Michael L. Hanks

Michael L. Hanks, Ph.D., P.E.

Senior Managing Consultant

Dr. Michael Hanks has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and investigates industrial and residential fires and explosions, chemical process incidents, manufacturing process incidents, and hazardous materials release and exposure incidents.

Dr. Hanks is a NAFI-certified fire and explosion investigator. He investigates failures caused by unexpected or uncontrolled chemical reactions and issues due to incompatible materials. He analyzes chemicals to identify unknown materials or contaminants, and evaluates compliance with OSHA regulations for chemical hazard communication and general industry safety practices.

In the past, Dr. Hanks managed a corporate laboratory that performed chemical analysis and product-performance testing, and led the materials development function that was responsible for developing and evaluating coatings and adhesives, thermoplastic compounds, and thermoplastic elastomers. He has failure-analysis experience with polyurethanes, polyolefins, PVC, EDPM rubber compounds and other polymers.


  • Stratification During Vapor of Gas Freeing of Storage Tanks, 13th Global Conference on Process Safety, January 2017
  • Estimating Fuel Gas Concentration in an Enclosed Room, International Symposium on Fire Investigation, January 2016
  • Avoiding Accidents and OSHA Citations by Knowing Your Combustible Dust Hazards, Powder and Bulk Engineering, December 2012
  • Challenges in Investigating Chlorinated Polyvinyl Chloride Pipe Failures, Journal of ASTM International, January 2011
  • Failures Due to Product Changes: The Importance of Performance Testing when Making Product Modifications, Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention, January 2009
  • Relative Importance of Macro- and Micro-Mixing in Turbulent, Reacting Jets, I&EC Research, January 1995

Project Experience

ESi's expertise spans dozens of industries and specializations organized across several practice groups, each staffed by dozens of in-house experts with the technical knowledge, hands-on expertise, and courtroom experience required to execute projects for and with our clients from start to finish.

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