May 27, 2021 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm

Dr. Ali Ashrafi and Dr. Kevin Mueller of Thornton Tomasetti will be presenting on “Fire protection of buildings: Current practice to performance-based design”. This presentation will first provide a background on the current state of fire protection of buildings, focusing on protection measures for the structural elements and common issues faced in the design. Then, it will discuss shortcomings of the current prescriptive design and the advantages and opportunities presented by performance-based design. These advantages typically include more flexibility in design, better aesthetics, better economy, better resilience, and quantification of building response to fire. Several examples from projects such as the Shed in New York, Pittsburgh International Airport, and Seaport World Trade Center in Boston will be discussed to show when and how performance-based design could provide such benefits. The presentation will also discuss modeling egress and smoke in fire and how designs can be improved using a performance approach to this topic. This webinar offers one Learning Unit and HSW (Health, Safety, and Welfare) credit.

2 Credit Hours


  • $50 Members
  • $100 Non-Members

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About the Speakers

Ali Ashrafi, Ph.D. - Principal
Thornton Tomasetti

Dr. Ali Ashrafi received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics from Columbia University and is currently a Principal at Thornton Tomasetti and a licensed engineer. He is the Vice-chair of the ASCE Fire Protection Committee and a member of the ACEC NYC Metro Region Fire Codes Committee. Ali has extensive experience investigating damages to buildings, including as a result of fires. He also has overseen numerous projects including performance-based structural fire engineering at several iconic structures throughout the US such as the Shed in New York City, Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, Pittsburgh International Airport, and Kravis Center in Florida. Dr. Ashrafi is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, having taught both Structural Fire Engineering and Earthquake and Wind Engineering.

Kevin Mueller, Ph.D. - Senior Project Engineer
Thornton Tomasetti

Dr. Kevin Mueller received his Ph.D. in Structural Fire Engineering from the University of Notre Dame and is currently a Senior Project Engineer at Thornton Tomasetti and a licensed engineer. He is Chair of the ACI 216 Fire Resistance standard’s committee, a member of the ASCE Fire Protection Committee, and a member of numerous industry committees on blast, impact, disaster reconnaissance, and protective design. Prior to joining Thornton Tomasetti in Chicago, he worked for Jensen Hughes and Hinman Consulting Engineers. Dr. Mueller has managed projects across almost all practice sectors, including the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Veteran Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, PANYNJ, Amtrak, the Smithsonian, and several confidential private clients.



Brandon Cotter ( VE Design Group )
Kim Clawson ( Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates )
James Pawlikowski ( REX Engineering Group )
Vadivelu Balasankar ( Sherwin-Williams )
Kristi Sattler ( AISC - American Institute of Steel Construction )
Matthew Cummins ( DeSimone Consulting Engineers )
Nancy Radler ( SEAOI )
Stephanie Crain ( SEAOI )
Mary Jane Davis ( SEAOI )
Kevin Mueller ( Thornton Tomasetti )
Ali Ashrafi ( Thornton Tomasetti )
Faisal Habib ( Computers and Structures, Inc. )
Joseph Petrich
John Owen ( Owen Engineering LLC )
Stuart Bradbury ( Carboline Company )
Jennifer Pazdon ( CAST CONNEX Corporation )
Matthew Wooden ( Brindley Engineering )
Rob Chmielowski ( Magnusson Klemencic Associates )
Harish Virmani ( Harish C. Virmani Structural Engineer Consulting, Inc. )