Jaap de Vries, PhD

Staff Vice President – Principal Innovation Specialist, FM Global

Dr. Jaap de Vries is a Staff Vice President and Principal Innovation Specialist at FM Global, where he is responsible for discovering and developing new opportunities to guide the strategic planning efforts for the large commercial property-risk insurer and its mutual members. In his role, Jaap leads the commercialization of fire-protection robotic technologies, drives the development of confined-space-entry robotic solutions, and works on generative AI use case development. He actively collaborates with startups to create structural digital twins for large-asset monitoring and develops AI-based fire protection technologies, including computer vision for fire protection applications.

Jaap holds two patents related to smart fire protection and has developed Virtual Reality (VR) experiences to enhance fire protection training. His research primarily focused on fire and combustion science, multi-spectral infrared thermography, and computer vision, including expertise in spherical coordinates. He has led large-scale fire testing programs that have been published in several fire and combustion-related journals.

In addition to his work at FM Global, Jaap is an Adjunct Professor at Brown University School of Engineering, where he has been teaching Technology Entrepreneurship and commercialization as part of the master’s Program in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship (PRIME) since August 2022.

As a Startup Mentor at RIHub since June 2020, Jaap supports the infrastructure for Rhode Island’s business community by mentoring startups through RIHub’s Venture Mentoring Services (VMS), which utilizes the MIT Model for mentorship.

Jaap holds a B.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from the College of Amsterdam, a M.S. degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Central Florida, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University.