Principal Engineer II

Years of Experience: 42

Education & Licenses:

  • Bachelor of Science, Materials Engineering, 1979, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
  • Registered Professional Engineer, States of California, Kansas, and Texas
  • Member NACE International, 1981
    • Chairman, Unit Committee T-5A Corrosion in the Chemical Process Industries, 1998-2000
  • Materials Technology Institute
    • MTI Chairman, Technical Advisory Committee, 1995-1997
    • Lyondell Chemical Designated representative, 20 years
    • E2G Designated Representative, 2016-present
  • Conference Chairman, Managing Aging Plant Conference, 2018
  • Member, Ethylene Producer’s Conference, Maintenance and Reliability Subcommittee, 2019-present

Areas of Specialization:

  • Process Damage Mechanisms
  • Utilities Damage Mechanisms
  • Risk-Based Inspection Damage Mechanism Reviews
  • Brittle Fracture Assessment and Fitness-for Service Support
  • Materials Selection for Refinery and Petrochemical Projects
  • Centrifugally Cast Alloys for High-Temperature Furnaces (Hydrogen, Methanol, & Ethylene)
  • Ethylene Unit Damage Mechanisms

Overview:

Mr. Kirkham has spent his entire career in the petrochemical and refining industries as a materials/corrosion engineer.  He has a broad range of expertise, including materials selection, process corrosion, utilities corrosion, failure analysis, metallurgy, welding, coatings, and non-metallic materials.  He has a thorough understanding of industry standards related to materials, welding, piping, fired heaters, tanks, and pressure vessels.  Additionally, he has contributed to process safety management by supporting various mechanical integrity initiatives, serving on incident investigation teams, supporting fitness-for-service (FFS) SMEs, and contributing to inspection management systems.

Prior to joining E2G, Mr. Kirkham spent 11 years as a Materials Engineer for Chevron and 24 years as a Materials Engineer/Advisor for ARCO Chemical/Lyondell Chemical.  During his tenure, he contributed to the start-up of the FFS process.  He also created early versions of corrosion control documents that linked damage mechanisms to the process conditions.  Several major accomplishments with Lyondell included:

  • Developing a comprehensive training class on ethylene unit metallurgy and damage mechanisms
  • Supervising the development of a Materials Manual for Glacial Acetic Acid Licensing
    • Including the fabrication and material specs for zirconium and nickel-based alloys
  • Developing or supervising development of 7 CCDs for proprietary process units
  • Leading a multidisciplinary effort to technically justify using an existing pipeline in ethanol service
    • Including SCC tests of pipeline steel in ethanol
    • Developing an Ethanol Corrosion Control Manual

Mr. Kirkham joined E2G | The Equity Engineering Group, Inc. as a Principal Engineer with the Materials & Corrosion Team in 2014.  Since joining E2G, he has facilitated damage mechanism reviews for 8 refinery units; performed RBI damage mechanism reviews for more than 80 refinery, petrochemical, and mid-stream units; created corrosion control documents for 16 petrochemical and refinery units; and developed Integrity Operating Windows for 15 refinery and petrochemical units.

Publications:

  1. Kirkham, K.K., “Damage Mechanism Identification and Control for Ethylene Units,” AIChE paper no. 123d, 2020.
  2. Kirkham, K.K., “The Importance of Ethanol Purity in Controlling Carbon Steel SCC,” Corrosion 2011, paper no. 11136, 2011.
  3. Venkatesh, A. et al incl. Kirkham, K.K., “Evaluation of Stress Corrosion Cracking Behavior in Multiple Ethanol Environments,” Corrosion 2010, paper no. 10077, 2010.
  4. Kirkham, K.K., “CO-CO2 SCC Failures of Carbon Steel Equipment,” Materials Performance, Vol. 35 No. 8 p. 64, August 1996.
  5. Kirkham, K.K., “One CPI Company’s Experience with Duplex SS,” Corrosion 94, paper no. 391, 1994.

Conference & Training Presentations:

  1. “Damage Mechanism Identification and Control for Ethylene Units,” presented by K. Kirkham at the 2020 Spring National Meeting, August 17-21, 2020.
  2. “CCDs and IOWs as Part of MI Best Practice,” presented by K. Kirkham at the Fitness-for-Service, E2G Mechanical Integrity & Reliability Symposium, Houston December 4-5, 2018.
  3. “Damage Mechanism Reviews for RBI Analysis, CCD, & IOWs: Comparisons, Pitfalls, and Best Practices,” presented by K. Kirkham at the Managing Aging Plants Conference and Expo, 2018, Houston, TX.
  4. “Overview of API Recommended Practice 583: Corrosion Under Insulation and Fireproofing,” presented by K. Kirkham at the AFPM Maintenance and Reliability Conference, May 19, 2015, Austin, TX.
  5. “Overview of API Recommended Practice 584: Integrity Operating Windows,” presented by K. Kirkham at the AFPM Maintenance and Reliability Conference, May 19, 2015, Austin, TX.
  6. “The Importance of Ethanol Purity in Controlling Carbon Steel SCC,” presented by K. Kirkham at the Corrosion 2011 Conference, March 13-17, 2011, Houston, TX.