Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

NCST Advisory Committee Members

NCST Advisory Committee Members


NCSTAC Members Back row left to right: Gary Klein, Ross Corotis, Jeannette Sutton,  Front row left to right:  William Holmes, James Harris, Reginald DesRoches 


Committee Member Title and Organization
Ross Corotis

Professor, Colorado State University Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering, Boulder, CO 

Term Expires: September 30, 2020

Dr. Ross Corotis is a member of the National Academy of Engineering with a background in structural mechanics and stochastic vibrations. Dr. Corotis' primary research interests are in the application of probabilistic modeling in design, new methods of reliability assessment, optimization of structures, and innovations in engineering education. He has also conducted research regarding the coordinated roles of engineering and social science with respect to framing and communicating societal investments for long-term risks and resiliency. He began his career as a faculty member at Northwestern University, where he served for eleven years. In 1981, Dr. Corotis took a position with the Johns Hopkins University, where he re-established and chaired the Department of Civil Engineering until becoming Associate Dean in 1990. In 1994, Dr. Corotis accepted the position of Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder. In 2001, Dr. Corotis took a position as a professor at the CU Department of Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering where he currently resides.

Reginald DesRoches

Provost, Rice University, Houston, TX

Term Expires: September 30, 2020

Dr. DesRoches has published over 150 articles in the general areas of earthquake engineering and seismic risk assessment and has given over 100 presentations in 30 different countries on his work. Dr. DesRoches served as a key technical leader for the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake of 2010 and was a member of an early response team which traveled to Haiti immediately following the earthquake to conduct critical building safety assessments for the United Nations.  He later led a team of 28 engineers, architects, city planners, and social scientists to study the impact of the earthquake. This deployment resulted in a series of recommendations on the recovery and rebuilding of Haiti, and was the foundation for the Earthquake Spectra special issue on the Haiti earthquake, which consisted of a compilation of research papers on the lessons learned from the Haiti earthquake. Dr. DesRoches currently serves as an Executive Committee Member of the National Academy of Sciences Roundtable on Risk, Resilience, and Extreme Events, and served as Chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Seismic Effects Committee from 2006 to 2010. Dr. DesRoches has received numerous awards for his work in the engineering field, including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2002. The PECASE Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. In 2015 Dr. DesRoches was inducted into Berkeley’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni from Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

James R. Harris

President, JR Harris and Company, Denver, CO

Term Expires: July 31st, 2020

Dr. James R. Harris is well versed in structural engineering practice and research. His work experience includes a consulting practice in Denver since 1968 and continued with the establishment of J.R. Harris & Company in 1984. From 1975-1981 he was a research structural engineer at the National Bureau of Standards in Gaithersburg, MD. He has designed or evaluated thousands of structures ranging from dwellings to high-rise buildings, industrial facilities, and supervised renovations of numerous historic buildings. His research has focused on the loading and response of structures, particularly earthquake and snow loads, and on improving the formulation and use of engineering standards. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and an active member of several committees that produce national standards for structural engineering practice. Dr. Harris is a former chair of the committee that produces the standard ASCE/SEI 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures, and its subcommittee for seismic design. He has also served on the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Board of Governors and is a Past President of the SEI Board. NIST staff recommended Dr. Harris for NCSTAC membership because of his expertise and leading role in structural engineering. His unique experience and background, from a structural engineering perspective, shows that he has an established record of distinguished service in his professional community and deep knowledge of issues that are directly relevant to NCST investigations.

William Holmes

 Senior Consultant, Rutherford & Chekene, San Francisco, CA

Term Expires: September 30, 2020

Mr. Holmes has over 45 years of professional experience in all aspects of structural design, with a focus on seismic design. Mr. Holmes has been active in local, national, and international professional committees and workshops and in research and development in seismic engineering. In 2017 Mr. Holmes was elected into the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his excellence in structural design and leadership in improving the seismic safety of buildings. Mr. Holmes’ leadership experience in the structural engineering field includes his term as President of the Applied Technology Council corporation, serving on the Board of Directors of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and serving as the Chair of the NIST National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program Provisions Update Committee. Mr. Holmes is also an expert in seismic vulnerability of buildings and loss estimation; he served as the Senior Technical Advisor for the development of FEMA 273, which is the current standard for seismic analysis of buildings and is the basis for state-of-the-art vulnerability calculations. He served on the controlling committee for the development of FEMA’s Hazards U.S. (HAZUS) application since its inception in 1991. HAZUS is a nationally applicable standardized methodology that contains models for estimating potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes.

Gary Klein

Executive Vice President and Senior Principal, WJE Associates Inc., Northrook, IL

Term Expires: July 31, 2020

Mr. Klein is an Executive Vice President and Senior Principal at WJE Associates Inc., specializing in the investigation of collapsed structures. Mr. Klein has investigated hundreds of collapsed concrete, steel, and wooden structures. Most of his assignments have involved deterioration, distress, or failure of buildings and bridges. Mr. Klein has a wide range of structural engineering experience that also includes the investigation of parking structures, tunnels, transit structures, stadiums, piers, environmental facilities, and wind turbines. From 1973 to 1979 Mr. Klein worked at the Chicago firms of McDonough Engineering Inc. and the HNTB corporation. While with these firms he was responsible for structural design and plan preparation for new bridge and tunnel construction as well as the investigation and rehabilitation of existing structures. Mr. Klein has also served on several technical committees within the American Concrete Institute (ACI) including: ACI 318 - Standard Building Code, ACI 318C - Safety, Serviceability, and Analysis, ACI 318E - Shear and Torsion, ACI 342 - Evaluation of Concrete Bridges and Bridge Elements, ACI 445 - Shear and Torsion, and ACI 445A - Strut-and-Tie Models.

Jeannette Sutton

Director, Risk & Disaster Communication Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

Term Expires: July 31, 2020

Dr. Jeanette Sutton is a disaster sociologist, specializing in research on the uses of social media in crises and disasters. She has authored several academic articles, on hazard related subject matters, and provided guest lectures for organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The National Weather Center, and the National Academies of Sciences. Dr. Sutton's research is helping to transform the ways that emergency managers understand public communication during disasters, create strategies to improve warnings systems, and engage the public in times of crisis. Dr. Sutton served as an Advisory Board Member and External Reviewer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Crisis Emergency Response Communication (CERC) Manual (2012 edition).

Created October 26, 2011, Updated June 1, 2020