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James Beyreis

Founding Member, William Henry Merrill Society
UL Corporate Fellow

Mr. James Beyreis began his career with Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) in 1966 as an assistant engineer.   In 1972, he was named an engineering group leader in the Fire Protection Department. By 1988, he was appointed vice president and chief engineer of the Fire Protection Division. Before retiring from Underwriters Laboratories Inc. on July 16, 2009, Mr. Beyreis was Vice President, Technical Training Global Fire and Signaling Sector. 

He has been a valuable leader at UL throughout his career, chairing many councils and committees, including the PE Awards Committee, the Fire Council, the Electrical Committee, the Management System Advisory Committee, the Engineering Policy Committee, as well as numerous Industry Advisory Committees.

Mr. Beyreis is an active member and leader in numerous industry groups, including the National Institute of Building Science, the National Fire Protection Association, CASCO's International Standards Organization, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and a number of others.

Highlights of his technical achievements include his involvement in development of the first test for large-scale evaluation of sprinklers designed to protect exterior glass curtain walls; design of special furnace test apparatus for fire resistance evaluation to aid development of low-cost school buildings; and many others.

Through his efforts, expertise and determination, UL was instrumental in requiring detachable magnetic electrical cords to help prevent deep-fat fryers from being pulled off a countertop by their cords, thus reducing the danger of horrific burns to small children in the home.

Mr. Beyreis was also instrumental in the development of the Large-Scale Fire Test facility, working with colleagues at Industrial Risk Insurers to develop a plan that benefited UL, the fire protection industry and the cause of safety.

Mr. Beyreis has been published in numerous publications dating back to 1970; he has been recognized with many honors and awards for his work, including a Distinguished Service Award from the National Fire Protection Association and his election as a Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

Mr. Beyreis earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering at Valparaiso University in 1966 and a master of business administration degree at Roosevelt University in 1981.