Dr. J. Thomas "Tom" Chapin spearheaded groundbreaking research into fire safety, materials science, physics, and predictive modeling as a safety science leader at Underwriters Laboratories. Under his guidance, our organization coordinated and shared its standards and collective research with the global safety community to advance safety standards, model codes, regulations, and safety programs.
Chapin joined UL in 2001. He tackled critical public safety issues soon afterward, leading the Fire Protection Division’s efforts to support the National Institute of Standards and Technology investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings and initiating research that ultimately led to substantial changes in smoke alarm standards. As a trained materials scientist with 18 patents, Chapin’s career has been dedicated to the study of polymer synthesis and characterization, forensic studies, material processing, product manufacturing operation, material degradation aging, and complex fire behavior.
The author of more than 150 technical publications in chemistry, materials, and polymer science, Chapin received his B.S. in chemistry with honors from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in polymer science from the Institute of Materials Science at the University of Connecticut. He currently serves as an adviser to Underwriters Laboratories and a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.