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By National Research Council, Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences, Laboratory Assessments Board, Panel on Building and Fire Research

A panel of specialists appointed via the nationwide learn Council assessed the medical and technical paintings of the development and hearth examine Laboratory (BFRL) of the nationwide Institute of criteria and expertise (NIST). The scope of the overview incorporated the subsequent standards comparable to: the technical benefit of the present laboratory courses relative to the present state-of-the-art around the world; the adequacy of the laboratory amenities, apparatus, and human assets, as they impact the standard of the laboratory technical courses; and, the measure to which the laboratory courses in dimension technological know-how and criteria in attaining their said ambitions and wanted effect. The ebook unearths that, total the technical benefit of the courses reviewed in the BFRL is particularly excessive and usually at a state of the art level.The courses have transparent ties to the final BFRL Strategic precedence components and are good aligned with the venture of NIST, that is to advertise U.S. innovation and commercial competitiveness through advancing size technological know-how, criteria, and know-how in ways in which increase monetary safety and enhance our caliber of lifestyles.

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Additional resources for An Assessment of the National Institute of Standards and Technology Building and Fire Research Laboratory: Fiscal Year 2008

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The BFRL divisions and offices active in this area are the Materials and Construction Research Division (MCRD), the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) Office, and the Office of Applied Economics (OAE). One of the primary BFRL goals in this strategic area is Disaster Resilience. Key programs include the Safety of Threatened Buildings Program (wind engineering and multi-hazard failure analysis) and the NEHRP. BACKGROUND Several ongoing programs were reviewed by the panel: (1) the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, for which the leadership was undertaken by NIST in 2005; (2) several programs that had been initiated in approximately 2001, including the Fire Resistant Design and Retrofit of Structures Program and the Prevention of Progressive Collapse Program; and (3) two relatively new initiatives that, in addition to NEHRP, directly address the priorities of the Disaster Resilient Structures and Communities strategic area, which are intended to meet the goals of the American Competitiveness Initiative.

There has been a significant change in personnel within the BFRL, particularly in leadership positions. It is not clear that there have been leadership development opportunities to prepare individuals for this transition to significantly more and different levels of responsibility. The staff at the BFRL is highly technical, and the development of expertise in business management principles is warranted and should be addressed in the overall staffing plan. Individual staff members seem to be driven to maintain expertise in a particular area, enhancing opportunities to be noted and recognized for specific contributions related to a relatively narrow focus area.

There is good balance in the BFRL work between anticipatory longer-term research and activities that respond to the immediate needs of customers. Equipment and facilities supporting current BFRL work are excellent and, except in noted cases, do not appear to be a limiting factor with respect to research efforts. The updating and modernizing of related BFRL test equipment and procedures must continuously be considered, as such equipment is central to the mission of NIST. The BFRL staff has a critical mass of scientific and technical competencies and is well qualified to conduct the programs now underway.

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