Dr. Kevin B. McGrattan is a mathematician 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. McGrattan joined the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at NIST after working in the Computing and Applied Mathematics Laboratory as an NRC Research Associate. During this time, he developed LES (Large Eddy Simulation) models of smoke movement in enclosures of various geometries and in the atmosphere.
Since joining BFRL, Dr. McGrattan has applied these numerical models to the problems of in situ burning of oil spills and the impact of fires in large buildings. The emphasis of the computations is on efficiency and high resolution, so that future advances in computing power can be met with corresponding advances in numerical combustion techniques.
The early work in fire modeling led to the release of the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) in 2000. This model is now used worldwide for a variety of applications. It has been used at NIST to investigate a number of actual fires, most notably the World Trade Center disaster and the Station Night Club Fire of 2003. Current research involves fire model verification and validation in cooperation with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.