USA Banner

Official US Government Icon

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure Site Icon

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation


About The Engineering Branch

The Engineering Branch provides technical leadership and knowledge which supports the Agency’s mission of promoting the safe transportation of hazardous materials.


The staff of the Engineering Branch has in-depth knowledge of hazardous materials packaging, the supporting technologies and their various regulatory implications.  The Engineering staff analyzes design criteria on packaging such as as rail tank cars, cylinders, cargo tanks, Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBC) and innovative hazardous materials packaging (e.g. satellite shipping containers, spacecraft cooling panels, etc.).  In addition to packaging type, the Engineering Branch provides regulatory oversight of hazardous material packaging construction materials, which include both ferrous and non-ferrous alloys as well as fiberglass and graphite-epoxy composite materials.  Some of the specialized skills and experience that Engineering staff members bring to the Branch and utilize in serving the public include knowledge of Non-Destructive Examination techniques and practices, Metallurgy, Failure Analysis, Finite Element Analysis, Welding techniques and practices, manufacturing and Risk analysis.  The technical backgrounds of the Engineering staff include Civil, Mechanical and Materials Engineering; with four of its staff members holding Masters Degrees and one holding a PhD degree.  Overall, the Engineering Branch has a combined technical experience of more

Products & Services

  • Perform technical evaluation of Special Permit and Competent Authority Approval applications
  • Review draft letters of interpretation for technical correctness
  • Support the Hazardous Materials Information Center by fielding calls from the public that require specialized technical or regulatory knowledge
  • Review proposed regulatory changes (Petitions) to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and make recommendations regarding technical details
  • Evaluate various national and internationally recognized standards in order to provide a technical basis for the U.S. hazardous materials transportation policy
  • Participate in the development of National and International standards