Elizabeth C. Buc, PhD, PE, IAAI-CFI

Elizabeth C. Buc, PhD, PE, IAAI-CFI is recognized as an expert in hazardous materials, failure analysis and fire investigation. She performs failure analyses and site investigations beyond the minimum recognized and professional standard practices and methodologies for engineering failure analysis and fire investigation and provides technical reports and results supported by testing, analysis, codes, standards and literature.

Dr. Buc was the lead engineer that developed tests and criteria for assessing the burning rate hazard of solid chemical oxidizers based on research and testing at bench and intermediate scales that was accepted by NFPA 400 Hazardous Materials Code. She researched the fire problem at hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facilities. Dr. Buc has training in hazard assessment methodologies, failure analysis and hazardous waste operations and emergency response. She serves on hazardous chemical, combustible metals and combustible dust technical committees as well as on technical panels overseeing research related to hazards associated with combustible dusts, pyrotechnics, flammable liquids in intermediate bulk containers, antifreeze in home sprinkler systems and separation distances.

Dr. Buc has been retained as a consulting and testifying expert by numerous law firms, insurance companies and corporations. She has testified live in both state and federal courts and has been deposed over 80 times.

She is the Lead Project Engineer on a contract with the U.S. Navy to provide failure analysis and fire investigation services. She has assisted OSHA in the investigation of an industrial accident. She is an active member of the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office Science Advisory Workgroup.

Dr. Buc's Experience


  • fittings, fasteners, hooks, springs, pipes, hoses, welded structures, rigging devices, bearings, heat exchangers;
  • corrosion failures
  • damage to various electrical components from fire scenes such as contacts, heating elements, conductors, transformers, lithium ion and
  • nickel metal hydride battery remains, connections, and printed circuit boards;
  • damage to various gas piping components from the main, connections at the main, service line, riser assembly, gas distribution piping including black pipe,
  • CSST and appliance connectors, and gas utilizing appliances and their sub-components.


  • Characterization and testing of combustible metals, flammable solids, solid oxidizers, flammable and combustible liquids, pyrotechnics, hazardous materials waste and mixtures.
  • Investigating reactive and/or unusual chemical hazards including self-heating, reactivity with water resulting in evolution of hydrogen or heat, and chemical burns.


  • Large and small residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural mercantile, marine, motor and recreational vehicle, industrial and military vehicles. Examples include combines, loggers, semi-trailers, fracing trucks, heavy haulers and a Stryker.

Papers and Publications

Buc, E.C., Green, L. and Shuttlesworth, M.; Loss Investigations Involving Heating Element Failures: Fire, Water and Personal Injury, NAFI ISFI 2016

Buc, E.C., Icove, D.; Never say Never: Black Swan Fire Investigation Statements and Hypothesis Development in the Real World, NAFI ISFI 2016

Buc, E. C.; Breaking Bad: Investigation Fires from Chemical and Chemical Reactions, NAFI ISFI, 2014 

Buc, E.C., Reiter, D., Battley, J., Sing, T.B., Sing T.M.;  Method to Evaluate Damage to Conductors from Fire Scenes, Proc. Fire and Materials Conference, 2013

Buc, E.C., Kreitman, K.; Evaluation of Combustible Metal Screening Test, Proc. Fire and Materials Conference, 2013

Buc, E.C.; Metallurgy and Fire Investigation, NAFI ISFI, 2012

Brannigan, V., Buc, E.C.;  Forensic Fire Investigation: Creating and Critiquing the Abductive Inference, Proc. Fire and Materials Conference, 2011

Brannigan, V., Buc, E.C.; The Admissibility of Forensic Fire Investigation Testimony: Justifying a Methodology Based on Abductive Inference Under NFPA 921, NAFI ISFI, 2010

Buc, E.C., Khan, M.; Combustibility Characterization of Oxidizer-Fuel Mixtures using a Fire Propagation Apparatus, Interflam, 2010 

Buc, E.C., Febo, H.; Assessing the Burning Rate of Solid Oxidizers, AIChE Spring Meeting,  6th Global Congress on Process Safety, Loss Prevention Symposium, 2010

Buc, E.C.; Testing Chemical Oxidizers, Proc. Fire and Materials Conference, 2009

Brannigan, V., Buc, E.C.,  Forensic Fire Investigation: An Interface of Science, Technology and Law, Fire and Materials Conference, 2009

Buc, E.C.; Fire Technology; Book Review: Fire Debris Analysis by E. Stauffer, 2008

Buc, E.C., Hoffmann, D.J., Finch, J.; Forensic Examination of Flexible Gas Connectors from Fire Scenes, NAFI ISFI, 2006

Buc, E.C., Influence of Overcurrent and Heat of Tin Coated Copper Fuse Elements, Proc. Fire and Materials Conference, 2005

Brannigan, V., and Buc, E.C.; Fire Tests: Problems for Regulators, Proc. Fire and Materials Conference, 2005

Buc, E.C., Hoffmann, D. J., and Finch, J.; Failure Analysis of Brass Connectors Exposed to Fire, Interflam, 2004 

Hoffmann, J., Hoffmann, D., Kroll, E.C., and Kroll, M.; Full Scale Burn Tests of Television Sets and Electronic Appliances, Fire Technology, 39, 2003

Hoffmann, J., Hoffmann, D., Kroll, E.C., Kroll, M., Fowler, J., and Logan, L.; Effectiveness of Gas Fired Water Heater Elevation in the Reduction of Ignition of Vapors from Flammable Liquid Spills, Fire Technology, 39, 2003

Hirschler, M. M., Hoffmann, D. J., Hoffmann, J. M., and Kroll, E.C., Rate of Heat Release of Plastic Materials from Car Interiors, Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Polymeric Materials, 2002

Hoffmann, J., Hoffmann, D., Kroll, E.C., Kroll, M., and Wallace, J.; “Electrical Power Cord Damage from Radiant Heat and Fire Exposure”, Fire Technology, 37, 2001



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