Dr. Therese P. McAllister is a research structural engineer in the Structures Group of the Materials and Structural Systems Division (MSSD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. McAllister's research interests include performance-based design, performance of structures in fire, and improved prediction of structural performance in extreme events.
Dr. McAllister conducts research on structural system response to fires, as part of the Fire Resistance Design and Rehabilitation of Structures Project, which is developing a performance-based methodology to evaluate the fire behavior of concrete and steel structures. Her research includes evaluating existing tools, standards, and practices, conducting finite element analyses of structural response to elevated temperatures, and developing performance-based methodologies.
Dr. McAllister was a co-leader for investigating the Structural Fire Response and Collapse of WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7 of the NIST World Trade Center Investigation. She worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the development of a risk-based analysis method for assessing the response of the Hurricane Protections System around New Orleans to storm surge events.
Prior to joining NIST in 2002, she was FEMA's Technical Project Manager for the ASCE/FEMA World Trade Center Building Performance Study. At Greenhorne and O'Mara (2000-2002), she also conducted research and developed technical guidance for FEMA on design and construction practices for multi-hazard mitigation; design and construction of critical facilities and shelters and their performance during high winds and flooding events; and manufactured housing foundation systems in floodplains. At FTI Corp. (1989-1996), she conducted a number of forensic engineering investigations of structural and coastal engineering failures. At the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory (1982-1988), she conducted research on mooring systems and portable security barriers for ships.
Dr. McAllister received the U.S. DOC Gold Medal Award (2005) for her contribution toward conducting the four-year $16 million federal building and fire investigation of the World Trade Center disaster.
Dr. McAllister is a voting member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Standard Committee 7 on Minimum Loads for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE-7) and of the Task Committees on General Structural Requirements and Strength (Load Combinations). Dr. McAllister serves on the National Research Council (NRC) Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Renewal Technical Expert Task Group (T-ETG) on Durable Bridges for Service Life Beyond 100 Years.
Dr. McAllister is a registered professional engineer in Maryland.
Research Structural Engineer
Materials and Structural Systems Division
The Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D. Structural Engineering, 2000
The Johns Hopkins University, M.S. Structural Engineering, 1998
Oregon State University, M.S. Ocean Engineering, 1986
Florida Atlantic University, B.S. Ocean Engineering, 1979