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Wai Cheong Tam (Fed)

Mechanical Engineer

Dr. Wai Cheong Tam (Andy) is a mechanical engineer in the Fire Fighting Technology Group of the Fire Research Division of the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Prior to his tenure, Andy was a NRC Postdoctoral Research Associate at NIST after receiving his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he developed the neural network based radiation solver (RADNNET-ZM) for heat transfer analysis in fire research with his thesis advisor, Professor Walter W. Yuen. Currently, his research interests are thermal radiation heat transfer, machine learning for interdisciplinary research studies on smart fire fighting, fire fighters’ health monitoring, and cooktop fire prevention, and heat transfer analysis for lithium-ion batteries.

Recently Funded Proposals

A Motion-Cancelling Physiological Monitoring Device for Safe Fire Fighting
(Wai Cheong Tam, Christopher Brown, Jun Wang) ($112.5K) (FY22)

True local temperature measurement for fire exposed surfaces using fiber optic sensor array (Chao Zhang, Tobias Herman, Wai Cheong Tam, Thomas Cleary) ($120K) (FY21)

A Neural Network Approach to Smart Firefighting for Residential Buildings in Realistic Fires (Wai Cheong Tam, Tom Cleary) ($150K) (FY20)

Recent news


AI May Come to the Rescue of Future Firefighters

AUGUST 10, 2022
Flashover is one of the leading causes of firefighter deaths, but new research suggests that artificial intelligence (AI) could provide first 
responders with a much-needed heads-up. 


NIST researchers have a breakthrough that could save the lives of firefighters

JULY 8, 2021
Interview with Mr. Tom Temin from the Federal News Network


How AI Could Alert Firefighters of Imminent Danger

JUNE 1, 2021
Firefighting is a race against time. Exactly how much time? For firefighters, that part is often unclear. Building fires can turn from bad to deadly Building fires can turn from bad to deadly in an instant, and the warning signs are frequently difficult to discern amid the mayhem of an inferno.



External Award
Honorable Mention - Alice Hamilton Award for Occupational Safety and Health by National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (2021)

Best Paper Award
Assessment of Radiation Solver of Fire Simulation Models Using RADNNET-ZM in 11th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology (2019)


Patents (2018-Present)


NIST Inventors
Gregory W Vogl , Wai Cheong Tam and Christopher U Brown
patent description The invention is a real-time wireless flow meter for a fire hose to improve situational awareness on the fireground. Currently water pressure measured at a fire engine is used to determine if water is flowing through a fire hose, but water pressure does not necessarily mean that
Created July 30, 2019, Updated December 9, 2022