2011 40 Under 40: Xianxu “Sherri” Hu, PE, 34

Fire Protection Engineer, Insurance Services Office, Jersey City, N.J.


Xianxu “Sherri” Hu, PE, 34

Fire Protection Engineer, Insurance Services Office, Jersey City, N.J.

Tsinghua University (Beijing), ME HVAC Engineering, BE HVAC Engineering; University of Maryland-College Park, MS Fire Protection Engineering

Hu has contributed to the industry of fire protection engineering through her research, innovative design, and seamless project management. She published 11 peer-reviewed scientific articles in highly regarded journals such as the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. These publications have been cited 131 times by other researchers around the world. After completing her master’s degree, Hu joined Rolf Jensen & Assocs. (RJA) and worked on numerous high-profile projects throughout Asia and the Middle East. When a proposed green building design runs into fire and life-safety challenges, Hu provides innovative solutions that are up-to-code and sustainable. She helped design the 71-story Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, which is known as the world’s greenest skyscraper. She also worked on the world’s first zero-carbon and zero-waste building of 1.4 million sq ft, the Masdar Headquarters Building (Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.). She used performance-based fire safety design analysis of the building’s green features, such as the unprotected steel tube structure and glass curtain wall. She won RJA’s Office Manager Award in 2008 because of her strong leadership abilities. Hu left RJA last year to pursue new areas in fire protection engineering. Currently, she conducts research on fire performance and develops technical guidelines for fire loss control and risk evaluation for the Insurance Services Office. She is also the technical leader for a research project that is developing a risk-benchmarking tool to evaluate properties outside of the United States based on historical losses, local practice, and culture. With all her travels and international work, she has become a student of different countries and cultures. She loves traveling and has made friends throughout South and East Asia as well as the Middle East. Since she moved to the United States in 2004, Hu and her husband have visited many national parks where they enjoy hiking, biking, and other outdoor activities.

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