Dr. Therese McAllister is the Community Resilience Group Leader in the Materials and Structural Systems Research Division of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She is also the Technical Point of Contact for the NIST funded Center of Excellence, Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning led by Colorado State University.
Dr. McAllister conducts research on community resilience, with a focus on the integrated performance of physical infrastructure systems and social and economic systems. She has expertise in structural reliability, risk assessment, and failure analysis of buildings and infrastructure systems. She conducted detailed studies of the WTC disaster, Hurricane Katrina flooding in New Orleans, and Hurricane Sandy flood effects on infrastructure systems. Prior to joining NIST, she conducted forensic studies of structural failures.
Dr. McAllister has specialized expertise in the performance of structures in fire, including nonlinear finite element modeling of structural systems, temperature-dependent material models, and thermally-induced failure modes. Her research includes performance-based methodologies for structures subject to fire. Dr. McAllister was editor of the FEMA World Trade Center Building Performance Study and the Co-Leader for the Structural Fire Response and Collapse of WTC 1, WTC 2, and WTC 7 of the NIST World Trade Center Investigation.
She serves on standard and technical committees of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and has served on the International Code Council (ICC) Structural Committee. Dr. McAllister is an ASCE Structural Engineering Institute Fellow and a registered professional engineer in Maryland.
2022 Distinguished Member of ASCE
2021 ASCE Walter P Moore, Jr. Award in recognition of demonstrated technical expertise in and dedication to the development of structural codes and standards
2018 ASCE Ernest E Howard Award for paper by Lounis and McAllister on risk-based decision making for sustainable and resilient infrastructure systems
2016 U.S. DOC Silver Medal for leadership in developing the NIST Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems
2008 U.S. DOC Special Act Award for distinguished contributions to the investigation of the World Trade Center building collapse
2005 USACE Commander's Award for Public Service for service to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) risk analysis team for the levees around New Orleans
2005 U.S. DOC Gold Medal Award for contributions to the federal investigation of the World Trade Center disaster