LaMattina Lecture Series

Dr. Thomas J. Bruno, for aesthetic purposesThomas J. Bruno, Ph.D.

Experimental Properties of Fluids
Applied Chemicals and Materials Division
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Colorado



Vapor Sampling for Arson Investigation: at the Intersection of Physical and Analytical Chemistry

March 20, 2018
11:10 a.m.
Parsons N104, Iddles Auditorium


Thomas J. Bruno, Ph.D., is a group leader in the Applied Chemicals and Materials Division at NIST, Boulder, Colorado.  He received his B.S. in chemistry from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (1976), and his M.S. and Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Georgetown University (1978, 1981).  He served as a National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council postdoctoral associate at NIST, and was later appointed to the staff.  

Dr. Bruno has done research on properties of fuel mixtures, explosives, reacting fluids, and environmental pollutants. Among his inventions are the Advanced Distillation Curve method (for fuel characterization), and PLOT-cryoadsorption (for vapor sampling).  In his research areas, he has published over 260 research papers, 7 books, and has been awarded 11 patents, and is one of the most highly cited scientist at NIST.   One of his books, Handbook of Basic Tables for Chemical Analysis, is the 5th best selling book in analytical chemistry.  This book, now in its third edition, was honored with a Choice Academic Title Award for 2012.  He also serves as associate editor of the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, and as the Associate Editor for Fuel Processing Technology (Elsevier).

He has served as a forensic consultant and/or an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice (notably during the federal trial of Terry Nichols for the Oklahoma City bombing), various United States Attorney’s offices, and various offices of the U.S. Inspector General, and serves as a Science Director at the National Court and Science Institute.

Bruno was awarded the Department of Commerce Bronze Medal in 1986 for his work “on the thermophysics of reacting fluids”, and the Department of Commerce Silver Medal in 2010 for “the development of a new method for analyzing complex fluid mixtures that facilitates the introduction of new fuels into the U.S. energy infrastructure”. He was named a Distinguished Finalist for the 2011 Governor’s Award for High Impact Research, and received the American Chemical Society Colorado Section Research Award in 2015.