Fire Protection Society Recognizes Dr. Williams with "Person of the Year" Award

6/16/1999 - 29-99r
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Dr. Frederick W. Williams, Director of the Navy Technology Center for Safety and Survivability (NTCSS), in the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL's) Chemistry Division, was recently honored by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). He received the "1999 SFPE Fire Protection Person of the Year Award" at a ceremony in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 16, 1999.

This SFPE award was created in 1973 to recognize "significant achievement in the protection of man and his environment from the ravages of unwanted fire and an outstanding contribution to fire protection from outside the membership of SFPE which is broad in scope and has apparent lasting effects."

According to the award citation, "the contributions of Fred Williams, both in terms of advancing the science of fire protection engineering as a sponsor and program manager, and individually conducting significant research, are broad and far reaching. His efforts have had a direct impact on Navy fire protection as well as the FPE community as a whole."

In addition to being the director of the NTCSS, Dr. Williams is also Technical Director of the ex-USS SHADWELL (LSD-15), the Navy's full scale Damage Control Fire Fighting research ship. His current research interests are in combustion dynamics, modeling and scaling.

Dr. Williams came to NRL as a National Research Council Research Associate in 1965. In 1966, he became a research chemist in the then Fuels Branch. As his interest in the field of combustion grew, he became principal investigator of the flame project titled "Cool Flames" which led to his appointment as head of the Combustion Section.

Dr. Williams' recognition of combustion scaling problems and the realization of the terror of shipboard fires, especially in submarines, led to his proposal of the Fire I concept to NRL and the Naval Sea Systems Command. Fire I is the worlds largest totally contained space fire test facility, which was built at NRL in 1979 and later moved to NRL's Chesapeake Bay Detachment.

In 1983, Dr. Williams proposed the use of a retired Navy ship for fire research to the Chief of Naval Operations. In 1985, the Secretary of the Navy made NRL custodian of the ex-USS SHADWELL, a retired 457-ft. landing ship that Dr. Williams arranged to move from the James River, Virginia, to Mobile, Alabama, where it is now stationed.

Dr. Williams received his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1965 from the University of Alabama. His numerous awards include: the Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the Department of the Navy Award of Merit for Group Achievement, NRL's Equal Employment Opportunity Award, NRL's E.O. Hulburt Award and two Alan Berman Research Publication Awards. He has published and presented over 750 papers and reports in the areas of combustion, fire and atmosphere habitability.

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