Dr. Scott Davis Receives Award for Best Paper on Loss Prevention



Dr. Scott Davis, President of Gexcon US, received the William H. Doyle Award at the Loss Prevention Symposium during the Global Congress on Process Safety.

The award recognizes the best paper presented at the previous year's Loss Prevention Symposium. The recipient is selected by a vote of the members of the Loss Prevention Symposium Committee.

Dr. Davis’ paper titled “Large Scale Testing Confirms Deflagration to Detonation Transition (DDT) Needs to be Considered in Facility Siting,” presented results that indicated DDTs are more likely to occur than originally anticipated at the large scale, and that current tools developed using smaller scale experiments require modifications.

This is the second time Dr. Davis received this recognition, having earned the previous distinction in 2009.

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Dr. Scott Davis to conduct NFPA Webinar

Thursday, March 22, 12:30-2:00 pm ESTEvaluation of Fire Hazard of ASHRAE Class A3 Flammable Refrigerants

Presenter: Scott G. Davis, Ph.D., P.E., CFEI, GexCon US

This webinar will discuss the recent Fire Protection Research Foundation report, "Evaluation of the Fire Hazard of ASHRAE Class A3 Refrigerants in Commercial Refrigeration Applications". The specific objectives of the study were to: (1) assess the flammability risk versus charge size; and (2) develop recommendations on how to prevent or mitigate the risks when using R-290 in commercial retail and kitchen applications. The study was needed to establish a technical basis for any changes to the current charge limits and to help determine whether A3 (hydrocarbon) refrigerants can replace non-flammable refrigerants in a broader range of refrigeration applications that require larger charges than currently allowed by standards. The full final report is available from the FPRF website.

Who will benefit: Researchers, Facility Managers, Enforcers, AHJs, Fire Protection Engineers, Material providers, Emergency managers, Incident commanders.

Click here to reserve your spot!

Advanced Dust Explosion Hazards Course

Gexcon presents an advanced course on dust explosion hazards. The 2-day course will address multiple hazards associated with dust explosions including: dust properties, explosion modeling, preventive measures, ignition sources, protective measures, process hazard analysis, legislation, accidents, and selected case studies. The course will prove helpful to experienced engineers, safety supervisors, and operating managers who are committed to safe workplaces.

Location: Albemarle 451 Florida Street Baton Rouge LA 70801

Date: Apr 19, 2018 - Apr 20, 2018  Content:Dust Explosion AccidentsDust Explosion BasicsDust Explosion CharacteristicsIgnition SourcesLessons LearnedPreventive MeasuresProtective MeasuresQuantitative Risk Assessment MethodologyAnalyses – Case Studies

See our program overview here. 

Preregistration is required. Register for the course online here or via e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Gexcon Adds Advanced Scanning and Imaging on Incident Investigation Services

Gexcon’s services now include 3D scanning and aerial drone capabilities.  

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Gexcon Engineer Offers Key Testimony in MSC Flaminia Incident Investigation

Flaminia article header

Dr. Scott Davis provided key analyses and testimony in one of the largest maritime losses in recent history—the explosion and fire aboard on the MSC Flaminia on July 14, 2012. While the MSC Flaminia was crossing the Atlantic Ocean headed to Antwerp, Belgium, an explosion and ensuing fire occurred in one of the cargo holds. The crew was forced to abandon ship and the fire burned for more than a week before being brought under control. The incident resulted in the death of three crew members and severe damage to thousands of cargo containers and the vessel itself. The damages resulting from the incident were over USD$150 million.

The court’s ruling said the following regarding the work done by Gexcon and Dr. Scott Davis:

Scott G. Davis, Ph.D., testified extensively at trial. The Court was very impressed by him. Dr. Davis has all the expertise a court could wish for: extraordinary credentials, engagement with his assignment, and a careful, forthright, and clear manner. The Court was particularly persuaded by the careful scientific work that he did which reinforced many of his opinions. Dr. Davis was not  relying solely on theory—he and the company with which he is associated, GexCon US, Inc. (“Gexcon”), performed modeling and testing that provide a strong, independent basis for crediting his views. The Court relies heavily on his opinions.

Click here for full court ruling

For more information about Gexcon’s services regarding accident investigation, please contact Dr. Scott Davis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gexcon to Present Three Papers at AIChE 2018 / 14th Global Congress on Process Safety

The AIChE Spring Meeting is the year’s key technical conference for practicing chemical engineers. A wide range of subjects relevant to the current needs of industry is covered. Plus, GCPS covers the critical needs of process safety practitioners more broadly and deeply than any other conference.

Gexcon is proud to present three papers at this year’s event. The papers include:

Session 1: Facility Siting, Consequence Analysis and Risk Assessment I

Getting it right for Projects in Early Design Phase: Advanced Techniques to Ensure Accurate Explosion Assessments

Date:  Monday, April 23, 2018

Time:  2:30 PM

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Next Phase of Research into DDT Events and Mitigation

One of the most devastating events that can occur on offshore facilities is a vapor cloud explosion (VCE) followed by a fire. Designing proper structures that can withstand maximum credible events (MCE) becomes an integral part of safety designs.

Gexcon has embarked on a multi-year project to fill technology gaps that have inhibited inherently safer designs in the petrochemical industry, namely:

Perform large scale experiments, similar to actual scales, to determine what factors initiate deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) and what measures can mitigate such events.Enhance validated tools used to predict and mitigate such events

Gexcon US has partnered with SRI International to form a joint large-scale test site dedicated to determine what factors lead to the onset of DDTs and how to mitigate DDT events at practical scales found at petrochemical plants.  

With the use of FLACS, the industry standard computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code for explosions, Gexcon looks to enhance current understanding and validate FLACS prediction of the onset of DDT and the effectiveness of active mitigation. This will lead to improved facility design and improved implementation of inherent safety by reducing the likelihood of VCEs escalating to catastrophic events. In addition, results of the research will yield an industry guide for guidance and recommended practices to reduce and/or mitigate explosion risk for offshore topside facilities.  

The video below summarizes the work that has been done to date:

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Shell And Gexcon Join Forces To Bring Shell’s Hazard And Risk Software Models To Market

LONDON, November 30 – Shell’s (LSE: RDSA/B) leading-edge hazard and risk software models, FRED (fire, release, explosion and dispersion) and Shepherd, are now exclusively licensed by fire and explosion safety consultant Gexcon AS. The two companies will work together to bring flexible safety modelling tools to the industry and develop new scientific solutions.

Shell has had an unremitting focus on continuous improvement and both FRED and Shepherd tools are recognized across the oil and gas industry as leading software tools for quantitative risk assessment. Shell has used FRED software, which helps to predict the outcome of fire, release, explosion and dispersion scenarios, at its sites and projects around the world for over 30 years. Shepherd software, which helps in managing hazard and risk, and can help to gain regulatory approval and compliance, also has a long track record.

Shell says that joining forces with Gexcon, which brings specific expertise in research, development and modelling, combined with Shell’s own operational experience, will create a

unique partnership that will help to improve the tools’ efficiency, accuracy and flexibility even more. The two companies will also focus on elevating the tools’ user friendliness to accelerate their adoption by other companies.

“Shell developed the FRED and Shepherd tools to help meet its stringent safety requirements on all the assets and projects it manages. We hope that this exciting partnership with Gexcon will enable us to make the tools available to the global community, in line with Shell’s drive for improved safety performance,” said Greg Kulawski, Vice President Safety, Shell Group.

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Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center International Symposium 2017

Join Gexcon at the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center International Symposium in College Station, Texas this October as we present "Is my facility at risk: Understanding the risks associated with low burning velocity compounds".

The 2017 International Symposium of the Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center will be held at the College Station Hilton Conference Center on October 24-26, 2017. 

More information and reqistration details can be found at


Advances in Deflagration to Detonation (DDT) Explosion Research

As the size and complexity of facilities increase, designs must account for the potential adverse effects associated with vapor cloud explosions in large congested areas and the potential for even more devastating deflagration-to-detonation transitions (DDTs).

Due to the inability to predict such devastating phenomena on the large scale, owners and designers cannot evaluate installations for risk of DDTs and provide “inherently safer” layout or mitigation measures to significantly reduce or eliminate such hazards.

Gexcon has completed groundbreaking new large-scale testing in a 50,000 cubic foot (1,500 cubic meter) test rig. This project provided results to enhance prediction of DDT onset and paves the way for designing inherently safer facilities.

The video below provides more information on the project:

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FLACS Certification Program

Become a certified FLACS user. 

Gexcon is launching a comprehensive FLACS User Certification program. Take your FLACS exam online to become certified. We strongly encourage all FLACS users to take part in the certification program. The exam tests both knowledge on how to operate FLACS and how to apply it to actual cases. The latter requires a basic understanding of the phenomena modelled in FLACS, and an understanding of the modelling range and limitations. A certified FLACS user will have demonstrated knowledge about best practices for the main applications of FLACS, and the ability to set up a correctly defined scenario including verification and recognise mistakes and deviations from best practices.


For more information visit[pp_gal]/0/



International Powder & Bulk Solids Conference & Exhibition

GexCon presented at the 2016 International Powder Show in Chicago

For 40 years, the International Powder & Bulk Solids Conference & Exhibition (Powder Show), May 3-5, 2016 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, has been the premier event for the dry processing industry, providing access to a full range of equipment, technology, information, and expertise needed for every phase of process. Combining the world’s most comprehensive showcase of solutions for dry processing and bulk solids handling with the world’s foremost conference on powder technology, the Powder Show will help attendees improve product quality, eliminate costly mistakes, reduce waste and rejects, minimize downtime, and maximize productivity and profits.    The Powder Show is a resource for attendees to learn what’s new, what’s improved, and what’s on the way. Attendees can experience live demonstrations, perform “hands-on” evaluations, and make side-by-side comparisons of similar products to acquire the information needed to make wise purchasing decisions.

Explore the conference at

GexCon US Announces Opening of Texas Office

katy Location map

GexCon US is pleased to announce our US expansion with the opening of our Houston, Texas office. GexCon US has grown! We are proud to announce our presence in Texas with the opening of our Houston office.

Located at: 11757 Katy Freeway, Suite 1300, Houston, Texas  77079  ph. (281) 854-2031 - Right in the heart of the West Houston Energy Corridor!

With this expansion we are seeking new team members to fill newly created Senior Risk Consultant positions. Please go to the Careers page to apply for this exciting opportunity and to view our other open positions nationwide.


For directions to our Houston office from George Bush International Airport (IAH) click HEREFor directions to our Houston office from Hobby Airport (HOU) click HERE

Nearby Lodging and Hotel Accommodations 

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Gas Explosion Safety Course

LPG Release and Fire
Gas Explosions Hazards on Offshore Facilities Advanced Course

Gas Explosion Course 2011

Highlights from GexCon's advanced course on Gas Explosions Hazards on Offshore Facilities conducted May 19 & 20, 2011

The Gas Explosions Hazards on Offshore Facilities Advanced Course at Texas A&M on May 19 & 20, 2011 was well attended, with over 50 participants - see below for pictures and videos.




FLACS is now approved for LNG Vapor Dispersion Modeling under U.S. Federal Regulations

On October 7, 2011, The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation issued a final approval letter for FLACS to be used in LNG vapor dispersion modeling scenarios according to federal regulations (49 CFR 193.2059).  The approval culminates a multi-year effort which included the validation of FLACS against a total of 33 dense gas dispersion experiments, as specified in the Model Evaluation Protocol.

FLACS is currently the only approved model for the simulation of all LNG vapor dispersion scenarios required for the siting of an onshore LNG facility in the United States.  The scenarios that can be modeled using FLACS include:

Dispersion from regularly- or irregularly-shaped LNG pools;Dispersion from LNG spills into impoundments of any shape and aspect ratio;Dispersion from LNG spills into trenches of any shape and aspect ratio;Dispersion from releases in any direction, including flashing, jetting, venting, vent stacks and pressure relief discharges;Dispersion from multiple coincident releases, including multiple release locations that may influence each other;Dispersion over obstructions, large and small. 

For any questions regarding FLACS or its application to LNG vapor dispersion modeling, please contact Dr. Filippo Gavelli at +1 (301) 915-9925, or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Gas Explosion Course LNG facilities


Highlights from GexCon's advanced course on Gas Explosions Hazards for LNG Facilities conducted in Doha, Qatar on October 4 & 5, 2011

The Gas Explosions Hazards for LNG Facilities -  Advanced Course at Texas A&M Qatar on October 4 & 5, 2011 was well attended, with over 25 participants - see below for a news article

GexCon @ AIChE 2011

GexCon presented five papers at the 2011 AIChE Spring Meeting & 7th Global Congress on Process Safety

These areas included LNG Safety, Risk Assessments - Consequence modeling, Combustible Dust Hazards, Fires, Explosions & Reactive Chemicals, Hydrogen

Please come by GexCon's booth to discuss the variety of papers being presented.

The papers include:

LNG Plant Safety and ProtectionUser Beware: When Simple Consequence Models Can Give the Wrong AnswersRisk Assessment – Consequence Modeling and QRABenefits of Risk-Based Design through Probabilistic Consequence ModelingCombustible Dust HazardsIgnition of Dust Layers by Mechanical SparksFires, Explosions and Reactive ChemicalsOn the Potential of Mitigating Vapour Cloud Explosions Using Flame InhibitorsImpact of Sustainability Efforts On Loss PreventionCFD Modeling Applications to Hydrogen Vehicle Explosion Safety StudiesPoster SessionBenefits of CFD for Onshore Facility Explosion StudiesMitigation of Dust Explosions In Bucket Elevators – A Review

Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Symposium


GexCon will present three papers at the 2010 Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Symposium Oct. 26-28.

Come by our booth and discuss any of the three papers being presented by GexCon: (1) Does Your facility Have a Dust Problem: Methods for Evaluating Dust Explosion Hazards (2) Assessing the credibility of major incidents during a process hazards analysis (3) Evaluating the potential for overpressures from the ignition of an LNG vapor cloud during offloading

For more information on the Syposium click here.

FLACS in the News

Find reference to 12 recently published GexCon scientific articles from 2009 and 2010

The following scientific articles utilizing the CFD-software FLACS have been published in 2009 and 2010:


J. García, D. Baraldi, E. Gallego, A. Beccantini, A. Crespo, O.R. Hansen, S. Høiset, A. Kotchourko, D. Makarov, E. Migoya, V. Molkov, M.M. Voort, J. Yanez (2010). An intercomparison exercise on the capabilities of CFD models to reproduce a large-scale hydrogen deflagration in open atmosphere. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy (In Press doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2010.02.011)Prankul Middha, Olav R. Hansen, Joachim Grune and Alexei Kotchourko (2010). CFD calculations of gas leak dispersion and subsequent gas explosions: Validation against ignited impinging hydrogen jet experiments. Journal of Hazardous Materials (article in press, doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.02.061)Davis, S.G. & Hansen, O.R. (2010). New investigation findings on the 2006 Danvers, MA explosion. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries,23 (2) 194-210


Baraldi, D., Kotchourko, A., Lelyakin, A., Yanez, J., Middha, P., Hansen, O.R., Gavrikov, A., Efimenko, A., Verbecke, F., Makarov, D. & Molkov, V. (2009). An inter-comparison exercise on CFD model capabilities to simulate hydrogen deflagrations in a tunnel.International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 34 (18):7862-7872.Hanna, S.R., Hansen, O.R. Ichard, M. & Strimaitis, D. (2009). CFD model simulation of dispersion from chlorine railcars in industrial and urban areas. Atmospheric Environment, 43 (2): 262-270.Makarov et al. (2009), "An inter-comparison exercise on CFD model capabilities to predict a hydrogen explosion in a simulated vehicle refuelling environment", Int. J. of Hydrogen Energy 34, 2800-2814Melheim, J.A., Ichard, M. & Pontiggia, M. (2009). Towards a computational fluid dynamics methodology for studies of large-scale LNG releases. Hazards XXI, 9-12 November 2009, Manchester, UK. IChemE Symposium Series 155: 336-343.Middha, P. & Hansen, O.R. (2009). Using computational fluid dynamics as a tool for hydrogen safety studies. Journal of Loss Prevention in Process Industries, 22 (3): 295-302.Middha and Hansen (2009), "CFD simulation study to investigate the risk from hydrogen vehicles in tunnels", Int. J. of Hydrogen Energy 34 (14): 5875-5886.Middha, P., Hansen, O.R. & Storvik, I.E. (2009). Validation of CFD-model for hydrogen dispersion. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 22: 1034-1038.van Wingerden, K., Skjold, T. & Siwek, R. (2009). Simulation von Staubexplosionen in Sprühtrocknern. Technische Überwachung, 50 (5): 18-22.Venetsanos et al. (2009), "An inter-comparison exercise on the capabilities of CFD models to predict the short and long term distribution and mixing of hydrogen in a garage,  Int. J. of Hydrogen Energy 34 (14) 5912-5923.

Please contact us for more information.

NFPA-committee members

Engineer is appointed member of the NFPA Committee 59A on LNG Facilities Siting

Dr. Filippo Gavelli was appointed to the technical committee responsible for NFPA 59A, Standard for the Production, Storage, and Handling of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG). He has several years of experience with the analysis of LNG hazards and had previously served on the NFPA 59A committee from 2007 to 2009. Dr Gavelli currently leads GexCon US' consulting activities related to LNG hazard analyses and LNG facility siting.

Another GexCon Engineer Dr. Scott Davis is already serving as a Principal member of the technical committee responsible for NFPA 720 Standard Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment. He has experience in the formation, migration, detection, exposure and mitigation of carbon monoxide.  Dr. Davis has investigated the cause of carbon monoxide (CO) exposures that allegedly resulted from poor combustion in furnaces, boilers, portable space heaters, portable generators and motor vehicles.

gray-bar GexCon US Headquarters
4833 Rugby Ave, Suite 100 | Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (301) 915-9940 | Fax: (301) 656-2953
gray-bar  Houston Office
11757 Katy Freeway, Suite 1300 | Houston, TX 77079
Phone: (281) 668 – 4799 | Fax: (281) 854-2200