“The Intersection of Research and Standards”
The development of performance-based safety standards has been the focus and Mission of UL since its’ inception in 1894. There are various methods and procedures for developing safety standards, but the preferred method is to convene a diverse set of stakeholders from interest groups as defined by American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In all cases, it is important to submit critical safety information regarding the defined focus of the standard to help educate and inform the Standards Technical Panel members as part of their consensus deliberation process. This “research” information is often derived from direct assessment or previous safety evaluations based upon “foreseeable use” of the focus of the standard. It also is supported by information derived from accident or incident reports from government or other reputable agencies. It might also be generated by Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) or Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) studies and these methodologies have been defined by prominent organizations such as NASA, US Military and academic institutions. This presentation will provide an overview of how UL leverages safety science research in the Standards Development process and illustrate the discussion with key projects and the outcome that was achieved.
UL Corporate Fellow
Vice President, Research
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Dr. J. Thomas Chapin is the Vice President, Research at Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Tom is a UL William Henry Merrill Society Corporate Fellow and Chairman of the UL Fire Council. He focuses on emerging technologies, safety trends, aging, failure and forensic analysis, fire dynamics and the evolving definition of safety. Previously, Tom managed UL research activities related to UL standards, testing and certification, and surveillance services.
As a trained materials scientist, Chapin’s career has been dedicated to the study of polymer synthesis, characterization, product development, large-scale manufacturing and material processing, degradation, aging and fire behavior. Tom joined UL in 2001 after a 21-year career at AT&T Bell Laboratories and three years at The Upjohn Co. He has 17 patents in telecommunication product and materials science. Tom has made over 300 technical presentations at conferences and has in excess of 150 technical publications in chemistry, materials and polymer science. He is serving as an Adjunct Professor at Case Western Reserve University lecturing on chemistry, polymer science and fire dynamics.
Tom was the past international chairman of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee, TC 113 on “Nanotechnology Standardization for Electrical and Electronic Components and Subsystems”.
Chapin received his BS in Chemistry with Honors in 1974 from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science in 1977 from the Institute of Materials Science at the University of Connecticut.
UL fosters safe living and working conditions for people everywhere through the application of science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. The UL Mark engenders trust enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. We test, inspect, audit, certify, validate, verify, advise and train and we support these efforts with software solutions for safety and sustainability. To learn more about us, visit UL.com.