Sunder, Shyam

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NIST

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Biography

S. Shyam Sunder is Deputy Director of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

In this position, Dr. Sunder:

• Is the chief operating officer for a $40 million-per-year enterprise with 180 employees and 100 research associates

• Serves as the lead investigator for the federal building and fire safety investigation of the World Trade Center disaster

• Leads NIST activities as the lead agency for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP)

• Oversees NIST activities related to the National Construction Safety Team Act

• Guides the effective implementation of NIST's strategic plan within BFRL

• Chairs the Interagency Committee on Seismic Safety in Construction (ICSSC)

• Serves as the U.S.-side chair of the Wind and Seismic Effects Panel

Prior to joining NIST, Dr. Sunder worked in such positions as instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, principal research scientist and senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Dr. Sunder holds a bachelor of technology degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. He also holds a master of science degree in civil engineering and a doctor of science degree in structural engineering both from MIT.

Dr. Shyam Sunder is Director of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

BFRL has an annual operating budget of about $42 million and its staff includes about 175 federal employees and 100 research associates and guest researchers from industry, universities, and foreign laboratories.

Dr. Sunder also:
• is the lead investigator for the federal building and fire safety investigation of the World Trade Center disaster;
• oversees NIST activities as lead agency for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP); and
• co-chairs the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Subcommittee on Buildings Technology (SBT) Research and Development.

From June 1996 to December 1997, Dr. Sunder was on assignment to the Program Office, the principal staff office of the NIST Director, first as a Program Analyst and later as the Senior Program Analyst for NIST.

Dr. Sunder was appointed Chief of the Structures Division in January 1998 and Chief of the Materials and Construction Research Division in June 2002. He was appointed Acting Deputy Director of BFRL in March 2004, Deputy Director of BFRL in June 2005, and Acting Director of BFRL in July 2006.

Prior to joining NIST in 1994, Dr. Sunder held a succession of positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) beginning in 1980: instructor, assistant professor, associate professor, principal research scientist, and senior research scientist.

Dr. Sunder holds a Bachelor of Technology (Honors) degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (1977), a Master of Science degree in civil engineering from MIT (1979), and a Doctor of Science degree in structural engineering from MIT (1981).

Dr. Sunder’s awards include the Gilbert W. Winslow Career Development Chair (1985-87) and the Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization (1987-89) from MIT, the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (1991) from the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Equal Employment Opportunity Award (1997) from NIST, and the Gold Medal Award (2005) for his distinguished leadership of the federal building and fire safety investigation of the World Trade Center disaster from the U.S. Department of Commerce.