2016 Lectureship Recipient

Professor Daniel Crowl

Adjunct Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT


"Why We Can't Really Measure Flammable Limits"

Flammable limits have been a useful tool to prevent fires and explosions ever since the concept was defined by Sir Humphry Davy in 1816. The search continues to this day to develop an apparatus that will accurately measure these limits. Unfortunately, each apparatus developed depends on an arbitrary definition of the flammable limit boundary and the design and operation of the equipment. Today, the characterization procedure using a closed vessel shows that the flammable limit boundary is not as well defined as Sir Humphry Davy envisioned.

This seminar will review the history of flammable limits, the methods used to measure these limits, and discuss the current methods. Finally, the current technology that industry uses to prevent fires and explosions in chemical processing is presented.


"The Business and Academic Case for Process Safety"

This talk will provide an historical perspective on process safety from 1700 to today. Industry quickly learned, long before any government regulations, that "the traits required to achieve excellence in safety are the same as those required to achieve outstanding results in all other aspects of our business." The academic community is currently undergoing a similar journey of incorporating process safety into the curriculum. How this happened and what this means for students going on to industry, government or academic careers will be discussed.