an employee-owned company

Coke Drum Reliability Workshop

Regardless of career level, everyone involved with the operation, maintenance, and design of coke drums should regularly cultivate their knowledge of coke drum technology innovations to maximize the efficiency of their own operations. In order to facilitate this knowledge transfer, Stress Engineering Services holds a Coke Drum Reliability Workshop every two years. Registration is now open for participants to join us at the 2020 Coke Drum Reliability Workshop, which will be hosted at Stress Engineering’s northwest Houston facility.

By joining together with like-minded professionals – whether they be seasoned pros or young engineers – to further the discussion of coke drum reliability and best practices, you can return to work safe in the knowledge that you are upholding the very best standards of coke drum reliability, performance, and safety.



February 11 – 12, 2020



Stress Engineering Services Conference Center
13610 Westland East Blvd.
Houston, TX 77041


 Workshop Highlights:
  • Coke Drum Life Management: Design to Replacement
  • Overview of Structural Failure Modes in Coke Drums
  • Cracked Blowdown Lines/Shells/Skirts: Run, Repair or Replace?
  • Bulging Severity Assessment
  • Weld Overlay Reinforcement and Repairs
  • Coke Drum Flow Distributions: Single, Dual or Center Feed
  • Coke Drum NDE Inspection
  • New Advancement in Coke Drum Health Monitoring Technology


Who Should Attend?

Engineers, managers and inspectors involved with the operation, maintenance and design of coke drums. This meeting will be especially beneficial for young engineers wanting to achieve a greater understanding of the problems and how to improve coke drum performance.



Free of charge for refiners!
**Advance Registration Required.**

Register Now! 



Contact:  Shelley Hicks
Phone: 281.955.2900 ext 1470

Richard S. Boswell

Keynote Speaker

Richard S. Boswell
Coke Drum Expert – Stress Engineering Services

Mr. Boswell is a pioneer and renowned expert in pressure vessel stress analysis, test engineering, and a software development conducting diverse projects in these areas. His areas of expertise includes low cycle fatigue of refinery vessels and structures. Pressure vessel projects include high temperature refinery vessels, delayed coke drums, and medical hyperbaric chambers. He is an experienced user of structural and thermal finite element programs for the petrochemical industry. He has managed projects and written reports for hundreds of clients during his consulting career.

Dr. Calvin B. Cobb

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Calvin B. Cobb
President of Calvin Cobb & Co.

Dr. Cobb is President of Calvin Cobb & Co., a management consulting firm he established in 2005.  He is known throughout the energy and chemical industry as a strategy expert.  During his 44-year career he has consulted for a wide range of clients spanning the entire range of business activities in the industry.  He has been associated with over 2000 engagements covering a wide array of subjects.  During his career, Dr. Cobb has published 70 articles dealing with all aspects of the hydrocarbon industries.

Dr. Cobb received Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in chemical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly Missouri School of Mines and University of Missouri – Rolla) in 1964, 1965, and 1967. Dr. Cobb was awarded the Professional Degree of Chemical Engineer in 1986 by his alma mater in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in the field and the 1995 Alumni Achievement Award.

Les Harold

Les Harold
Managing Director – CIA Inspection

Mr. Les Harold is the Managing Director of CIA Inspection Inc., the world’s leading delayed coke drum inspection and reliability company. Les holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and an International MBA in Finance and Strategy. With a varied professional background ranging from the copper mines in Chile, to the commodities trading desks in Manhattan and the renewable energy sector in Canada, Les brings more than 20 years of international experience. To date, Les has completed close to 450 coke drum inspections for the world’s leading refiners since joining CIA in 2011. When not travelling, Les resides in Toronto, Canada.

Evan Hyde

Evan Hyde
Director of Field Operations – Coking.Com Inc.

Evan Hyde is the Director of Field Operations for Inc. Formerly he was president of Telaxe, a coker consulting firm. He previously was president of C2 Nano Technology where they researched surface treatments to combat fouling and corrosion issues in cokers and other petrochemical process units. He was a Senior Engineering Advisor for Becht Engineering Co., Inc. New Jersey. He has consulted on processing improvement and reliability initiatives for delayed coking clients around the world. He also participated in onsite peer assessments of Coker Units at eight refineries which included improvements in maintenance work practices, process enhancements, and turnaround scope optimization. Prior to joining Becht, Evan worked for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering, as a process engineer, with assignments in research, and troubleshooting for heavy oil upgrading equipment. He holds a B.S. of Chemical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Mark S. Stoutamire

Mark S. Stoutamire
Director & Chief Engineer – BHI Energy

Mark Stoutamire’s career spans 40 years developing and implementing innovative robotic, automated, and remote-video tele-operated manipulators for delivering welding, machining, and inspection processes, providing sales and quote support, field engineering, and strategic technology planning.  His experience includes: factory automation of robotic GMAW, GTAW, plasma, and laser processes; Unifuse tubing and waterwall panel overlay; and outage maintenance automation for ASME code components for the Energy, Refinery, Chemical, Petro-Chemical, and Pulp and Paper industries.

Mr. Stoutamire graduated with BSME (High Honors) from the University of Florida in 1980.

Eric G. Williams

Eric G. Williams
Manager International Operations – BHI Energy

With more than 33 years of experience in the field installation of weld metal overlays; Mr. Williams is responsible for safely planning, estimating and executing international welding projects for BHI Energy. A certified welder and a member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, he enjoys partnering with client operations and engineering teams to innovate repair solutions that deliver a consistent, dependable result.

Antonio Ramirez

Antonio J. Ramirez
Professor – The Ohio State University

Prof. Antonio J. Ramirez, teaches welding metallurgy and additive manufacturing at The Ohio State University, and leads the Manufacturing and Materials Joining Innovation Center (Ma2JIC). His research focuses on understanding the materials evolution associated with conventional and advanced joining and additive manufacturing operations.  He approaches both, the technological and fundamental aspects of joining and additive manufacturing metallurgy and has a vast experience in process and materials modeling and advanced characterization.  In recent years, he has devoted his efforts to the study of additive manufacturing, solid state joining (friction stir welding) and the development and application of advanced in-situ techniques associated with electron microscopy and synchrotron x-ray diffraction to unveil the fundaments of phase transformations on structural and functional materials. He is currently engaged on the development of fast-acting ICME-based solutions for the automotive and aerospace industries that allow to take advantage of process and materials modeling for the optimization of complex multi-materials joining and additive manufacturing operations.

Frank Martinelli

Frank Martinelli
Sr. Director of Construction – Structural Technologies

Mr. Martinelli is an executive management professional with more than 38 years of self-performed concrete experience, leading organizations and teams to heightened safety, greater efficiency, improved performance, and increased profitability. His goal is to contribute to the growth, management and development of an organization of like-minded professionals where safety and quality is the primary objective. Over the years he has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience, with a successful track record of managing projects valued from $1 million to $63 million.

Chris Orino

Chris Orino
Manager of Technology Development – DeltaValve, LLC

Chris was first brought on by Ruben Lah to be his engineering manager at the Technology Development Center (TDC) in February 2009, and has since taken on the role of Manager, Technology Business Development at DeltaValve, LLC. During his tenure as Engineering Manager at the TDC Chris oversaw the management and design of the bottom unheading device (BUD) electric actuator, and managed engineering of the GenII BUD casting, CenterFeed™ Injection Device (CFD) prototype and production design and engineering, and analysis and review of the data collected during the initial installation of the CenterFeed Injection Device.  As manager of the Technology Business Development at DeltaValve Chris has contributed to the development of a new gear reducer, developed the anti-back drive unit for the electric actuators, and supports end users, aftermarket and sales and marketing with explaining DeltaValve technology, solving field issues as well as heading up special engineering design projects.

Darren Barborak

Darren Barborak, PhD.
Director of Materials & Welding Technology – AZZ Specialty Welding

Dr. Darren Barborak is Director of Materials & Welding Technology for AZZ Specialty Welding. He earned his B.Sc., M.Sc., & Ph.D. in Welding Engineering from The Ohio State University, where is presently an adjunct professor. He has over thirty years’ experience managing welding related research and development projects, with expertise in arc welding processes and experience in many industrial segments. Dr. Barborak is a principle reviewer for the Welding Journal, and he actively participates in welding standards committees including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Danny Wang

Danny Wang, P.E.
Founder – Spectrum Inspection Engineering

Danny Wang, P.E. being  is the founder of Spectrum Inspection Engineering.  He is also a ASNT UT Level III, API QUPA (Qualified Phased array Inspector), Shell Certified HTHA AUBT Inspector, Lavender HTHA Certified Inspector, and a California Registered Professional Engineer. Danny has 28 years of NDE Inspection experience with extensive experience in Coke drum, PSA Vessel, Heavy wall Hydrocracker reactor, HTHA and HIC inspection.

no photo available

Jorge A. Penso, PhD.
Welding, Metallurgy-Corrosion and Fitness for Service Specialist – Shell

Jorge Penso is a Welding, Metallurgy-Corrosion and Fitness for Service specialist at Shell Global Solutions. He holds a doctorate degree in welding engineering, a masters in materials science and engineering, and welding engineering from The Ohio State University. His specialties include refineries, chemical plants, terminals, pipelines, E&P, gas, unconventional oil, R&D, assessments of pressure equipment fabrication shops and steel mills. He also holds AWS CWI, National Board, API 653, ASNT UT and PT level 3 certifications. He is a member in API High Temperature Weld Repairs and API 579 FFS, and is also a member of the International Institute of Welding.

Julian Bedoya, PE

Julian Bedoya, PE.
Mechanical Engineering Section/Advanced Analysis – ExxonMobil Research & Engineering

Julian has a B.S. in mechanical engineering, from Florida International University, and an M.S. from Texas A&M University. He has 15 years of experience performing advanced analyses of refinery equipment, pressure vessels, heat exchangers, full scale testing of pipelines, composite repairs, and other equipment in downstream and upstream oil and gas industry. Mr. Bedoya is a voting member of API 579 Fitness for Service, and ASME Section VIII-2 Design by Analysis committees.  He also has over 20 publications and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.

no photo available

Cathleen Shargay
Technical Director/Supervisor of the Materials and Welding Engineering – Fluor Enterprises

Cathleen Shargay is the Technical Director/Supervisor of the Materials and Welding Engineering group at Fluor Enterprises in Aliso Viejo, California, USA. She has over 38 years of experience in the areas of metallurgy, welding, corrosion control, materials selection, and fabrication. Ms. Shargay previously worked at Chevron and BP/Arco. Specific industries from which Ms. Shargay has gained experience include: oil refining, power plants, gasification, CO2 capture, pipelines, mining facilities, biofuels, and oil and gas production facilities. Ms. Shargay is very active in industry societies, primarily NACE and API.  She was honored by her industry colleagues with a NACE Technical Achievement Award and an appointment to the NACE STG 34 Refining Corrosion Group Chairman position. She has over 70 publications in her field.

Pedro Amador

Pedro Amador
VP of Business Development & Technology – AZZ WSI

Pedro Amador has been with AZZ WSI for over 28 years in the area of asset life extension. As VP of Business Development & Technology, Pedro has been involved in the creation and implementation of unique repair processes and tooling that provide energy customers with cost and schedule saving alternatives to conventional repair techniques. During his tenure at AZZ WSI Pedro has developed machine welding automation and field robotic repair vs. replace processes that are commonly used in the power generation as well as refining and petrochemical industries. In his current position, Pedro leads a plant component unit life extension specialty focused on providing boiler, pressure vessel, piping, and delayed coker vessel repair options that benefit from tooling automation to extend asset life in their harsh operating environment. AZZ WSI pioneered this field in the late 1980’s and continues to develop new technology options for these repairs.

Andrew W. Gordon

Andrew W. Gordon
Associate – Stress Engineering Services

Andrew Gordon is an Associate Engineer with the engineering firm of Stress Engineering Services.  His focus is on structural mechanics, finite element analysis, ASME BPV Code work, Fitness for Service Evaluations, and fixed equipment vibration. Since joining Stress Engineering Services Inc. in 2010, Mr. Gordon has performed projects in many industries, from petrochemical and power, to medical and consumer products. Specialized expertise includes performing Level 3 fitness for service assessments of critical pressure equipment, including vessels and piping. Additionally, he has extensive experience in fixed-equipment vibration, with a specialization in piping vibration and transient thermos-mechanical analysis of coke drums.

Mr. Gordon received his B.S. and M.S from the University of Cincinnati in Mechanical Engineering, with his M.S work focused on computational solid mechanics and structural dynamics. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in Ohio.

Dr. Kannan Subrmanian PE

Kannan Subramanian, Ph.D., P.E.
Sr. Associate – Stress Engineering Services

Dr. Subramanian practices in the areas of stress analysis, fatigue, and fracture mechanics on pressure containing systems such as pressure vessels and piping. For over 16 years, Dr. Subramanian has served the petro-chemical, refinery, and utility industry by performing fitness-for-service assessments, pressure vessel design, inspection, fabrication support, and piping & support designs. Notable works include the brittle fracture assessments on large number of piping systems and pressure relief valves that are in-service in both upstream and downstream industries. Dr. Subramanian has performed both deterministic and probabilistic fracture mechanics involving finite element method and other computational methods to assess cracks. Dr. Subramanian also specializes in the weld residual stress analysis and actively involved in developing fracture parameters for elbows and tees.

Harbi Pordal

Harbi Pordal, PhD.
Principal – Stress Engineering Services

Harbi Pordal holds a Doctorate degree in engineering from the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH. As a principal consultant, Harbi leverages his expertise and experience to provide multidisciplinary robust technical solutions for product, package, device, equipment and process development. Harbi has a deep understanding of fluid flow, heat transfer and the associated complexities.  He has provided innovative solutions to complex problems across multiple industrial segments including consumer products, biomedical, pharmaceutical, food & beverage, oil & gas, chemical process and the general mechanical industry.

Alex Stoller, PE

Alex Stoller, MS, PE
Associate II – Stress Engineering Services

Mr. Stoller practices in the areas of testing and data analysis in a range of industries including medical devices, consumer products, transportation, and petrochemical equipment.  Since joining Stress Engineering Services 5 years ago, one of Mr. Stoller’s key roles has been in support of coke drum life management activities.  He has been responsible for corporate-wide processing and reporting of coke drum health monitoring system data and has implemented a number of process efficiencies and innovations in low cycle fatigue analysis and statistical techniques. Mr. Stoller is a licensed Professional Engineer in Ohio.



Keynote Day 1

Richard Boswell – Stress Engineering Services

Keynote Day 2

Dr. Calvin B. Cobb – Calvin Cobb & Co

Industry Firsts in Coke Drum Repairs

Pedro Amador- AZZ WSI
Darren Barborak – AZZ WSI

Weld Overlay – Does Surface Profile Influence Compressive Stress?

Eric Williams – BHI Energy
Mark Stoutamire – BHI Energy

Delayed Coke Drum Inspection & Reliability

Les Arnold – CIA Inspection Inc.

Coke Drum Industry Update

Gary Pittman –

Centerfeed Device Flow Analysis

Chris Orino – Delta Valve, LLC
Harbi Pordal – Stress Engineering Services

Evolution of Coke Drum Design

Cathy Shargray – Fluor

Isothermal Low-cycle Fatigue Evaluation of External Weld Repairs for Coke Drums

Antonio Ramirez – Ohio State University

Effects of Shot Coke Production and Other Variables on Coke Drum Life

Alex Stoller – Stress Engineering Services

Evolving Technology for Instrumenting Drums – Thermocouples (Kevin)

Andy Gordon – Stress Engineering Services

Influence of Inlet Configuration on Coke Drum Health; Observation from HMS

Brian Lance- Stress Engineering Services
Alex Stoller – Stress Engineering Services

Skirt Comparison

John Huang – Stress Engineering Services

A Method to Estimate Deformation Strains in the Context of Coke Drum Life Assessments

Kannan Subramanian – Stress Engineering Services

Acoustic Emission Testing of Coke Drums

Tim Kern- Stress Engineering Services
Napoleon Douglas – Stress Engineering Services

Updates on API TR 934 J – Inspection, Assessment and Repair of Coke Drums

Jorge Penso – Shell

NDE inspection, weld repairs, overlay methods, hot box inspection?

Danny Wang – Spectrum Engineering

Coke Drum Chute Floating Slide Plate Design & Installation

Frank Martinelli – Structural Technologies

Unconventional Life Extension: Coke Drum Bulgectomy and Reconstruction

Julian Bedoya – ExxonMobil