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National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee Biographies

The National Construction Safety Team Advisory Committee will advise the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology on carrying out investigations of building failures conducted under the authorities of the NCST Act that became law in October 2002. That includes advice on the composition and function of investigation teams and other responsibilities under the Act.

The committee members are:

John M. Barsom
President, Barsom Consulting, Ltd, Pittsburgh, PA
Term Expires: March 31, 2005

From 1967 to 1998, Dr. Barsom worked at U.S. Steel Research Laboratory in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, where he was named a Research Fellow, the company's highest technical position, and served as director of materials technology. He is a specialist in fracture mechanics, failure analysis of structures and equipment, accident reconstruction, integrity and life extension of structures and equipment, properties and behavior of steels and welds, and behavior of fabricated components under various loading conditions. Dr. Barsom has degrees in physics, mathematics, and mechanical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.

David S. Collins
President, The Preview Group, Cincinnati, OH
Term Expires: March 31, 2007

Mr. Collins has 30 years experience in architectural practice, as a building code official, in building code and regulatory issues, and in the analysis of existing buildings. He is an active participant in building and fire code development organizations, including the International Code Council and the National Fire Protection Association. He also serves as manager of the codes advocacy program of the American Institute of Architects. Mr. Collins has degrees from Purdue University and the University of Cincinnati, and is a registered architect. Mr. Collins is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

Paul M. Fitzgerald
formerly Executive Vice President, FM Global, Johnston, RI
Term Expires: March 31, 2006

Currently residing in Holliston, Massachusetts, Mr. Fitzgerald has served in a wide variety of executive and technical positions at FM Global, one of the world's largest commercial and industrial property insurance and risk management organizations specializing in property protection. Mr. Fitzgerald's positions have included president and chief executive officer and chair of the board of directors for both Factory Mutual Engineering and Factory Mutual Research. He has degrees from Tufts University and Babson College.

Robert D. Hanson
University of Michigan, Professor Emeritus, Walnut Creek, CA
Term Expires: March 31, 2006

Dr. Hanson taught civil engineering at the University of Michigan for 18 years and was chair of the department for eight years. He has extensive experience as an expert in earthquake engineering and steel structures and an advisor to organizations such as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; International Institute for Seismology and Earthquake Engineering, Tokyo, Japan; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Dr. Hanson has degrees in civil engineering from the University of Minnesota and the California Institute of Technology. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Charles Thornton
Chairman and Principal, Thornton-Tomasetti, Inc., New York, NY
Term Expires: March 31, 2005

Dr. Thornton has overall responsibility for engineering, design, and research and development activities, as well as strategic planning. His 40 years of experience at the firm have included involvement in the design and construction of billions of dollars worth of projects in the U.S. and overseas, ranging from hospitals, arenas and high-rise buildings to airports, transportation facilities and special structure projects. Many of these projects have set industry standards for innovative thinking and creativity. In addition, he has extensive experience in conducting failure investigations. He has degrees in civil engineering from Manhattan College and New York University, and is a registered professional engineer in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Dr. Thornton is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Kathleen J. Tierney
Professor, Department of Sociology
Director, Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information Center, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder
Term Expires: March 31, 2007

At the University of Colorado, Dr. Tierney holds a joint appointment in the Department of Sociology and the Institute of Behavioral Science. Her research and teaching interests include the sociology of disasters, environmental sociology, collective behavior and social movements, and qualitative research methods. She is the Director of the Natural Hazards Research and Applications Information center, which since 1976 has served as a national and international clearinghouse for information on hazards. Dr. Tierney's other current and recent activities include service on the Project Management Committee for the FEMA/NIBS nationwide study on savings realized through disaster mitigation; co-authorship on the NEHRP plan for coordinating post-earthquake investigations; and membership on the Executive Committee of the Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research and the Leadership Group of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies. She is a member of the American Sociological Association, the International Sociological Association, and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. Dr. Tierney has degrees in sociology from Youngstown State University and Ohio State University.

Forman A. Williams
Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Director, Center for Energy Research, University of California at San Diego, CA
Term Expires: March 31, 2005

Dr. Williams has taught engineering physics and combustion at the University of California since 1988. Prior to 1988, he taught at many prestigious colleges and universities around the world, including California Institute of Technology, University of London, Harvard University, Universite de Provence, and Princeton University. Dr. Williams has degrees from Princeton University and the California Institute of Technology. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Created May 11, 2010, Updated August 25, 2016