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August 2018 Luncheon

IMO Testing, Know What to Test and How


Matthew S. Blais

Director, Fire Technology Department
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division, SWRI


Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 
11:30 AM  - 1:30 PM


Norris Conference Centers - Houston/CityCentre

816 Town and Country Blvd #210, Houston, TX 77024

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Abstract:

Two case studies of IMO Part 5 and How it Relates to IMO Part 2, We will discuss carpet testing and CPVC Pipe. In Carpet testing, we worked with a major carpet manufacturer in Turkey to provide carpets for large yacht installation. They tested numerous carpets trying to balance the heat release with toxic smoke produced. The case study for CPVC pipe looks at mounting methods impact on testing and other acceptance criteria for CPVC pipe certification.

Speaker Biography:

Matthew S. Blais

Director, Fire Technology Department
Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division, SWRI

Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1998
M.S., Organic Chemistry, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1993
B.A., Chemistry, Clark University, 1982

Dr. Blais manages a group of approximately 50 personnel providing fire resistance testing, material flammability testing, and research in fire technology on a wide range of projects for both government and industry supporting the development of materials performance standards, materials certification, and product development.

Dr. Blais’ experiences include; evaluation of toxic smoke characteristics in fire testing, catalyst design and synthesis, weapons of mass destruction counter terrorism consequence management, materials research and testing, and demilitarization of chemical weapons. He has managed organizations and projects ranging in size from 1 to 170 personnel and up to $21MM in annual contract value. He led a team that developed a heart-cutting field gas chromatograph that solved major interferent issues for the monitoring of chemical agents. From concept to fielding, the process was completed in less than 60 days at a cost of $25K, resulting in an operational savings of $2.7MM. As the chief chemist and laboratory manager on the Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant, he was responsible for the analytical methods development, laboratory design, and chemical process design for a $2BB pilot plant project. His most recent work has been in method development and process chemistry for the safe decontamination and disposal of chemical agent contaminated HVAC carbon for the Department of Defense. Another recent project was the development and testing of chemical warfare agent simulants for large-scale testing through the use of molecular modeling for candidate selection and empirical testing for property validation.

Recent work has focused on the evolution of toxic gases, vapors and particulates in the combustion of household goods and consumer products. He has also worked to determine the physical constants for the thermal defeat of chemical weapons and the measurement methods development of highly hazardous materials. Dr. Blais is an adjunct faculty member at University of Texas San Antonio where he teaches Organic Chemistry.

PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS: Lean Six Sigma Champion, 2007; Earned Value Management System Fundamentals, 2005; Ohio Emergency Management, 2001; Emergency Response to Terrorism, 1999; Fire Service Instructor, 1997; Fire Fighter I; Confined space rescue 1996; HAZMAT Technician 1994.

HONORS & AWARDS: Outstanding Performance Awards BMI (X2), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (X4), Army Achievement Medal (X3), Alpha Kappa Phi − Outstanding Scholar Award, Gryphon and Pleiades Honor Society.

PROFESSIONAL CHRONOLOGY: U.S. Army, Special and Conventional Weapons: ordinance officer, 1981-94; University of Massachusetts: Ph.D. candidate and graduate assistant, 1994-6; ERASE Enterprises, Safety Services: director, 1996-8; National Terrorism Preparedness Institute: curriculum designer, instructor, and director, 1998-2000; Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI): 2000-8 (program manager/principle research scientist, 2000-1; Hazardous Materials Research Center: manager, 2001-4; Pueblo Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant: laboratory manager and chief chemist, 2004-5; Tooele Chemical Agent Destruction Facility: site manager/chief scientist, 2005 7; Chemical Demilitarization Plant Operations: chief scientist, 2007-8); Southwest Research Institute: 2008-[principal scientist, 2008-10; assistant director, 2010-1; director, 2011-present].

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Presentations from the past luncheons (2005 - Present) are available to download in the Archive.

Selected past presentations are available in Public Downloads.  Summaries from Past 2011 Luncheons and Past 2010 Luncheons are avaiiable.

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