Paul A. Croce was born on in Providence, Rhode Island and is a 1958 graduate of Classical High School where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. While at Classical, he was a member of the Physics and German Clubs and president of the Hi-Y Club. He entered the University of Rhode Island in September 1958, where he was a member and president of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, president of the Engineering Council and a representative to the Inter-fraternity Council. He was elected to Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi and the Scabbard and Blade.
Paul participated in the Army ROTC Program and was designated a “Distinguished Military Graduate.” He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, Corps of Engineers, upon graduation from URI in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He was awarded the Department of Army Superior Cadet Ribbon and gold watch as the Outstanding Senior Class Engineer Cadet. After receiving a Master of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1964, he began his active duty service.
Lieutenant Croce’s initial assignment was assigned as an aerospace research scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, where he assisted in a spectrographic investigation of gas cap radiation of a Mars entry probe with and without ablation. In 1966, Lieutenant Croce was assigned to the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) with the 45th Engineering Group (Dong Ba Thin, Tuy Hoa, Qui Nhon), 18th Engineer Brigade. The Brigade was responsible for land clearing operations, developing the highway system throughout the RVN, and all other on-land military construction except large airfields.
Captain Croce became the Chief Construction Engineer Officer for the 45th Engineer Group. In this position, he oversaw a broad range of Army Engineer construction projects in central South Vietnam for which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service, as well as theater medals and ribbons for Vietnam service. Upon returning home, Paul left active duty and enrolled in the doctoral program at Brown University before transferring to Washington University in Saint Louis, where he received a Doctor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1972.
In his professional career after military service, Dr. Croce addressed a variety of safety, security and protection issues in his research and engineering work, including fire and explosion hazards in industrial and residential settings; quantitative risk assessments for various industrial operations and technologies (petrochemical, chemical, LNG, various computer-based systems and operations); transportation of hazardous materials; the management of technological risk; the evaluation of security and business interruption risk in the financial industry and the effects of fluid stress in biomedical applications.
As Vice President and Manager of Research for FM Global, Dr. Croce planned, directed and oversaw a growing global scientific research effort into the various causes of property loss, both natural and man-made, and practical technological solutions for mitigating such loss. He retired from this position at the end of 2005. In addition to his work with FM Global, Dr. Croce was Director of North America/South America Safety and Risk for Arthur D. Little, Inc., where his group provided safety and risk management expertise to industries with complex technological risk.
Dr. Croce served as a member of the US Department of the Interior (DOI) Blue Ribbon Panel on Safety and Management at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Facilities and as a Member of the follow-on US DOI Blue Ribbon Panel II on Safety and Management at NIST Facilities. He was also a member of the US Commission on Fire Safety and Preparedness for the Department of Energy Complex, a member and chair of the International FORUM of Fire Research Directors, and a member and chair of the Advisory Board of the Fire Protection Engineering Department at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
He was an invited speaker and participant in the Global Policy Summit on Performance-Based Building Regulation, an invited participant in the White House Conference on Critical Infrastructure Priorities, and a member of several review panels for LNG safety studies. Dr. Croce has been an editor/contributor to six books, author/co-author of approximately 100 technical papers and reports, technical consultant for three educational films/videos, and a reviewer of five books and approximately 30 technical papers.
In retirement, Dr. Croce currently serves on the Advisory Committee to the National Construction Safety Team of NIST, the Phillip J. DiNenno Prize Selection Committee, the Advisory Council of the URI College of Engineering, and the Advisory Board of the URI International Engineering Program. Dr. Croce is strong supporter of the University of Rhode Island Foundation, College of Engineering and Army ROTC Program. He is a member of the URI College of Engineering Hall of Fame.
Paul was married to the late Roberta (Bobbi) Gederman, URI ’62. Dr. Paul A. Croce resides in Middletown, Rhode Island.