Jason D. Averill is the leader of and a supervisory fire protection engineer in the Engineered Fire Safety Group of the Fire Research Division (FRD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Since joining NIST in 1998, Mr. Averill has focused his research on assessment of fire hazards to building occupants. Mr. Averill is currently leading Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) Safety of Building Occupants project which will develop a technical foundation for best practices in the design and performance prediction of building evacuation and emergency access systems. Key focus areas include human behavior, movement of people, emergency preparedness, and building systems and technologies. In addition, Mr. Averill is developing a risk assessment model for the fire service. The project in fire fighter safety and deployment of resources seeks to enable fire departments and city/county managers to make sound decisions regarding optimal resource allocation and service based upon scientifically-based community risk assessment, strategic emergency response system design and the local government’s service commitment to the community. Recently, Mr. Averill has assessed fire safety for passenger rail cars, characterized material toxicity in large and bench scale experiments, 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 December 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 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.
Leader, Supervisory Fire Protection Engineer
Fire Research Division
Engineered Fire Safety Group
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, M.S., Fire Protection Engineering, 1998
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, B.S., Civil Engineering, 1996