Texas Tech University

National Wind Institute Debris Impact Facility Gains Accreditation from A2LA

George Watson

June 22, 2016

Debris Impact Facility

The accreditation comes after a thorough review of the quality management system and competence of the NWI and the Debris Impact Facility.


The National Wind Institute's  Debris Impact Facility (DIF) at Texas Tech University has received its ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA).

Debris Impact Facility

The internationally recognized accreditation comes after a thorough assessment of the quality management system, the traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards, and the competence of the National Wind Institute's Debris Impact Facility.

Larry Tanner, manager of the DIF and a research assistant professor for the National Wind Institute (NWI), said the facility now is accredited as an ISO/IEC 17-25 laboratory that provides impact testing services for national and international clients.

“We have been competing with the larger laboratories for many years, and this accreditation puts us onto a level playing field,” Tanner said. “As an internationally accredited laboratory, clients can comfortably test their products at the Debris Impact Facility laboratory knowing their product tests will be in strict accordance with all national and international guidelines and standards.”

Larry Tanner
Larry Tanner

The DIF promotes public safety and welfare and helps lower losses incurred due to weather hazards and their effects. The DIF performs debris impact tests on storm shelters, shelter components and building materials in order to develop the safest, most impact-resistant materials to better protect individuals.

“This accreditation is fruition of tremendous forward thinking, planning and diligence of DIF management and staff, including Larry Tanner, Tammy Pitzer and professor Ernie Kiesling, over a long period of time,” said Daan Liang, interim director of the National Wind Institute. “It represents a major milestone in Texas Tech University's more than four decades of wind-related research and development efforts and will further strengthen our partnership with industry on technology transfer and commercialization, a key goal in NWI's Strategic Plan.”

The A2LA evaluated the DIF on its quality management system, the validity and appropriateness of test methods, the traceability of measurements and calibrations to national standards, the suitability, calibration and maintenance of test equipment, the assurance of test and calibration data laboratory and the competence of the DIF laboratory to perform specific tests related to weather hazards.

The A2LA accreditation demonstrates ability of the DIF to manage and perform the activities defined by its A2LA Scope of Accreditation.

“The Debris Impact Facility continues to play an important role in establishing Texas Tech's reputation as an international leader in wind storm research and wind storm damage mitigation,” said Guy Loneragan, Texas Tech's interim vice president for research. “This accreditation reflects the superior research and testing done at the facility and by our outstanding faculty.”

The A2LA is a nonprofit, nongovernmental membership society that is internationally recognized as an independent accreditation body in the United States. It offers a wide range of laboratory-related accreditation services and training available to any type of organization, private or governmental, based on an internationally accepted competency criteria.

“Accreditation is regarded as one of the key benchmarks for measuring the quality of an organization,” the A2LA said. “Accreditation gives our testing facility an unbiased, credible and reputable compliance standard to uphold to assure the highest quality for our clients.”