Paul A. Reneke is a computer scientist 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). Mr. Reneke, while in school, worked as a research assistant to Dr. James R. Brannan at Clemson University. The contract was to improve the WPK computer code for sonar analysis for the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University.
After getting his B.S. degree in August 1989 from Clemson University, Mr. Reneke worked for Systematica Inc., of Clemson. He worked as an Analyst/Programmer for Systematica on a consulting contract with GM. The contract was to find a computationally-cheap method of generating first order numerical derivatives for functions that where expensive to compute. A unique method using both the forward and backward difference method along with the center difference was found.
In July 1990, Mr. Reneke was hired as a computer scientist in the Center for Fire Research (CFR) at NIST, which later became the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL). In this position, Mr. Reneke applies sound principles of software development to models of fire growth and smoke transport developed at the Building and Fire Research Laboratory.
While at CFR and BFRL, Mr. Reneke has been responsible for projects in many diverse areas including graphics, user interface, databases, model evaluation, computer numerics, and algorithm development. He also worked for and received his M.S. in 1995 from The Johns Hopkins University.
Mr. Reneke was in charge of the development of the FASTLite fire model which was introduced at the NFPA meeting in May 1996 in Boston. He is presently responsible for the graphics library used by CFAST and the data file editor Cedit. He is also the project leader for the fire data management system Fire on the Web CD-ROM for Standards Reference Data at NIST. Past projects have included developing a demonstration damage control display package for the Navy.
On computer modeling Mr. Reneke has been involved in all phases of development. He has worked on computer numerics to improve the speed of the model CFAST. He has written papers on the comparison of the computer models to actual fire tests as well as the sensitivity of the fire models, specifically CFAST. He has also been involved in algorithm development and inclusion such as the addition of flame spread over a wall and improved heat transfer though a stud wall assembly.