Meet Our Experts
Rick is CSE's President and Technical Director. He brings more than thirty years of professional experience and skills in both chemical and mechanical engineering to CSE. His knowledge and leadership capabilities allow him to successfully monitor day-to-day operations of CSE, as well as monitor technical content on many research and development projects.
Rick serves as project manager for a variety of experimental and analytical combustion and fire science research and development projects including: modeling of blow-off and flashback in gas turbine combustors; determining the effects of fuel constituents on combustor performance; developing and incorporating reduced kinetics mechanisms in CFD codes; creating innovative fire detection devices; and developing new fire models.
Dr. Klassen is Lab Director and brings exceptional research skills to CSE, with more than twenty years of experimental fire and combustion research experience. During his tenure with CSE, Mike has been involved in a diverse range of projects including the development and implementation of large- and small-scale fire tests and combustion studies; chemical kinetic studies of combustion processes such as flame holding in gas turbines; and fuel/air mixing studies of liquid fuel injection in gas turbines.
Dr. Klassen spent his early career conducting research at the University of Maryland and Purdue University where his projects included the development of laser and optical diagnostic techniques, the investigation of the effects of pressure on NO formation in flames, and the study of radiation properties and flame structure of liquid fuel pool flames. He also served as Guest Researcher at the Center for Building and Fire Research (National Institute of Standards and Technology) and the Fire Research Institute in Tokyo, Japan. Additionally, Dr. Klassen has considerable experience in modeling fires, characterizing fire suppression systems, and supporting fire litigation.
Doug brings both experimental and fire protection engineering skills to CSE and is a leader in applying quantitative tools to the investigation of fires and the design of buildings. Doug is an alternate member of NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations. He has developed and taught classes and seminars in fire investigation, performance-based fire safety design, and computer fire modeling for such organizations as the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) and the International Council of Building Officials (ICBO). Prior to joining CSE, Doug has worked for the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation and Hughes Associates, Inc.
His responsibilities have included conducting fire investigations, supporting fire litigation, measuring fire-related material properties with the cone calorimeter, performing fire hazard and code equivalency analyses, characterizing of the ignition potential of halogen lamps, fire modeling (zone and CFD), developing fire-related software tools, and accessing alternatives for halon fire suppression systems. Doug has applied his quantitative fire hazard analysis skills to a wide range of projects including computer facilities, aircraft hush houses, nuclear production reactors, Navy frigates, and the unique and challenging environment of Antarctica. Doug earned his Master's Degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to model room fires.
Dr. Eskin has over twenty five years of professional experience in the energy and power generation industries. He is currently the Director of Advanced Energy Systems and a Principal Engineer at Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc. Before joining CSE, Leo was the Co-founder, President and CEO of Washington, DC-based, Tech, Inc., a low-voltage design-build construction firm which he led to an annual volume in excess of $15 million. Dr. Eskin also founded Cogent Science, LLC, specializing in numerical modeling and design of gas turbine, coal, and nuclear power plants. Previously, he was an owner and principal developer at Enter Software, where he helped develop the GateCycle software program (now owned by General Electric). GateCycle is widely used throughout the industry for power plant design and optimization. Dr. Eskin was also licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as a Senior Nuclear Reactor Operator. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Minor in Electrical Engineering) from Stanford University and his Master's and Bachelor's degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
P. (Gokul) Gokulakrishnan
Gokul is a Senior Engineer at CSE working in the area of combustion chemistry and transport processes of reactive flows related to stability, energy efficiency, and pollutant reduction in propulsion and power systems such as gas turbines, augmenters, scramjets, coal gasifiers, etc. His professional expertise and interests include chemical kinetic modeling of conventional fuels (e.g., natural gas, jet fuels, coal, etc.) and synthetic fuels (e.g., syngas, Fisher-Tropsch fuel, biodiesel, etc), chemical process modeling and optimization of multi-phase combustion and gasification systems, and reduced kinetic model development for CFD simulation of flame stability and emissions in practical combustion systems. Gokul received his Master of Science and Doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario. Gokul graduated with B.Sc.(Eng.) in chemical engineering from the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka.
Dr. Joklik is a Principal Engineer and Director of Combustion Research & Development for Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc. (CSE). He has over 25 years of experience conducting combustion research in areas such as basic flame and kinetics studies, characterization of combustion system performance, and emissions monitoring and control. His area of experimental expertise is the application of advanced optical measurement techniques to combusting flows. His duties at CSE include overseeing both experimental and analytical projects in basic and applied combustion research, combustion device development and design, and combustion system performance verification. Dr. Joklik graduated from M.I.T. in 1979 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He received his M.S. (1982) and Ph.D. (1985) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.
Dr. McAllister graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection Engineering and in 2002 with a Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering. Her master thesis research focused on fire phenomena in residential electrical wiring and connections. In 2010, she completed her PhD in Forensic Toxicology from the University of Maryland, School of Medicine in Baltimore. Her Ph.D. studies focused on the effects of carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide on fire victims. Dr. McAllister is a licensed professional engineer and certified fire investigator and has served in the volunteer fire department since 1995. Dr. McAllister is an adjunct instructor for various universities including the University of Maryland where she instructs on human behavior and fire toxicants. Dr. McAllister specializes in fire origin and cause investigation, fire dynamics, electrically initiated fires, fire-related deaths, carbon monoxide poisonings, alcohol and illicit drug effects on occupant behavior and escape, as well as, product failure analysis, post-fire reconstruction, fire modeling, and building code review.
Mr. Olenick graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection Engineering and in 1999 with a Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering. His master thesis research concentrated on material flammability in micro-gravity environments and included several experimental campaigns aboard NASA’s KC-135 ‘Vomit Comet’ parabolic flights. He is a licensed professional engineer (PE) as well as a certified fire and explosion investigator (CFEI), and holds an MBA degree from Loyola University in Maryland.
Mr. Olenick’s professional interests include smoke and fire detection and notification, spacecraft and space environment fire safety, material flammability, fire modeling, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and forensic fire investigation and reconstruction. These interests have led him to take leadership positions in the Fire Protection Engineering and Fire Science communities on these topics. He is a principal member of the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72) Technical Committee on Single- and Multiple-Station Alarms and Household Fire Alarm Systems and was a principal member of the Standard for the Installation of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detection and Warning Equipment (NFPA 720) Technical Committee on Carbon Monoxide Detection until the committee disbanded in 2017. He is chair of the newly formed NFPA 715 Fuel Gases Warning Equipment Technical Committee.
He frequently publishes and presents his work to the Fire Protection Engineering and Fire Science communities. He was the recipient of the prestigious Harry C. Bigglestone award for Excellence in Communication of Fire Protection Concepts in 2005 and the William M. Carey award for best fire detection-based presentation at the National Fire Protection Research Foundation’s SUPDET 2007 symposium. He is a frequent peer-reviewer for fire science publications and conferences including Fire Technology and the International Association of Fire Safety Science Symposiums. Mr. Olenick was also a member of the detection Program Committee for the NFPA Research Foundation’s Suppression and Detection Research Applications Conference in 2008 (SUPDET 2008) and served as a guest editor for a special detection edition of Fire Technology. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of Fire Technology and is a recipient of the Fire Technology Jack Watts Award for Outstanding Reviewer in 2017.
Presently, Mr. Olenick is a full-time, Principal Engineer at Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc. with over 20 years of experience in the field of Fire Protection Engineering. As a senior-level Fire Protection Engineer at CSE, Mr. Olenick’s expertise includes fire origin and cause investigation, fire victim toxicology, fire modeling, fire experiments, product failure analysis, post-fire reconstruction, fire protection systems, and building code review. Mr. Olenick has conducted numerous fire investigations and has served as a consultant on a variety of litigation matters spanning a broad range of both criminal and civil cases involving residential, commercial, and industrial fires. In this consulting roll, Mr. Olenick has gained experience giving depositions and testimonies at trial and court hearings.