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The Intersection of Fire Safety & Human Health Part 2

The panel experts continue their discussion by exploring the evolving differences between emerging and mature economies.

About the panel experts

The following scientists, researchers and engineers are actively working on New Science at UL:

Don Talka
Chief Engineer, UL

Mr. Don Talka is an engineer by education and a 35-year veteran at UL. As UL’s Chief Engineer, Mr. Talka leads all organizational Corporate Research initiatives and continuously seeks to find science-based solutions to current and emerging safety issues. He serves on numerous technical committees interfacing between manufacturers, trade associations, governments and local authorities.


Gus Schaefer
William Henry Merrill Society Fellow

Prior to his recent retirement, Mr. Gus Schaefer and UL’s public safety mission were synonymous. As UL’s Public Safety Officer, Mr. Schaefer was the guardian, ambassador and advocate both inside and outside the organization on all safety issues — and has presented before the US Congress on multiple occasions. During his 40-year tenure, Mr. Schaefer served in almost every aspect of UL’s business including: UL’s first Director of Asian Operations, the Chief Operating Officer for USA operations, and the founder of Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Mr. Schaefer is most passionate about pioneering safety infrastructure advancements in emerging markets like India and China.


Thomas Chapin, Ph.D.
Vice President of Corporate Research and Corporate Fellow

Vice President of Corporate Research and Corporate Fellow Dr. Thomas Chapin is an authority on materials science and fire behavior with a doctorate in polymer chemistry. During his 33-year career, Dr. Chapin has conducted extensive fire research on content flammability and sources of ignition; fire services education and training in fire ignition, fire growth and fuel load calculation; and fire research on materials and plastics, including corrosion, decomposition, ignition and long-term stability. Dr. Chapin’s technical papers have been published extensively since 1977, and his previous work in copper and fiber optic cable technology has resulted in 17 U.S. patents.


Marilyn S. Black, Ph.D. and LEED AP
President and Founder, UL AQS

Dr. Marilyn Black is the founder of Air Quality Sciences, a testing and research organization focused on chemical and biological air pollution, and of the GREENGUARD Certification Program. Dr. Black has been a leader for 30 years in studying the impact of chemical exposure on human health and in finding ways to reduce such exposure. She has presented and published extensively on both indoor air quality and environmental exposure, with a special interest in children's exposure.


Thomas Fabian, Ph.D.
Manager, Fire Hazards Research Team

Dr. Tom Fabian is a polymer and textile scientist with a doctorate in polymer science from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Fabian has conducted extensive research on developing polymer encapsulated textile products for the biomedical, aerospace, automotive, semiconductor and apparel industries. In his eight years at UL, Tom has led extensive fire research in the areas of fire testing for mattresses and upholstered furniture, development of material-based small-scale fire tests, analysis of combustion products and smoke alarm responsiveness.

Clyde Kofman (Moderator)
Chief Operating Officer, UL

Mr. Clyde Kofman is UL's Chief Operating Officer. Prior to UL, he served in leadership roles at both Andersen LLP and Motorola, where he developed considerable expertise and experience in building businesses in the services sector and differentiating through superior service delivery and a relentless focus on helping clients improve their business performance.


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