environmental and security, to include the reduction of incident rates, reduced emissions by implementing new projects, facility security development, as well as being the driver for supporting business and HSE objectives. Her PSM experience include implementing and developing new Process Safety Management programs, PSM Audits and Gap Analysis, establishing management of change programs, developing procedures for all 14 elements of PSM, emergency response plan development and leading Process Hazards Analysis for oil and gas, chemical and manufacturing companies. She also has a strong background of upstream and downstream oil & gas experience, to include work on the North Slope of Alaska, with multiple oil & gas companies.


Walter S. Kessler, B.S.Ch.E., Mr. Kessler has 20 years’ experience in the refinery, gas processing, specialty chemical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and HVACR (Heating, Venting, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration) industries, including 5 years’ experience performing Process Safety Engineering functions. He was instrumental in the design and construction of several refinery, gas and chemical processing facilities, designing a pharmaceutical filling process, improving several manufacturing processes, and also has experience in six sigma and lean manufacturing. He has been involved in HAZOPS on new and existing facilities, developing and designing DCS and SIS control systems and the associated cause and effect charts, process safety reviews, and developing and implementing various stages of the 14 elements of the PSM program in facilities. He has a very safety conscious attitude and perspective and has even trained with and been actively involved in chemical plant ERT teams.