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The David A. Lucht Lamp of Knowledge Award
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The David A. Lucht Lamp of knowledge award

The David A. Lucht Lamp of Knowledge Award honors and organization, company, or individual that has contributed substantially to increasing the opportunities for higher education in fire protection engineering. The award is named for David A. Lucht, P.E., FSFPE, in recognition of his 25 years of leadership and dedication to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Center for Firesafety Studies and his tireless efforts on behalf of the fire protection engineering profession.


Lucht served as the head of the WPI graduate degree program in fire protection engineering from the time of its founding in 1979 until his retirement in 2004. During those first 25 years the program grew to become one of the leading programs of its kind, with a corps of talented faculty serving students from nearly thirty countries, worldwide.


Lucht’s preparation for leadership at WPI was enhanced by a diverse background ranging from his first job as an insurance industry field engineer to executive vice president of a consulting engineering firm.  Along the way he served as project engineer running ASTM fire endurance tests at the Ohio State University Building Research Laboratory and later served as the Ohio State Fire Marshal. In 1975 he became the first Senate-confirmed presidential appointee in the U.S. Fire Administration, serving under both Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.


Lucht is a Fellow and Past President of SFPE and has received numerous recognitions for his accomplishments including the SFPE’s Arthur B. Guise Medal & Prize and John L. Bryan Mentor Award and the Institution of Fire Engineers’ David Rasbash Memorial Medal. In retirement he has become an artist and nonfiction story writer; and he volunteers for patients and families affected by Parkinson’s Disease.

2016 Recipient

New Zealand Fire Service Commission (NZFSC) 


The New Zealand Fire Service Commission for over 20 years has funded the NZFSC Lectureship in the fire engineering programme at the University of Caterbury.  In 1993, the commission provided funding for five years for the NZFSC Lectureship and fie scholarship to start a masters degree programme.  The NZFSC continue to annually fund lectureship and scholarships which has enabled the programme to grow to three full time academic staff and two full time technical staff.  With the ongoing support from the NZFSC, the University of Caterbury is building a new fire engineering lab which will include a large scale  4 MW calorimeter, the largest in the southern hemisphere. 


Prior Recipients

  • FM Global (2005)
  • SimplexGrinnell (2006)
  • BRE Trust (2007)
  • ARUP Fire (2008)
  • Rolf Jensen and Associates, Inc. (2009)
  • Brandkonsulten Kjell Fallqvist AB (2010)
  • XL Global Assets Protection Services (2013)
  • Underwriters Laboratories (2014)
  • Koffel Associates (2015)
  • New Zealand Fire Service Commission (NZFSC) (2016)

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