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The work career of Olav Roald Hansen, Founder of HYEX Safety, has focused on the development and use of the CFD-model FLACS.


CMR and Gexcon (1993-2012)

In 1993, Olav joined CMR (Gexcon) and the team developing the FLACS software tool. He quickly became responsible for validating and calibrating FLACS-models against 100s of large-scale experiments, and developed sub-models, e.g. for flame acceleration from sub-grid objects, effect of water deluge and mixing rules for multi-component gas mixtures and inert gases. He was in charge of modelling activities towards various phases of the large-scale BFETS explosion test projects. With Gexcon, he developed a CFD-based QRA-approach. Validation-based user guidelines for FLACS were established and he developed a 3-days FLACS training course 1997, used to train FLACS-users for the next 10-15 years. As R&D Director from 2001-2008, he was responsible for the development and global sale of FLACS, with significant interaction with engineers from 50+ companies using FLACS globally. He organized industry seminars across Europe and held hands-on FLACS workshops for MSc students 10 years in a row at Leeds University. He was in charge of development projects to study transformer explosions, oil mist explosions, develop LNG pool model, hydrogen dispersion/explosion tests and dust explosion models, and was active in the HySafe project and IEA expert groups from 2004-2012 with significant interaction with global expertise. He was also involved in various dispersion projects with US agencies (DTRA/DHS/EPA) related to toxic industry chemicals. In 2008, at the onset of the global financial crisis, Olav started Gexcon US, which he led until returning to Norway 2010 to become Gexcon Product Director.

GL Noble Denton (2012-2014)

In 2012 Olav joined GL (now DNV-GL) and built a small CFD consulting team working closely with UK colleagues, including the team at Spadeadam large-scale test site. CFD-studies for clients at three continents were performed. With the help of large-scale experiments modelling approaches were developed e.g. for DDT/detonation simulations and blast from BLEVEs, both beyond published FLACS-capabilities.

Lloyd's Register (2014-2020)

In 2014, Olav joined the risk management part of LR as a Senior Principal Consultant with responsibility for explosion studies. Prior to and through the 2014-2016 oil crisis, he was involved in numerous oil and gas projects, including most phases of, and platforms at, the huge Johan Sverdrup field, opened 2019. From 2016, he gradually focused more on hydrogen safety studies. Increasingly, Olav cooperated with the maritime division of LR related to hydrogen, being involved in ongoing hydrogen projects, and developing a training course for their specialist. Since 2016, he has been involved in 30-40 different hydrogen safety consulting projects and R&D activities.

Through his career, Olav has enjoyed good access to large-scale experiments through R&D sponsors, cooperation partners or colleagues performing testing. He never wasted an opportunity to simulate large-scale experiments, often prior to getting access to test results (i.e. blind predictions). The combination of model predictions and access to results from experiments has made it possible to gain unique insights and understanding of explosion and dispersion phenomena, and how to model such scenarios quickly and with good precision.

HYEX Safety (2020 →)

In June, 2021, HYEX Safety will have operated for a year. During the first 8 months, the team has worked on more than 30 projects. With few exceptions, the projects have centered around hydrogen safety, although projects have also ranged from ammonia safety to electrical safety of wind turbines. Most work has been done for Norwegian clients, but the share of international clients gradually increased during the first year to more than 20% of all projects. Clients have ranged from several of Norway's largest companies to small start-ups with less than 5 employees.

CFD-geometry of Coradia iLint hydrogen train. Photo: Alstom.

Selected articles and works early for their time: