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Dr. Walter W. Jones is a guest researcher in the Engineered Fire Safety Group of the Fire Research Division (FRD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Jones is responsible for developing computer models for building fire simulation, including fire growth, the spread of toxic gases and egress analysis. His research has ranged from theoretical work on short wavelength lasers where the scale is microscopic to atmospheric phenomena where the scale size is hundreds of kilometers. Prior to joining the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL), Dr. Jones worked on fluid stability problems associated with reactive flows found in both engine combustion and atmospheric beams.
Dr. Jones is the primary architect of the FAST/CFAST suite of zone models. These models are now being used by fire protection engineering firms for the analysis of building safety, by law firms for post accident investigations, and by police departments for arson investigation. The numerical models have also been used by the Navy in analysis of smoke control on board warships and the NRC for acceptance testing of nuclear power plants.
Dr. Jones' recent work included improving the CFAST fire model so that it is acceptable to the US NRC for qualifying new nuclear power plants and designing smoke abatement strategies for naval vessels.
Dr. Jones' most recent project was developing smart fire alarms. These concepts are being incorporated into the current generation of fire sensors to reduce nuisance alarms and decrease the time to detection. Both ideas are to reduce the loss of life and property.
Dr. Jones has published over 70 papers and reports. He is recognized internationally for his models of fire growth and smoke spread. He is a member of several professional societies (SFPE, APS, ACM).
Prior to joining NIST, Dr. Jones was Assistant Professor at The Johns Hopkins University, Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Maryland, and Research Physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory.
Fire Research Division
Engineered Fire Safety
University of Maryland, Ph.D., Physics
Oberlin College, A.B., Physics