Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

EL Highlights July 2015

EL Highlights July 2015

Return to Highlight page

Programmatic/Technical Accomplishment

EL Releases Strategic Roadmap on Smart Firefighting

Based A research and development roadmap has been completed on the application of cyber-physical systems to firefighting and fire protection through the fusion of emerging sensor and computing technologies with building control systems, fire-fighting equipment, and apparatus. The Roadmap was developed based on a March 2014workshop sponsored by NIST, which was attended by about 100 participants from academia, industry, professional associations, government, and standards and codes development organizations. Smart Fire Fighting includes all areas of fire protection engineering and fire service emergency response, and it addresses all phases of resilience (i.e., pre-incident, during an incident, and post incident).The aim of Smart Fire Fighting is to transform traditional fire protection and firefighting practices tonsure the flow of critical information where and when it is needed.

Fire prevention is an essential element of Smart fire fighting. This will be achieved by enhancing the power of information through enhanced data gathering, processing,and targeted communications. An evolving range of databases and sensor networks will be tapped to create, store, exchange, analyze, and integrate information into critical knowledge for the purpose of Smart Firefighting. Engineering, developing, and deploying these systems will require new measurement tools and standards, among other technology developments.

The roadmap represents a strategic plan to advance cyber-physical systems as applied to fire fighting and fire protection. It identifies and addresses high-priority measurement science research challenges, technical barriers, and related research and development gaps that hinder widespread application of Smart Fire Fighting technologies and systems to enhance building and community fire protection. Summaries of the Roadmap and the Workshop are available as NIST Special Publications1191 and 1174, respectively.

CONTACT: Anthony Hamins 301-975-6598

EL Brings New Fire Calorimeter on-line in the National Fire Research Laboratory

An Fire researchers at the EL's National Fire Research Lab(NFRL) recently completed a major milestone, testing the efficacy of the 20 MW oxygen consumptioncalorimetry system, which is used to measure the heat release rate of a fire. The calorimeter is a new addition to the laboratory - one of several new capabilities coming on-line as a result of the lab expansion, which was recently completed.

The NFRL is a unique facility that is used to conduct research on advanced firefighting technologies, engineered fire safety, material flammability and wild land urban interface fires. In 2014, the NFRL was expanded to allow research on the response of real-scale structural systems to realistic fire and mechanical loading under controlled laboratory conditions. New features in the expanded lab include two high bay test areas, a 18 m x27 m strong floor with 1218 anchor points, a 9 m x 18 m strong wall with 420 anchor points, a hydraulic loading system, a 20 MW large exhaust hoods instrumented for fire calorimetry, an emission control system for scrubbing acid gases and particles generated by real fuels, controlled gas and liquid fuel burners, water suppression systems, overhead cranes and conditioning space.

The laboratory was designed to meet several performance objectives including the study of realistic fires that grow, spread and decay. A strong floor and a strong wall will allow fire researchers to measure the performance of real-scale structures under realistic fire and structural loading under controlled laboratory conditions.Measurement capabilities will allow characterization of the response of the structural system and components up to failure and to characterize the fire heat release rate and thermal environment in real time. The expanded lab will allow the development of an experimental database on the performance of materials, components, connections, assemblies and systems under fire loading. This data will be available to the international research community to validate and verify physics-based predictive models. A series of inaugural experiments are being prepared for2016 to determine the behavior of a prototype steel framed building with composite floors subjected to a large fire.

CONTACT: Matthew Bundy (EL), 301-975-6880


EL Provides Technical Leadership for ASTM E60Sustainable Manufacturing Standards

Sudarsan Rachuri, Kevin Lyons, Paul Witherell, andSwee Leong participated in ASTM E60's semi-annual Committee Week, held April 29-May 1. The major activities they participated in included:

  • The informational meeting for the kick-off of the new work item WK48052, "New Standard Guide for Integration and Reporting of Environmental and Social Sustainability within the Manufacturing Supply Chains." The purpose of this meeting was to explain/provide understanding on the standards' landscape for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainable supply chains. NIST participants offered insight to other related standards, including GHG protocols Scope 1, 2, and 3;SCOR-Supply Chain Operations Reference model; and ISO 26000 (CSR Guidance).
  • Lyons led the balloting review meeting onWK35705, New Guide for Sustainability Characterization of Manufacturing Processes.
  • Witherell led the meeting on WK35702, New Guide for Evaluation of Environmental Aspects of Sustainability of Manufacturing Processes, which is expected to be successfully balloted soon.
  • Rachuri chaired the E60.13, Sustainable Manufacturing meeting.

Rachuri announced the launch of the new ASTM journal covering Smart and Sustainable Manufacturing.

CONTACT: Sudarsan Rachuri 301-975-4264

EL's Paul Witherell Elected Vice Chair for new ASME Subcommittee for Additive

ASME's Y14 Standards Committee recently agreed to support the development of a new standard on additive manufacturing. Paul Witherell was elected Vice Chair of this effort during ASME Y14's recent meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, April 23rd. Robert Lipman was designated a participating technical representative. To be designatedY14.46, the standard is envisioned that it will cover geometry, dimensioning, tolerancing, and related practices for use on engineering product definition digital set sand in related documents for additive manufacturing designs. The standard will establish methods to describe structures being designed into complex parts, complex internal geometric features (e.g., internal matrices, engineered voids, internal curving channels), build orientation, fill patterns, local tool path orientations, integrated components manufactured at the same time, specifying geometric placement of the material and material gradients. It will help to ensure that wherever parts are produced from such product definition digital data sets they will satisfy the dimensional requirements; this standard will supplement the requirements of Y14.5 for additive manufacturing designs.

CONTACT: Paul Witherell (EL), 301-975-3385

EL's Manzello Receives Bigglestone Award

Samuel Manzello (Fire Research Division, Engineering Laboratory) and Ethan Foote (CALFIRE/Office of the State Fire Marshal of the state of California, retired) were selected as recipients of the 2015 Harry C. Bigglestone Award. The award is given annually to the paper appearing in Fire Technology that best represents excellence in the communication of fire protection concepts. The award is for Manzello's paper entitled, "Characterizing Firebrand Exposure from Wildland–Urban Interface(WUI) Fires: Results from the 2007 Angora Fire" that appeared in 2014 in Fire Technology (Volume 50, Issue1, pp 105-124, doi:10.1007/s10694-012-0295-4). The paper studies the problem of firebrand exposure from wildland-urban interface fires, an emerging national problem for which few scientific studies have been conducted to date. Manzello made measurements characterizing firebrands after an actual fire. The dataset is a unique contribution to the technical literature. The data is augmented by a creative and dedicated experimental series using the NIST Dragon firebrand generator apparatus. Of the 82 papers published in 2014 in Fire Technology which were eligible for the award,Manzello's paper was nominated by the Editorial Board and then judged to be the Bigglestone winner by a panel formed by the Associate Editors. The award will be presented at the June 2015 National Fire Protection Association World Safety Conference and Exposition. The Bigglestone Award has recently been awarded to other Fire Research Division staff, including the 2014 award to Erica Kuligowski and the 2012 award to Gregory Linteris.

CONTACT: Samuel Manzello (EL), 301-975-6891

EL's Srinivasan Delivers Invited Keynote at Finland's Manufacturing Performance Days Conference

Vijay Srinivasan delivered a keynote address at Manufacturing Performance Days 2015 (MPD), an international conference held at Tampere, Finland, June 5-7,2015. Srinivasan spoke on 'The U.S. Manufacturing Renaissance: Investing in Innovation.' MPD 2015 had 630 participants representing 25 countries; the audience was comprised mainly of senior managers and executives from the public and private sector, all concerned with manufacturing. The talks covered various national and industry initiatives in manufacturing innovation. There was a lot of interest in the U.S. National Network for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes, the topic of Srinivasan's talk. The talk created a positive impression about the state of manufacturing in the U.S. and its investments in manufacturing innovation. Delivery of a keynote talk in a premier European manufacturing conference positioned NIST as an international leader in standards and technology for manufacturing.

CONTACT: Vijay Srinivasan (EL), 301-975-3524

EL's Helu and Rachuri Receive ASME 2015 Manufacturing Engineering Division's Best Paper Award

Moneer Helu and Sudarsan Rachuri, along with their fellow co-authors, were awarded the Best Paper Award at the recent 10th ASME 2015 Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC 2015) held at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, N.C., June 8-12, 2015. In testimony of the high regard and deep appreciation of the Society for the valued services in advancing the engineering profession for coauthoring the winning paper, "A Generalized Data-driven Energy Prediction Model with Uncertainty for a Milling Machine Tool Using Gaussian Process." Co-authors on this paper are Jinkyoo Park, Raunak Bhinge, NishantBiswas, Amrita Srinivasan, Kincho Law, David Dornfeld, Moneer Helu, and Sudarsan Rachuri.

CONTACT: Sudarsan Rachuri (EL), 301-975-4264 and Moneer Helu (EL), 301-975-3654

EL's Srinivasan Delivers Talk in Distinguished Lecture Series at Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Swedish researchers at ACCESS invited Vijay Srinivasan to deliver a lecture and participate in workshops on model-based engineering. ACCESS hosts a Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings experts from around theworld to deliver lectures on key topics of interest. ACCESS Linnaeus Centre is a research center at the Royal Institute of Technology (known as KTH), Stockholm, Sweden focusing on autonomic communications,signals, and systems. Srinivasan was invited to give a talk in this series, and delivered a lecture titled 'A Journey Towards Model-based Engineering for Manufacturing.' The lecture was very well received andis now available to the public at 60 minutes long). It also provided input to the workshops on model-based engineering.

CONTACT: Vijay Srinivasan (EL), 301-975-3524

Created December 11, 2015, Updated September 21, 2016