Celia Suratt Powell

United States of America

Ms. Celia Suratt Powell BS, MBA

Future Forces Forum Future Forces Individual Systems Congress (FFISC) - International Industry Day 2018 Future Forces Exhibition 2018

Chairman, NATO LCGDSS Flame Protection Working Group and Lead Nation Support for Flame/Flash and Environmental Protection Textile Chemist
Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center



Flame, Flash and Environmental Protection: A NATO CCIEP and U. S. Army View

As with ballistic and fragmentation protection, protective clothing choices must balance protection versus burden, regardless of whether that protection be against flame and flash or against the environment.  However, flame and flash threats are much more difficult to quantify, and thus determine the level of protection needed, than are environmental threats associated with extreme hot, cold or wet conditions.

 This presentation will review flame/flash and environmental threats as characterized by NATO Combat Clothing and Individual Equipment Protection definitions and typical efforts to combat these threats. 

 Following this overview, US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center efforts to develop a scientifically based understanding of FR protection needs for Soldiers will be discussed.  This effort includes collection of burn injury data from combat and non-combat injury databases from 2011 to 2017 as well as sorting and evaluating the data based on Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), threat, location, task and a number of other factors.  This data will help determine the likelihood and severity of burn injuries based on these of factors as well as help develop recommendations for FR uniform needs based on the data.  

Curriculum Vitae

Celia Powell is well known as a subject matter expert in the field of textile and apparel flammability.  She joined the U.S Army’s Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Command (NSRDEC) in October, 2009, after many years in private industry. At NSRDEC, she supported the Product Manager, Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment (PdMSCIE) as Lead Product Engineer for Flame Resistant (FR) Clothing and Materials through March, 2017.  Since then she has led and supported various research projects for both flame and environmental protection.  Now she is supporting the Joint Product Manager for Protection (JPM P) as Lead Product Engineer for chemical and biological protective clothing.  During this time, she has represented PdmSCIE and NSRDEC at NATO LCGDSS Combat Clothing and Individual Equipment Protection committee meetings with Lead Nation and FR Working Group responsibilities.

Prior to joining the team at NSRDEC, Ms. Powell worked extensively in industry, in both technical support and marketing for chemical companies providing dyes and finishing chemicals to textile mills producing flame resistant fabrics.  End uses for these fabrics encompassed industrial, military and fashion apparel, automotive interiors, home and commercial furnishings, etc. Additional responsibilities included end-user education for safety professionals in the area of FR clothing, and as participation in ASTM committees related to FR standards development.  She also managed development, production and regulatory compliance for companies producing flame resistant children’s sleepwear. 

 Ms. Powell has a BS in Textile Chemistry from Clemson University and an MBA from the

Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.

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