Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc.


8940 Old Annapolis Rd, Suite L, Columbia MD 21045

©2018 by Combustion Science and Engineering.

Meet Our Experts

Rick Roby

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.

Michael Klassen

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 Carpenter

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.

Leo Eskin

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.

Esteban Gonzalez

Dr. Gonzalez specializes in Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and heat transfer, combustion, environmental and geophysical fluid dynamics, turbulence modeling, and high-performance scientific computing. He graduated with a B.S in Mechanical Engineering from Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral in 2002. He recieved his Masters in Mechanical Engineering in 2005 from Penn State University, and recieved his Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara in 2009. Dr. Gonzalez has been with CSE as a senior engineer since 2012.

Richard Joklik

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.

Jamie McAllister

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.

Stephen Olenick

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 also holds an MBA degree from Loyola University in Maryland. 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 experimentation, product failure analysis, post-fire reconstruction, fire protection systems, smoke and fire detection, and building code review.  He is a frequency contributor to the fire science literature and is the recipient of the Harry C. Bigglestone award for best paper in Fire Technology (2005), the William M. Carey award for best detection presentation at the NFPA SUPDET symposium (2007), and the Jack Watts award for best reviewer (2017). He is also a principal member of the residential committee (SIG-HOU) for NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, which sets the requirements for fire and carbon monoxide detection systems.