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Richard H. Harris, Jr.

Richard H. Harris, Jr. is a chemist in the Flammability Reduction Group of the Fire Research Division (FRD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Mr. Harris started in the Fire Science Division's Materials Fire Research Group of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at NIST in 1995. In this capacity, Mr. Harris received experience in polymer syntheses, polymer extrusion of nanocomposites, and injection and compression molding of polymer nanocomposites. Mr. Harris has extensive experience in preparing and molding polymer composites containing varied fire retardant additives. He also has experience with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) and rheology. In 1997, Mr. Harris successfully completed an ACS short course in Frontiers in Polymer Chemistry. In 1999, Mr. Harris successfully completed another ACS short course in Applied Rheology and Polymer Processing.

Mr. Harris prepared flexible polyurethane foams containing solid fire retardants. He is developing with Marc Nyden an analytical method for determining the amount of nanoparticles released from fabrics and foams used in furnishings. He was appointed the BFRL's OU Administrator for the CISPro Chemical Inventory.

Prior to that, Mr. Harris worked with analytical chemistry in the Materials Fire Research Group. Mr. Harris was responsible for routine analysis of acid gases with ion chromatography (IC), detection of halon impurities with FTIR, and analysis of gaseous combustion products with gas chromatography (GC) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Mr. Harris also did acid gas analysis of combustion products with ion selective electrodes. Mr. Harris was responsible in part for development of the NIST Radiant Furnace Smoke Toxicity Test, the N-gas Model development, and test method development for the Fire-Safe Cigarette Act of 1990.

Before joining NIST, Mr. Harris was a research chemist at the Gillette Research Institute in Rockville, Maryland, where he participated in a variety of projects related to personal care products, writing instruments, and panel evaluations. His chemistry career began as a technician for W.R. Grace and Company in Columbia, Maryland.

Mr. Harris is a member of the American Chemical Society and the Society of Plastics Engineers.

Richard H. Harris, Jr.


Fire Research Division
Flammability Reduction Group


American University, 10 Graduate Credits, Analytical Chemistry, 1986

The Johns Hopkins University, B.S., Chemistry, 1973


Phone: 301-975-6688
Email: richard.harris@nist.gov