Michelle K. Donnelly is a fire protection engineer in the Fire Measurements Group of the Fire Research Division (FRD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Ms. Donnelly has been involved with a variety of fire research projects since joining NIST in 1994. She is currently studying the effects of fire environments on a variety of electronic equipment used by first responders, including Personal Alert Safety Systems, thermal imaging cameras, and portable radios. Results from this investigation have been used to develop and revise NFPA equipment standards. In 2008, she received the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal Award in recognition of this work.
Ms. Donnelly's previous work at NIST includes operation of the heat release instrumentation and data acquisition systems in the Large Fire Laboratory, where she collected measurements for large scale fire tests, including the World Trade Center Fire Safety Investigation, the Station Nightclub Fire Investigation, mattress flammability experiments, large compartment fire tests, and residential structure separation experiments. Her other research at NIST includes measuring fire signatures using the fire emulator/detector evaluator, and investigating the flammability of refrigerants used as halon replacements. Ms. Donnelly has worked on several projects measuring the effectiveness of flame suppressants, using apparatus including the transient-agent recirculating-pool-fire facility and the Tsuji burner vertical wind tunnel. She has also conducted research to accurately measure particles as small as 30 nm, using the NIST Particle Size Calibration Facility.
Fire Protection Engineer
Fire Research Division
The Johns Hopkins University, M.S., Mechanical Engineering, 2002
University of Maryland, B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1995