Faculty Directory

Contact Information

Gateway Park, II 1213
Phone: +1-508-831-6778
Fax: +1-508-831-5862

Brian J. Meacham

Worldwide, there are increasing efforts to better understand the performance of buildings and infrastructure under a wide range of events, from accidental to deliberate, fire to natural hazards, climate change to terrorism. There is also an increasing focus on understanding the perceptions and responses of people to these events. This knowledge can then be employed in developing technology and policy solutions that better meet societal expectations for building and infrastructure safety and performance, resulting in a better allocation of resources focused on critical needs. With current and recent funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, the Korean Institute for Construction Technology and others, my research addresses risk-informed, performance-based analysis, design and regulation as a fundamental element of public safety. In addition to creating new knowledge that is beneficial to the profession, these efforts influence regulatory decision makers in the United States and abroad, increasing safety and lowering risks to the public. This requires close collaboration with government agencies responsible for developing regulatory policy, particularly for performance-based building regulations.

Research Interests

  • Risk-informed performance-based fire protection design
  • Fire risk and building regulatory policy
  • Fire hazards of ‘green’ buildings
  • Human behavior in fire and emergency evacuation
  • Post-earthquake fire performance of buildings
  • Fire risk characterization


  • BS, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • MS, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • PhD, Clark University
  • PE CT and MA
  • C.Eng, Institution of Fire Engineers (UK)
  • Fellow, Society of Fire Protection Engineers

Featured Publications

  • Alvarez, A., Meacham, B.J., Dembsey, N.A. and Thomas, J.R., “20 Years of Performance-Based Fire Protection Design: Challenges Faced and a Look Ahead,” Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, Manuscript JFE-12-0035, accepted for publication on 18 February 2013. 
  • Schebel, K., Meacham, B.J., Dembsey, N.A., Johann, M., Alston, J. and Tubbs, J., “Fire Growth Simulation in Passenger Rail Vehicles Using a Simplified Flame Spread Model Coupled with a CFD Fire Model,” Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, Vol. 22, Issue 3, pp. 197 – 225, August 2012.
  • Meacham, B.J., Dembsey, N.A., Johann, M., Schebel, K. and Tubbs, J., “Use of Small-Scale Test Data to Enhance Fire-Related Threat, Vulnerability, Consequence and Risk Assessment for Passenger Rail Vehicles,” Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Vol. 9, Issue 1, January 2012. 
  • Meacham, B.J., “Accommodating Innovation in Building Regulation: Lessons and Challenges,” Building Research & Information, Vol.38, No. 6., 2010. 
  • Meacham, B.J. “A Risk-Informed Performance-Based Approach to Building Regulation,” Journal of Risk Research, Vol.13, Issue 7, 2010.
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