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Thomas Cleary (Fed)

Thomas G. Cleary is a chemical engineer 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. Cleary leads the fire detection research activities in the Engineered Fire Safety Group. During his tenure at NIST, Mr. Cleary has conducted research on a range of fire safety engineering problems including: smoke dynamics, materials flammability, flame spread modeling, fire dynamics, halon alternatives suppression system performance, fire suppression, automobile fire research, fire detection systems, smoke detector modeling, smoke detector performance evaluations, video fire detection, aircraft fire detection, spacecraft fire detection, particle size distributions and light scattering properties of smokes, fire modeling, ignition of materials from fire brands, wildland-urban interface fires, and hydrogen detection. Current detection research focuses on performance measures and improvement of residential smoke alarms. He is co-investigator on a multi-year NASA funded research project on spacecraft fire detection, the smoke aerosol measurement experiment (SAME) that culminated in very successful month-long experimental data collection project on the International Space Station in September of 2007. Additional experiments will be conducted in a follow-on experiment in 2010.

Mr. Cleary participates in codes and standards work and currently is a committee member of NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, NFPA 76: Standard for the Fire Protection of Telecommunications Facilities, UL 1994: Luminous Egress Path Marking Systems, UL 924: and participates in task groups for UL 217: Single and Multiple Station Smoke Alarms, and UL 268: Smoke Detectors for Fire Protective Signaling Systems.

Mr. Cleary is on the editorial board of the Journal of Fire Protection Engineering. He was Co-Organizer of the 14th International Conference on Automatic Fire Detection held in 2009 at the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany. He has authored or co-authored over 70 publications. He was co-recipient of the Phillip Thomas Medal of Excellence for the Best Paper at the 7th Symposium of the International Association Fire Safety Science, and has received a Department of Commerce Bronze Metal Award.


Created March 26, 2019, Updated December 8, 2022