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NIST Seeks Experts to Provide Guidance on Disaster and Failure Studies

For Immediate Release: February 2, 2011

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Contact: Michael E. Newman
301-975-3025

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking nominations of individuals for appointment to the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Advisory Committee. The committee advises the director of NIST on matters related to the agency's work studying the performance of structures and associated evacuation and emergency response procedures during disaster and failure events.

The NCST Advisory Committee was established under the NCST Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-231), and was formed during the NIST-led World Trade Center investigation. Its composition reflected the technical disciplines central to that study. NIST now has established a Disaster and Failure Studies Program, which will be responsible for leading and coordinating future disaster and failure studies under the authorities of the NCST Act. The NCST Advisory Committee is being reconstituted to reflect this broader range of activities.

NIST's Disaster and Failure Studies Program will provide national coordination for field data collection, scientific and technical studies to develop findings and recommendations based on the data, promoting the implementation of study recommendations both to improve building and fire codes, standards, and practices and to fill gaps in knowledge about buildings and infrastructure performance, emergency response, and human behavior in hazard events.

The NCST Advisory Committee advises the director of NIST on the composition and function of disaster and failure study teams, the procedures used to carry out such studies under the NCST Act, the reports resulting from those studies, and implementation of study and advisory committee recommendations. The charter of the NCST Advisory Committee, viewable at www.nist.gov/ncst/ncst_charter.cfm, describes the committee's roles and responsibilities in detail.

NIST invites nominations, including self-nominations, from all fields involved in issues affecting disaster and failure studies. The agency especially encourages nominations of experts from industry and other communities, such as, but not limited to, universities, state and local government bodies, non-profit research institutions and other Federal agencies and laboratories.

Nominations submitted to NIST for consideration should provide a summary of the individual's qualifications for the NCST Advisory Committee, including his or her:

  • field of expertise for which the candidate is qualified;
  • established record of distinguished service;
  • current or former service with federal advisory boards and/or as a federal employee; and
  • statement that the candidate agrees to the nomination, acknowledges the responsibilities of serving on the committee, and will actively participate in good faith in the tasks of the committee.


Nominations must be submitted no later than Feb. 19, 2011, to NIST, Attn: Disaster and Failure Studies Program, 100 Bureau Dr., MS 8630, Gaithersburg, Md. 20899-8630. Nominations also may be faxed to (301) 975-5433, or submitted electronically to ncstac@nist.gov. The official request for nominations is available in the Federal Register at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2010/pdf/2010-18378.pdf.