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Eric Letvin

Mr. Eric Letvin PE, Esq, is the Director of the Disaster and Failure Studies Program at NIST's Engineering Laboratory. Mr. Letvin provides national coordination for conducting field data collection studies.  He is also responsible for creating and maintaining a repository related to hazard events (earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, windstorms, community-scale fires in the wildland-urban interface, structural fires, storm surge, flood, tsunami) and human-made hazards (accidental, criminal, or terrorist), the performance of the built environment during hazard events, associated emergency response and evacuation procedures, and the technical, social and economic factors that affect pre-disaster mitigation activities and post-disaster response efforts.  Further, he will be responsible for providing national coordination and promoting the implementation of recommendations from disaster and failure studies both to improve codes, standards, and practices and to fill gaps in current knowledge about buildings, infrastructure, emergency response, and human behavior.    

Before coming to NIST, Mr. Letvin was Leader of Infrastructure Research and Resiliency in the Homeland Security Group of URS, an engineering consulting firm, at its offices in Linthicum, MD.  He was the program manager for URS' work with DHS' Science &Technology Directorate involving the Building Infrastructure Protection Series and the Stabilization of Buildings projects. He was also the program manager for URS' Technical Assistance and Research Contract with FEMA.  

Mr. Letvin has experience in infrastructure risk assessments, post-disaster forensic analysis, hazard / threat identification, vulnerability assessments and the design of protective measures for man-made threats and natural hazards. He has participated in numerous post-disaster studies including the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, Hurricanes Opal, Ike and Katrina. He has assessed over 200 buildings for risk from terrorist threats and natural disasters.  

Mr. Letvin has helped DHS conduct develop multiple technical studies which have resulted in publications focused on infrastructure protection against natural hazards and terrorist threats.  He has taught many courses on risk assessments and protection of infrastructure for FEMA/DHS and made related presentations throughout the world over the last ten years.  Prior to joining URS, Mr. Letvin spent eight years with Greenhorne & O'Mara managing the extremely high visibility and technically complex contract with FEMA to produce the World Trade Center Building Performance Study, which became the starting point for the NIST technical investigation into the collapse of the WTC buildings. 

Mr. Letvin holds a bachelor's and master's degree in environmental engineering from Syracuse University and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland.


Director, Disaster and Failure Studies Program
Labratory office

Employment History:

Before Joining NIST, Eric was Leader of Infrastructure Research and Resiliency in the Homeland Security Group of URS, an engineering consulting firm, at its offices in Maryland. Prior to joining URS, Eric spent eight years with Greenhorne & O’Mara.


University of Maryland, Baltimore, J.D., 2000

Syracuse University, M.S, Environmental Engineering, 1994

Syracuse University, B.S., Environmental Engineering, 1992


Phone: 301 975 5412
Email: eric.letvin@nist.gov