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Jason D. Averill

Jason D. Averill is currently the Acting Chief of the Materials and Structural Systems Division (MSSD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In his current position, Mr. Averill leads a Division that includes the Polymeric Materials Group, the Inorganic Materials Group, Structures Group, and Earthquake Engineering Group, as well as Wind Engineering and Disaster and Failure Studies. The division has roles in three statutory programs including the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, in which NIST is the lead agency, National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program, and the National Construction Safety Team Program. Since joining the Engineering Laboratory in 1997, Mr. Averill has focused his research on assessment of hazards to building occupants. Key research areas include movement of people, emergency preparedness, effectiveness of building systems and technologies, and emergency response. Mr. Averill has assessed fire safety for passenger rail cars, characterized material toxicity in large and bench scale experiments, characterized the effect of firefighting resources, and evaluated smoke detection technologies in residential housing.

Mr. Averill is a member of the International Code Council's Means of Egress Committee, the NFPA Life Safety Code Committee (Means of Egress), and a member of the ASME A17 Task Group developing guidelines for Occupant and Firefighter Use of Elevators During Fire Emergencies.

In 2005, Mr. Averill received the U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Federal Service for his work as leader of the Occupant Egress, Human Behavior, and Emergency Communication in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 project (Project 7) . In 2011, Mr. Averill received the U.S. Department of Commerce Silver Medal for characterizing the deployment of firefighting resources to the residential fireground in order to enable fire departments and city/county managers to make sound decisions regarding optimal resource allocation. In 2004, he received the U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award for Superior Federal Service for research into the characterization of the performance of home smoke alarms.

Mr. Averill is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and the Salamander Society.



Acting Division Chief
Materials and Structural Systems Division


Worcester Polytechnic Institute, M.S., Fire Protection Engineering, 1998

Worcester Polytechnic Institute, B.S., Civil Engineering, 1996


Phone: 301-975-2585