SFPE President Carl Baldassarra Joins WJE

One of the nation’s leading fire protection and life safety experts, Carl Baldassarra, has joined the Northbrook, Illinois, headquarters of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) as Principal and Unit Manager. Mr. Baldassarra, renowned for his work in fire protection engineering, has worked extensively with WJE on past projects, including the 2006 Metropolitan Highway System Stem-to-Stern Safety Review in Boston, Massachusetts. In his new capacity with WJE, Mr. Baldassarra will build and lead WJE’s fire protection practice.

Over his career, Mr. Baldassarra has managed operations, led project teams, and has participated in numerous design, consulting, and research projects. Mr. Baldassarra is a recognized authority on the model code development process through his long-time participation in several national codes- and standards-making technical committees. He is also recognized for his development of innovative alternate methods and application of performance-based design principles to a wide range of facilities. His experience also includes fire protection and life safety program development, code consultation, system design, property and casualty loss prevention surveys, loss investigations, litigation support, and related services.

Prior to joining WJE, Mr. Baldassarra was the Executive Vice President of Rolf Jensen & Associates, Inc. in Chicago, where he managed the firm’s western region and practice development. His experience also spans more than thirty-five years at Schirmer (Aon) Engineering Corporation in Deerfield, Illinois, where he most recently served as president of the firm and was responsible for operations in all regional offices.

Mr. Baldassarra has served and is currently active on the committees of several organizations and is a Fellow and President of the Society of Protection Engineers. He holds a bachelor of science in fire protection and safety engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a master of business administration from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management. Mr. Baldassarra is a licensed engineer in several states.

About WJE

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE), is an interdisciplinary firm of architects, structural engineers, and materials scientists that specializes in the investigation, analysis, testing, and design of repairs for historic and contemporary structures. Since the firm’s founding more than fifty years ago, WJE has focused on delivering practical, innovative, and technically sound solutions across all areas of new and existing construction. Our specialists bring the collective experience gained from conducting more than seventy-five thousand investigations worldwide to every construction challenge. WJE combines state-of-the-art laboratory and testing facilities, nationwide offices, and knowledge sharing systems to provide solutions for the built world. For more information, please visit wje.com.


SFPE ECCG Publishes White Paper that Sets a Roadmap for the Recognition of Fire Safety Engineering in Europe

The SFPE European Chapters Coordination Group (ECCG) recently published a white paper entitled SFPE ECCG: White Paper for Professional Recognition for Fire Safety Engineering. The white paper provides a current snapshot of the state of recognition of fire safety engineering professionals in Europe and articulates a set of 14 initiatives intended to help gain a common understanding of qualifications, educational requirements and further advance recognition of fire safety engineering professions within Europe.

The paper primarily focuses on competency requirements for fire safety engineering in developing performance-based fire safety solutions. The focus has been put on performance-based design as it is considered to be the main basis to be able to develop and achieve professional recognition for the profession.

The ECCG is a body comprised of presidents of the European Chapters of SFPE and the elected ECCG president, which has been formed to facilitate collaboration on issues which are common to the chapters.

The ECCG white paper can be found at http://goo.gl/ocusMm.


SFPE President Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge

In this video SFPE President Carl Baldassarra takes the Ice Bucket Challenge. As a result of this challenge, members from the SFPE Board of Directors donated $160 to the SFPE Foundation. This video was filmed at the WPI Department of Fire Protection Engineering fire lab.

Baldassarra challenged each SFPE Chapter to take the Ice Bucket Challenge and to donate to the SFPE Foundation.

The mission of the SFPE Foundation is to advance the science and practice of fire protection engineering internationally by advocating and supporting engineering research, technology transfer and education. More information can be found at http://www.sfpe.org/EducationalScientificFoundation/EducationalScientificFoundation.aspx.

SFPE took on the challenge after the NFPA Senior Management Team challenged SFPE to the Ice Bucket Challenge. NFPA’s challenge can be found at http://www.nfpa.org/press-room/news-releases/2014/nfpa-leadership-team-takes-the-als-ice-bucket-challenge-to-raise-funds.





SFPE Foundation Releases Research Report Aimed at Keeping Firefighters Safer During Building Emergencies

As part of the Bentley Systems Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant Program, University of Texas Researchers Outline a Framework that Uses BIM Software to Provide Relevant Fire Information to First Responders During Emergencies 

The SFPE Educational & Scientific Foundation published a research report outlining a framework that uses Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to provide important fire hazard information to responding firefighters. The research was completed by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin as part of the Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant Program. Funding for this grant has been provided by Bentley Systems, a global leader in providing architects, engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure.

The goal of this research was to improve the level of fire hazard and risk information that is available to fire departments and other emergency responders within the BIM context. This approach outlines a framework by tying objects tracked in asset management software to available fire modeling and statistical risk approaches through the addition of new object attributes.

“This work explored the possibilities of appropriately connecting the detailed information contained within BIM models with high quality fire dynamics models in order to identify and evaluate fire scenarios in building compartments,” said Professor O.A. “DK” Ezekoye at The University of Texas at Austin. “Identification and evaluation of fire scenarios provide valuable insights regarding outcomes of fires and supply building blocks for more complex decision models regarding fire risk in the building, usable by the different stakeholders associated with fire protection.”

Ultimately, the research outlines a framework designed to provide an informed risk analysis of a building using a combination of BIM software, fire models, and statistical analysis. It shows how this software can be used to construct numerous relevant fire scenarios for buildings that can then be analyzed in many different ways. As a result, this information will provide fire departments with a much better idea of the kinds of fires they might face within a given building.

The purpose of the Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant is to integrate information modeling as a means to improve infrastructure safety and first responder preparedness in the event of fire. The grant is named in memory of FDNY Assistant Chief Donald J. Burns. Chief Burns died in the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001, while setting up his command post to direct the evacuation. Chief Burns was a vocal advocate for fire safety research and education, and in his memory the grant intends to fund baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral student research projects that apply information modeling to improving emergency responder safety when training for, responding to, and operating during building emergencies.

The research report can be downloaded here.

About Chief Donald J. Burns
Chief Donald Burns was a decorated 39-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). He was known for his in-depth knowledge of firefighting and the FDNY, and is fondly remembered as a walking encyclopedia for his broad knowledge of New York City. Fighting fires was his passion, and he inspired many of his colleagues within the department, who hailed him as an exceptional leader and brilliant tactician and strategist. Burns was elevated to lieutenant and later captain before being named chief of operations after the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. He was promoted to Citywide Tour Commander in 1997. Burns is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and children Lori; Michael, a police officer; and Patrick, a lieutenant in the FDNY.

About Bentley Systems
Bentley Systems is the global leader dedicated to providing architects, engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators with comprehensive software solutions for advancing the design, construction, and operations of infrastructure. Bentley users leverage information mobility across disciplines and throughout the infrastructure lifecycle to deliver better-performing projects and assets. Bentley solutions encompass MicroStation applications for information modeling, ProjectWise collaboration services to deliver integrated projects, and AssetWise operations services to achieve intelligent infrastructure – complemented by worldwide professional services and comprehensive managed services. Founded in 1984, Bentley has more than 3,000 colleagues in over 50 countries, more than $600 million in annual revenues, and since 2006 has invested more than $1 billion in research, development, and acquisitions. For additional information, visit www.bentley.com.

About the SFPE Educational and Scientific Foundation
The mission of the SFPE Educational and Scientific Foundation is to advance the science and practice of Fire Protection Engineering internationally, by advocating and supporting engineering research, technology transfer and education. More information can be found at www.sfpe.org.


2014 SFPE Fire Protection Engineering Compensation Survey Report Now Available

Since 1976, SFPE has surveyed the fire protection industry concerning different aspects of their education, compensation and other related employment questions. In the spring of 2014, 900 engineers, from 35 countries, completed the latest survey, a 20% increase in participation over the survey that was performed in 2012. For the first time, survey participants were asked about their plans for retirement. This data can be used to gauge the expected job turnover due to retirements in the profession.

According to SFPE President Carl Baldassarra, “The information in the compensation survey is especially important in the highly competitive profession of fire protection engineering for both practicing professionals and employers. The survey is a ‘must have’ for all persons interested in providing and practicing in a rewarding work environment.”

Additionally, the survey report provides compensation data based on:

• Years of work experience
• Job responsibility level
• Type of industry
• Education level
• Age
• Licensure status

The report also includes data about the availability of benefits such as 401K plans, flexible spending, insurance, tuition reimbursement and holidays.

The report is available free for download to all SFPE members and $49 for non-members by going to here.

Once purchased, download the report by going here https://netforum.avectra.com/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?WebCode=LoginRequired&Site=SFPE, after you are logged in you will need to go “My Transactions” on the left side, then on the my transaction page, up at the top click on “My Downloadable Products” you will be able to download it from there.



The International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) is formally included to the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMD) Catalogue

The International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) Management Board is proud to announce that the IMFSE program has been labeled ‘a very interesting and valuable Erasmus Mundus Master course’ after official Quality Review assessment by the European Commission.

As a result, the IMFSE program has been formally included to the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees (EMJMD) Catalogue of EACEA (Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency). The IMFSE program scores particularly well in terms of ‘relevance’ and ‘attractiveness’. The major challenge is the attraction of external funding from public/private partners.

Interested parties are encouraged to contact the IMFSE program directors for more details: Prof. Bart Merci (Bart.Merci@UGent.be) Prof. Albert Simeoni (A.Simeoni@ed.ac.uk) and Prof. Patrick van Hees (patrick.van_hees@brand.lth.se).

More information can be found at www.imfse.ugent.be.


Dan Madrzykowski and Steve Kerber Receive IAFC President’s Award

Today at the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Fire Rescue International, SFPE President-Elect Dan Madrzykowski from NIST and SFPE Director Steve Kerber from UL received the IAFC Presidents Award from President Metcalfe for their fire research on structure fires, firefighting tactics and their dedication to making the fire service safer.

More information can be found at http://modernfirebehavior.com/2014/08/14/dan-madrzykowski-and-steve-kerber-receive-iafc-presidents-award/.


You Can Now Follow the NIST Fire Fighting Technology Group on Twitter

The NIST Fire Fighting Technology Group can now be found on Twitter by following @NIST_FIRE or by going to https://twitter.com/NIST_Fire. The Group is using Twitter to share information on current research and activities.

The NIST Fire Fighting Technology Group enables advances in fire fighter safety, fire ground operations, and effectiveness of the fire service; develops and applies technology, measurements and standards, and improves the understanding of the behavior, prevention and control of fires to enhance fire fighting operations and equipment, fire suppression, fire investigations, and disaster response.

More information about the Group can also be found on its website at http://www.nist.gov/fire/technology.cfm.

This website has been developed specifically for fire service users to aid them in getting the information that they can use and in a format that can be shared. Since April of 2000, NIST has distributed hundreds of thousands of videotapes, CDs and DVDs as a means to transfer technology to the fire service, addressing fire phenomena, such as flashover, computer simulations of firefighter line of duty deaths, and new tactics to address the use of PPV in high rises and the use of flow path control techniques and exterior suppression for wind driven fire conditions.



SFPE Announces 2014 Fellows

Bethesda, MD – July 1, 2014 – SFPE has recognized seven of its members as Fellows for 2014. SFPE Fellows represent a distinguished group of members who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession. Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of fire protection engineers as individuals, but also their significant contribution to fire protection engineering and society globally.

The 2014 Honors Committee from SFPE elevated seven members to its prestigious level of Fellow. Out of a total SFPE membership of almost 4,000 there are only 263 fellows.

Robert P. Benedetti, FSFPE
Chapter: New England
Douglas J. Carpenter, FSFPE
Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc.
Chapter: None
April L. Hammond-Berkol, FSFPE
Zurich North America
Chapter: New York Metro
Tom Christman, FSFPE
Self Employed
Chapter: Tennessee Valley
John A. Frank, FSFPE
XL Gaps
Chapter: Greater Atlanta
 J. Gordon Routley, FSFPE
Montreal Fire Department
Chapter: Arizona
David T. Sheppard, FSFPE
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Chapter: None



























“Fellow is the highest membership grade within SFPE,” said SFPE President Carl Baldassarra. “We honor their leadership and contributions to the profession and we are proud that they represent us in engineering a fire safe world.”

SFPE will formally recognize the 2014 Fellows at its Fellow’s Gala Dinner on October 14, 2014, at the SFPE 2014 Conference and Expo in Long Beach, California.

About SFPE
Organized in 1950, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) is the professional organization that represents engineers that engineer a fire safe world. Through its membership of over 4,000 professionals and 76 chapters worldwide, SFPE advances the science and practice of fire protection engineering while maintaining a high ethical standard. SFPE and its members serve to make the world a safer place by reducing the burden of unwanted fire through the application of science and technology. More information about SFPE can be found at www.sfpe.org.


Cal Poly FPE Class of 2014

The Fire Protection Engineering program at Cal Poly is pleased to announce that 17 student (including the 12 pictured here with Professor Christopher Pascual) have successfully completed their MS degree studies and graduated on June 15, 2014. Along with the 2 students who completed their studies in March, this brings the total number of graduates of the FPE program at Cal Poly to 38 over the past three years. The FPE graduate program at Cal Poly was started in 2010 and includes a Master of Science degree program as well as two graduate certificate programs, one in Fire Protection Engineering Science and the other in Fire Protection Engineering Applications. Qualified students can participate in FPE programs either on-campus or on-line. For more information, please visit fpe.calpoly.edu.