June 16, 2024 UMD Home FabLab AIMLab
Event Information

Human Behavior and its Place in Fire Protection Engineering
Friday, July 15, 2011
11:00 a.m.
Rm. 3106, J.M. Patterson Building
For More Information:
Prof. Arnaud Trouve

Presented by Dr. Erica Kuligowski,

Fire Protection Engineer and Sociologist

Fire Research Division, NIST

The goal of Dr. Kuligowski's research is a comprehensive and robust understanding of human behavior in fires and other emergencies. In this presentation, Dr. Kuligowski will present two examples of physical systems that could be improved once this goal is met. The first is evacuation models. Dr. Kuligowski will present her dissertation research on the pre-evacuation period of the 2001 World Trade Center Disaster and the ways in which conceptual modeling can be used to account for pre-evacuation decisions and actions in computer models. The second example will focus on emergency communication systems and the fact that codes and standards regulate their installation and maintenance with little guidance on their use. Dr. Kuligowski will present her research on the ways that people respond to emergency communication, which will ultimately result in the development of guidance on how to better alert and warn building occupants in the face of rapid-onset disasters. This work and efforts like this will help to ensure engineering education is more comprehensive and in turn, improve the regulatory process and the engineering tools used to assess life safety.

Short Bio:

Erica Kuligowski is a Fire Protection Engineer and Sociologist in the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Erica holds a B.S. and M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Erica joined NIST in June 2002 and is involved in the study of occupant evacuation behavior, egress data collection and analysis from buildings, emergency evacuation strategies, emergency communication, and evacuation modeling. Erica was part of two NIST Investigation teams, where she studied the evacuation of building occupants from the 2001 World Trade Center Disaster and performed evacuation modeling to recreate scenarios of the 2003 Rhode Island Nightclub Fire.


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