Nicholas Nava
Nicholas A. Nava, P.E., CFEI
Senior Engineer
Thermal Sciences
  • Bowie, MD

Mr. Nava applies fire protection engineering and fire science principles to the analysis of active and passive fire protection and life safety systems, consumer product performance, material fire performance, and origin and cause investigation of residential, commercial, and industrial fires and explosions. Mr. Nava's training and practice experience includes design and testing of automatic sprinkler systems, fire pumps, design of inert gas and clean agent fire suppression systems, building life safety systems, building smoke management systems, national, state, and local fire and building code compliance, material fire performance, fire testing, fire origin and cause investigations, occupant egress modeling (Pathfinder), and human burn and thermal injuries caused by fire incidents and thermal events.

Mr. Nava uses his diverse background to investigate failures of automatic sprinkler systems in residential, commercial, storage, manufacturing and industrial occupancies, including root cause failure analysis, water infrastructure and supply analysis, hydrant flow testing, sprinkler system water demand and water delivery analysis through hydraulic calculations, and review of system compliance with applicable codes. This includes failures of automatic sprinkler systems to operate or perform in the event of a fire and inadvertent operation due to freezing, excessive heating, and mechanical damage. In addition, Mr. Nava has investigated fires involving commercial cooking fire protection equipment, commercial cooking operation ventilation systems, vehicle fire suppression systems, consumer products including unit and space heaters, LED light bulbs, tubes, and fixtures, clothing irons, plastic fuel storage cans, dishwashers and low-pressure boilers, fire alarm and detection systems, and fuel gas systems. His experience also includes the evaluation and inspection of buildings, facilities, and products for code compliance in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) codes, International Code Council (ICC) codes, and state/ local codes.

Mr. Nava has both small- and large-scale fire testing experience with nationally and internationally recognized standards (NFPA, ASTM, and UL). In the Exponent Thermal Characterization Lab, he manages and executes testing, fabricates test equipment and test setups, and is proficient at installing various types of instrumentation to measure temperature, heat flux, pressure, liquid flow rate, wind speed, and gas concentrations for fire tests.

Previous research he participated in includes the design of a toxic gas monitor for use by firefighters in an active fire environment, flame spread modeling of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) building materials, cone calorimeter test sample size validation, and the effects of intumescent paint coatings on interior building finish to achieve compliance during fire testing.

Prior to joining Exponent, Mr. Nava worked as a Fire Protection System Design Engineer at a fire protection sprinkler contractor in the Boston area, where he gained experience providing services in fire protection system design, design coordination, and construction management. Mr. Nava also worked as an engineer at the Naval Air Systems Command in Patuxent, Maryland, where he was responsible for aviator equipment maintenance, testing, and validation.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • M.S., Fire Protection Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2014
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2013, with high distinction
  • Voting Alternate Member: NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Hose (FHS-AAA), NFPA 1961, NFPA 1962, NFPA 1963, NFPA 1964, NFPA 1965, National Fire Protection Association (2015 to present).

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Fire Protection Engineer, California, #1938

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators National Certification Board, CFEI #9662-11698

Fire Investigation Technician (IAAI – FIT) in accordance with the International Association of Arson Investigators Inc.

HydraCAD Training (16 hours tested)

OSHA 40-hour HAZWOPER Certified (29 CFR 1910.120(e) )

International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), Fundamentals of Fire Investigation Course, 2015 (40 hours tested training)

Publications

Presentations

Nava N, Mahoney S. Evaluation of fiber reinforced polymer bench scale specimen sizes and prediction of full scale flame spread testing for building applications. American Society of Materials Central Massachusetts Chapter 2013 MQP Competition Meeting, Worcester, MA, 2013.

Reports

Nava N, Mahoney S, Acosta C, Wright W. Evaluation of fiber reinforced polymer bench scale specimen sizes and prediction of full scale flame spread testing for building applications. Major Qualifying Project, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2013.

Casola R, Downey R, Nava N, Taylor J. Improving road safety in the Santa Fe Metropolitan planning area. Interactive Qualifying Project, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2012.

Professional Affiliations

International Association of Arson Investigators—IAAI (member)

National Association of Fire Investigators—NAFI (member)

National Fire Protection Association—NFPA (member)

Society of Fire Protection Engineers—SFPE (affiliate member)

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • M.S., Fire Protection Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2014
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2013, with high distinction
  • Voting Alternate Member: NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Hose (FHS-AAA), NFPA 1961, NFPA 1962, NFPA 1963, NFPA 1964, NFPA 1965, National Fire Protection Association (2015 to present).

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

Licensed Fire Protection Engineer, California, #1938

Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator (CFEI) in accordance with the National Association of Fire Investigators National Certification Board, CFEI #9662-11698

Fire Investigation Technician (IAAI – FIT) in accordance with the International Association of Arson Investigators Inc.

HydraCAD Training (16 hours tested)

OSHA 40-hour HAZWOPER Certified (29 CFR 1910.120(e) )

International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), Fundamentals of Fire Investigation Course, 2015 (40 hours tested training)