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ME Chair's Distinguished Industry Lectures: Harri Kytomaa, PhD, PE
ME Chair's Distinguished Industry Lectures: Harri Kytomaa, PhD, PE
WhenTuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Chair's Distinguished Industry Lectures:
Caution Hot! Understanding, preventing and investigating burn injuries

Harri Kytomaa, PhD, PE
Group Vice President and Principal Engineer at Exponent

ABSTRACT: Burn injuries are a common occurrence in industrial settings and in our everyday interactions with consumer products. Despite the prevalence of burn injuries, understanding the burn risks that may accompany commonplace consumer products, as well as investigating these types of injuries, can be a difficult task, but often an important one. Burn injuries can be painful and life-altering, and often involve physical as well as emotional components. For these reasons, as well as our increasing intimacy with consumer electronics including wearables, product designers and manufacturers are taking these issues very seriously.

The basis for our current scientific understanding of burn injuries is formed by a few landmark studies involving the quantification of burn severity under different thermal exposures. These studies also form the basis for consensus standards (such as ASTM and ISO standards) that provide guidance for assessing the risk of burn injuries, although these standards can be confusing and are frequently misinterpreted.

Understanding the mechanics of burn injuries, the way in which consensus standards apply or don’t apply, and the available tools for evaluating burn hazards are all indispensable to product development as well as the investigation of burn injuries. This presentation will describe our current understanding of the science of burn injuries and some of the challenges in our current framework, introduce theoretical and experimental tools that are available, and illustrate these with a few case studies.

SPEAKER BIO: Harri Kytomaa is a Group Vice President and Principal Engineer at Exponent, Inc. Dr. Kytömaa specializes in mechanical engineering and the analysis of thermal and flow processes. He applies his expertise to the investigation and prevention of failures and injuries associated with mechanical systems. He also investigates fires and explosions and their origin and cause. He has testified on multiple occasions on thermal injuries associated with consumer products. Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Kytömaa was Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was head of the Fluid Mechanics Laboratory and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in heat transfer, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics.

Campus locationMechanical Engineering Building (MEB)
Campus room238
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsDepartment of Mechanical Engineering
Target AudienceEngineering students and alumni…
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