David Heldenbrand

Mr. Heldenbrand is a licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Fire Investigator. He has a BA in Environmental Biology (1972) and a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering (1978). He has investigated over 1700 natural gas and propane related fires and explosion related incidents in the past thirty-four years. There have been numerous fires and explosions that Mr. Heldenbrand has investigated where soil gas migration has been involved or possibly involved in the incident. He developed a particular interest in this subject matter because testing that was conducted many years ago showed inconsistencies with traditional theories. He has personally conducted numerous bar-hole surveys after an incident and has been involved in several testing programs that have revealed some very interesting results. From investigations and testing programs, Mr. Heldenbrand saw that large flow rates were possible where gas explosions were experienced and questioned the odor scrubbing capabilities of soil at these large flow rates.

Mr. Heldenbrand has been a licensed Professional Engineer since 1982. He is licensed in Texas and several other states. He was district engineer for a natural gas transmission company and has conducted forensic investigations of natural gas and propane related incidents for the past thirty-four years. He has testified in both state and federal courts across the country.

Mr. Heldenbrand is also a Certified Fire Investigator by the International Association of Fire Investigators (IAAI). These qualifications bring particular insight into this subject matter.

Mr. Heldenbrand has given presentations on the subject of soil gas migration as it relates to gas fires and explosions. He has given presentations to the American Gas Association, Louisiana Gas Association, the Western Regional Gas Conference, International Association of Fire Investigators, the Common Ground Alliance and other groups over the past five years.

Mr. Heldenbrand has also presented to the Natural Gas Odorization Conference in 2019. The subject matter being the effects of soil gas migration and odor scrub as it relates to fires and explosions.

David has articles in the following magazines:
2018 Q2 Issue
2019 Q3 Issue

Ask the DP Pro

Q What is the “Danger Zone” when a Gas Line is Fractured? A BY David Heldenbrand, Bison Engineering, Inc. DATA HAS BEEN COLLECTED that shows that a Danger Zone exists after a gas line has been fractured. While it is challenging to determine the severity of a fractured gas line leak before the leak is …

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Case Histories of Gas Line Damage and Gas Explosions

It is important to conduct full investigations when gas line damage and a resulting gas explosion occur. Bison Engineering has conducted extensive research on this subject from the available data. A number of variables usually contribute to each incident, so extracting the most information out of each incident is extremely important. In 2015, the American …

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Gas Pipeline Damages: Know when it is Time to Evacuate!

When an underground gas pipeline is damaged and leaks, it is commonly referred to as soil gas migration. Studies show that gas from a damaged pipeline travels very quickly through the soil and is an immediate danger to nearby structures. Instead of slowly “migrating” through the soil, gas is forced under pressure through the soil …

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