SFPE Seeks Professional Qualifications Manager, Engineering Manager

Want to play a significant role in advancing the science and practice of fire protection and safety engineering? SFPE is currently seeking candidates for two technical roles, both of which are located in our Gaithersburg, MD offices.

Professional Qualifications Manager: This is a unique leadership opportunity to develop strategies and implementation plans that will elevate the fire protection engineering profession and shape the future of the profession at a global level. The position reports to the CEO. Qualified candidates must have a B.S., M.S. or doctoral degree in fire protection engineering or fire safety engineering and more than five years’ experience. Additionally, he/she must be a licensed engineer who has passed the NCEES Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam in Fire Protection. Additional details and application information for this position are available here.

Engineering Manager: This is a unique opportunity to help shape and expand the practice of fire protection engineering globally. Potential growth within the Society exists for the right candidate. The position reports to the Senior Manager for Engineering Practice. Qualified candidates must have a B.S. or M.S. degree in an engineering discipline, and if a discipline other than fire protection engineering, must have a desire and willingness to obtain licensure in fire protection engineering. Preference will be given to candidates who are licensed engineer who have passed the NCEES Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) Exam in Fire Protection, and/or have a B.S. or M.S. in fire protection engineering or fire safety engineering. Additional details and application information for this position are available here.


Electronic Version of SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 5th Edition Now Available

The definitive reference on fire protection engineering, now expanded to three volumes and SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 5th Editionavailable in electronic format for the first time. The hardcover version will be available in November. The cost of the eBook is $299.00 for SFPE members/$949 non-members. To purchase the eBook today or pre-order the hardcover version, visit the Springer website. SFPE members, click here to reveal the member-only discount code (member login required).

Revised and significantly expanded, the fifth edition of this classic work offers both new and substantially updated information. This book provides thorough treatment of the current best practices in fire protection engineering and performance‐based fire safety. Over 130 eminent fire engineers and researchers contributed chapters to the book, representing universities and professional organizations around the world. It remains the indispensable source for reliable coverage of fire safety engineering fundamentals, fire dynamics, hazard calculations, fire risk analysis, modeling and more.

With seventeen new chapters and over 1,800 figures, this new edition contains:

  • Step‐by‐step equations that explain engineering calculations
  • Comprehensive revision of the coverage of human behavior in fire, including several new chapters on egress system design, occupant evacuation scenarios, combustion toxicity, and data for human behavior analysis
  • Revised fundamental chapters for a stronger sense of context
  • Added chapters on fire protection system selection and design, including selection of fire safety systems, system activation and controls, and CO2 extinguishing systems.
  • Recent advances in fire resistance design
  • Addition of new chapters on industrial fire protection, including vapor clouds, effects of thermal radiation on people, BLEVEs, dust explosions and gas and vapor explosions.
  • New chapters on fire load density, curtain walls, wildland fires, and vehicle tunnels
  • Essential reference appendices on conversion factors, thermophysical property data, fuel properties and combustion data, configuration factors, and piping properties

SFPE members save 75% on both the eBook and hardcover versions! If you’re not already a member, join today to take advantage of member pricing on this essential resource.


SFPE Launches New Job Board, Career Connect

Career Connect Header

SFPE is happy to announce the launch of our new, improved job board, Career Connect. Career Connect is tailored specifically to the needs of fire protection engineers, fire safety engineers and those in allied fields. Career Connect provides a “one stop shop” for job seekers by featuring not only jobs posted by employers but also an aggregation of relevant job postings from commercial job sites.

Career Connect is free for all job seekers, but SFPE will members receive access to exclusive content and resources that are currently being developed. Job seekers can upload resumes to showcase their skills to recruiters while keeping their personal information confidential. Personalized job alerts notify you by email when new jobs are posted that match your search preferences and criteria. Create one now for free and never miss a new career opportunity.

Employers can easily post job openings and take advantage of listing enhancements to increase the visibility of postings, reaching targeted and qualified candidates. Career Connect offers advanced resume searching capabilities that allow you to search for qualified candidates who are actively searching for opportunities. The Employer dashboard lets you manage your jobs and candidates in one place, giving you full control over your recruitment efforts. SFPE Corporate 100 Partners receive discounts on job postings and listing enhancements.

Visit Career Connect today!


SFPE Mourns the Loss of Two Distinguished Leaders: James Nolan and Edwin Bayley

James (Jim) Nolan, P.E., FSFPE, SFPE Past President

James (Jim) Nolan, P.E., FSFPE, SFPE Past President

It is with great sadness that the SFPE announces the passing of two SFPE leaders– James (Jim) Nolan, P.E., FSFPE and Edwin (Ed) Bayley, P.E., FSFPE.

Jim was a Past President (1973-75) and founder of the Corporate 100 Partner Program, of which he remains a member Emeritus. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1950. In 1962 he founded the James W. Nolan Company, Park Ridge, IL, retiring in 1998. The company specialized in design/application/sales of pumps and related equipment for Water Supply Systems for Fire Protection and Domestic Water Supply, Fire Pump Application Field. In addition to serving as SFPE President from 1973-1975, he earned the designation of Fellow in 1980 and received the Harold E. Nelson Service Award in 1994. At the local level, he was an active member of the Chicago Chapter of SFPE since 1955, serving as President of the Chapter in 1963. Information about the memorial service is available in his obituary. Jim was 88.

Ed was longtime member of SFPE who earned the grade of Fellow in 1986 and chaired the Qualifications Board for many years. He started his career in Boston and served as Chief Engineer at FMI Limited in London before retiring in Houston in 1998. Ed was 93.


Showcase Your Expertise in Warsaw: Deadline for Abstracts is Friday, 9 October

Since 1996, SFPE, along with several partner organizations, has held a biennial conference to showcase state-of-the-art practices in performance-based code approaches and engineering design methods. In May 2016, SFPE will hold the 11th Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods in Warsaw, Poland.

This event offers a great opportunity to showcase your research and expertise in performance-based codes and fire safety design methods. But time is running out to submit a presentation abstract–the deadline for submissions is Friday, 9 October.

Specification for Submissions

Performance-Based Codes

We are seeking abstracts relating to performance-based regulatory structures, performance-based codes and performance-based standards. Topics of interest include infrastructure needed for the successful implementation of performance-based codes (education, professional registrations, enforcement, legal environmental, etc.) as well as perspectives on experiences (both positive and negative) associated with use of performance-based codes.

Performance-Based Design

We are soliciting abstracts on fire safety engineering methods currently in use or under development. Viewpoints are also sought on dealing with uncertainty and new research findings relevant to performance-based design. Please note that case studies without generalizable results are typically not acceptable.


The participants in this conference will be professionals involved in all disciplines of engineering, regulation development and enforcement, testing, standards of development and development of engineering design methods.

Submittal Requirement

Those wishing to present at the 11th Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design should submit a completed presentation abstract application by 9 October 2015. The conference language is English.

The abstracts should identify the topic being addressed, the approach used or suggested for addressing the topic, and results or recommendations. All topics relevant to performance-based codes or performance-based design will be considered.

Submit abstracts to Melissa Franco, Meetings & Education Manager, mfranco@sfpe.org and include “Warsaw Conference 2016” in the subject line of email.

Details about the program and information about registration will be posted on the SFPE website within the next few months.


Have you registered yet? Early-bird rates for the 2015 Conference & Expo end TODAY

2015 Philly Email Header

Have you registered for the 2015 SFPE North American Conference & Expo yet? If not, don’t delay–today is the last day to register at the early-bird discount rate. Register and book your hotel room today so you don’t miss out on what promises to be an exceptional event. Today is also the last day to save on the post-conference professional development seminars.

This year’s conference holds special distinction, as 2015 also marks SFPE’s 65th anniversary. In recognition of our 65th Anniversary, we have a special keynote presentation on the legacy of SFPE, by David A. Lucht, P.E., FSFPE, Professor & Director Emeritus, Worcester Polytechnic Institute; D. Peter Lund, CAE, SFPE’s First Executive Director for 25 years. These industry luminaries will take a look back at SFPE’s origins and explore the challenges and successes that have helped shape the profession of fire protection engineering and positioned the industry for worldwide growth.

David A. Lucht, P.E., FSFPE,
Professor & Director Emeritus,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute

D. Peter Lund, CAE
SFPE’s First Executive Director


To see the full lineup of technical sessions, visit the SFPE website. In addition to the technical sessions, we are fortunate to have a great lineup of keynote speakers:

Daniel Bak, Ph.D., P.E., FSE, Senior Forensic Fire Engineer, Scientific Expert Analysis Limited
Overcoming Cultural Differences in the Practice of Fire Protection Engineering
Carl Baldassarra, P.E., FSFPE, Principal, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
Freedom to Design: How Much Freedom Is There in Today’s FPE Environment?
Jim Crawford, Project Manager, Vision 20/20
Vision 20/20
Kevin McGrattan, Ph.D., FSFPE, Mathematician, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Deconstructing the Zone Fire Model CFAST
Jaime Moncada, P.E., General Director, International Fire Safety Consulting – Performance-Based Design in Latin America
How Feasible It Is
J. Gordon Routley, Eng., FSFPE, FIFireE, Division Chief, Montreal Fire Department
The Lac Mégantic Incident – A Worst Case Scenario
Arthur Schwartz, Deputy Executive Director & General Counsel, National Society of Professional Engineers
Engineering Ethics: You be the Judge

For all the details on this don’t-miss event, visit the SFPE website.


SFPE Foundation Awards Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant to Imperial College London

The Shard

Project will develop a new fire-fighting tool, called the Fire Navigator, which will forecast the spread of a fire inside a smart building using sensors and building information modeling technology

The SFPE Foundation announced that the 2015 Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant has been awarded to Imperial College London’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. The $25,000 grant is named in memory of FDNY Assistant Chief Donald Burns, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001, while setting up his command post to direct the evacuation. The purpose of this grant is to help advance the integration of information modeling as a means of improving infrastructure safety and first responder preparedness.

The grant was awarded through a partnership with Bentley Systems, Inc., a global leader dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure. It will go towards funding the development of a new fire-fighting tool, called the Fire Navigator, which will forecast the spread of a fire inside a smart building on the basis of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology and already existing sensors.

According to Nahom Daniel, the MSc graduate student at Imperial College London who submitted the application for the grant, Fire Navigator will provide real-time building specific information such as the building’s structural framework and current occupancy information, as well as real-time and forecasted fire intensity and smoke distribution, to fire fighters to help inform evacuation prioritization. Fire Navigator will be implemented on Bentley BIM software using a case study of a real building design to show the performance of the system.

“We are deeply honored to accept this award dedicated to Chief Donald Burns,” said Dr. Guillermo Rein, a Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London. “Nahom is a top engineering student with a rigorous background on the fundamental sciences behind fire protection. His strong mathematical and computational skills will serve well to create the forecast algorithms and communicate them with Bentley Systems’ information management software. He understands very well the importance of delivering a solution to fire safety in buildings which is both innovative and practical. Because we are based on London, we have decided to focus our work on the case study of The Shard, the latest smart high-rise building built in UK. Moreover, we have secured the in-kind support of experts from Arup who will help Fire Navigator to be most relevant to the fire protection engineering community.”

“I know Don would be honored to have his name associated with the Fire Navigator project this grant will make possible. He was very interested in technology and fully appreciated the value of innovative methods of preventing fire hazards,” said Lew Reed, Bentley Systems vice president and Chief Burns’ brother-in-law. “Utilizing BIM technology together with existing sensors in smart buildings to aid first responders and reduce deaths and injuries caused by fires is a great way to honor Don’s commitment to safeguarding the firefighters he led.”

A presentation about Fire Navigator will be submitted for presentation to the 2016 SFPE North America Conference and to the official SFPE journal Fire Technology for possible publication.

Last year’s Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant was awarded to Dr. Ofodike Ezekoye and Austin Anderson of the University of Texas Fire Research Group. The grant funded the creation of the Property Risk Optimization by Predictive Hazard Evaluation Tool (PROPHET), a framework designed to provide an informed risk analysis of a building using a combination of BIM software, fire models and statistical analysis. PROPHET offers industry professionals an unprecedented mechanism for incorporating fire analysis into their design and management considerations in a more meaningful manner. It also offers the potential to provide fire departments and first responders with a much better idea of the kinds of fires they might face within a given building, which could save lives. Ezekoye and Anderson presented the results of their research at the 2014 SFPE Conference & Expo.

“This grant provides an important opportunity to advance the science and technology that helps protect the men and women who share Chief Burns’ passion for serving the public in the honorable and selfless profession of firefighting,” said April Hammond-Berkol, Chair of the SFPE Educational & Scientific Foundation’s Board of Governors. “This grant incorporates the principles of fire protection engineering into building information management to provide tools that can be used by first responders.” For more information about the grant, visit the SFPE Foundation website.


New SFPE Engineering Standard on Calculation Methods to Predict the Thermal Performance of Structural and Fire Resistive Assemblies

 SFPE Engineering Standard on Calculation Methods to Predict the Thermal Performance of Structural and Fire Resistive Assemblies (SFPE S.02 2015)

SFPE has published a new standard: SFPE Engineering Standard on Calculation Methods to Predict the Thermal Performance of Structural and Fire Resistive Assemblies (SFPE S.02 2015).

The design of structural fire resistance requires three major steps: (1) determination of the thermal exposure to a structure resulting from a fire (2) determination of the temperature history within the structure, or portion thereof, and (3) determination of the structural response. This standard is limited to the second step in this process.

The standard provides requirements for the development and use of methods to predict the thermal response of structures using listed fire resistive assemblies to time dependent thermal boundary conditions imposed by fires. It provides requirements for calculation methods that provide time dependent temperature field information resulting from fire exposures required for engineered structural fire design (including structural systems and fire barriers). The Annex provides precisely calculated reference temperatures from 16 verification cases that represent a variety of problems that are relevant in fire safety engineering.

To purchase this standard, visit the SFPE bookstore.


SFPE Foundation Grant Supports WPI Textbook

sfpe_foundation_logo_color_faThe SFPE Foundation is pleased to announce a $5000 award to support development of a textbook entitled Fire Performance Analysis for Buildings, which will be published by John Wiley & Sons. Authored by Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Professor Emeritus Robert W. Fitzgerald and Associate Professor Brian J. Meacham, the book provides a framework for evaluating the performance of buildings against fire scenarios which link the fire, active and passive fire defenses, people, building architecture, and site conditions.

The fire performance analyses produce a clear understanding of what to expect during a building fire, which in turn becomes the basis of risk characterizations for people, property, operational continuity, exposed buildings and enterprises, and the environment. The award will help support the participation of students and others to assist in the completion of fire performance analysis examples, supporting graphics and the final technical review.

“The Foundation is proud to be able to offer not only student grants, but grants to support novel research in in fire safety science and fire protection engineering. Fire Performance Analysis for Buildings promises to be a publication that aligns with the Foundation’s mission to advance the science and practice of fire protection engineering internationally by advocating and supporting engineering research, technology transfer and education,” said April Hammond-Berkol, Chair of the SFPE Foundation’s Board of Governors.

For more information about the SFPE Foundation or to make a donation, please visit Foundation.sfpe.org.


SFPE Standards-Making Committee on Calculating Fire Exposures to Structures is Seeking a New Chair

SFPE is in the process of updating its first standard (Standard on Calculating Fire Exposures to Structures). Performance-based design of structural fire resistance entails three steps:

  1. determination of the thermal boundary conditions to a structure resulting from a fire
  2. calculation of the thermal response of the structure to the fire exposure, and
  3. determination of the structural response of the structure.

This standard provides methods for the first of these steps.

If you are interested in chairing this committee, please submit the online Committee Application on the SFPE website before September 20, 2015. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Jelenewicz, P.E., FSFPE at Chris@sfpe.org.