Marc Levitan

Marc L. Levitan is the Lead Research Engineer for the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  He served as lead investigator for the National Construction Safety Team technical investigation of the 2011 EF-5 tornado in Joplin Missouri and the NIST study of the 2013 EF-5 tornado in Moore Oklahoma.  Dr. Levitan also leads implementation efforts for many of the recommendations resulting from these investigations, in the areas of improved tornado hazard characterization and improved performance of buildings and shelters.

He chairs several tornado-related standards committees, including the Structural Engineering Institute’s task committee developing tornado load provisions for ASCE 7-22, the International Code Council committee developing the 2020 edition of the ICC 500 Storm Shelter standard, and the ASCE/SEI/AMS committee developing a new standard on Wind Speed Estimation in Tornadoes and Other Windstorms.

Prior to joining NIST Dr. Levitan was the Charles P. Siess, Jr. Professor of Civil Engineering at Louisiana State University, including 10 years as Director of the LSU Hurricane Center. Earlier in his career, he served as Managing Director of the Wind Engineering Research Field Laboratory at Texas Tech University, where he led design, construction, and operation of an internationally recognized full scale wind test facility.

Recent recognitions include a U.S. Department of Commerce Gold Medal for technical innovations to develop new maps of U.S. extreme wind speeds and the National Storm Shelter Association’s Kiesling Award for contributions to the storm shelter industry.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Friday, July 23, 2021