Pre-Conference In-Person Seminars

Please join us for live instructor-led in-person seminars prior to the conference. These SFPE seminars were developed and peer-reviewed by SFPE experts and provide in-depth education on selected topics.

The seminars are available at a discounted rate when bundled with conference registration. To receive the discounted price for pre-conference seminars, simply add the desired seminar to your cart when you register for the conference.

Pre-conference Seminar registrations must be received at the SFPE by September 12, 2022 to ensure that they can be scheduled as planned. No onsite seminar registrations will be accepted. Early Bird Registration pricing ends on Sept. 1, 2022.

When you register, you will receive a confirmation email after your registration has been processed. Approximately two weeks before the conference, all seminar registrants will receive an email with onsite course details and logistics.

SFPE reserves the right to cancel a seminar up to two weeks prior to the event. Questions? Please contact us at

This two-day course is intended for engineers with a strong background in fluid dynamics and fire dynamics. The Fire Dynamics Simulator is the most versatile of the fire models developed by NIST.  The Fire Dynamics Simulator has been used for many types of problems, like sprinkler activation in warehouse fires, tenability in residential fires, and smoke concentration in outdoor pool fires.  The NIST Fire Dynamics Simulator consists of two programs - FDS and Smokeview. The NIST Fire Dynamics Simulator predicts smoke and/or airflow movement caused by fire, wind, ventilation systems etc. Smokeview visualizes the predictions generated by FDS.   
FDS, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model, solves a form of the Navier-Stokes equations appropriate for low-speed, thermally-driven flows of smoke and hot gases generated in a fire.  FDS has integrated sub-models that calculate many fire-related phenomena such as radiative and convective heat transfer, sprinkler activation and sprinkler sprays, mixture fraction combustion model, and many others.  

Bryan Klein
Bryan Klein is the Product Manager at Thunderhead Engineering. He is also an instructor and content developer for SPFE courses and serves on the Board of Governors for the SFPE Foundation.

    This two-day course presents a review of the performance-based design process and its applicability to the design of fire alarm systems. The course covers the developing of a stakeholder committee, refining performance objectives to concrete performance criteria, and developing performance equivalent alternative designs. Fire dynamics and the role of fire modeling in the design process and design documentation are also addressed.
    Target Audience: Fire Protection Engineers (FPEs), Fire Alarm Designers, Code Officials, Plan Reviewers, Design Professionals (Architects/Engineers)

    John M. Cholin, PE
    Mr. John M. Cholin, PE, is President of J.M.Cholin Consultants, Inc., a fire protection consulting and engineering firm. Mr. Cholin received his Bachelors in Chemistry from Colgate University and a Master of Electrical Engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology. He is a Licensed Professional Engineer by the State of Connecticut in the discipline of Fire Protection Engineering.
    Mr. Cholin is the principal of J.M.Cholin Consultants, Inc., focusing primarily on dust explosion hazard management and performance-based design addressing industrial fire protection issues. He holds 12 patents relating to fire protection systems. He is a member of: NFPA and NSPE, a Fellow of theSFPE, and a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Initiating Devices for the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems Code, NFPA Technical Committee on Handling and Conveying of Dusts, Vapors and Gases, NFPA Technical Committee on Wood, Paper and Cellulosic Materials, NFPA Technical Committee on Fundamentals of Combustible Dusts, and NFPA Technical Correlating Committee on Combustible Dusts.
    He has authored four chapters for the 18th, 19th and 20th editions of the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook; He also serves as a seminar instructor for the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, Georgia Tech. and OSHA.

    This 2.5-day course is open to all individuals interested in gaining or refreshing their basic to intermediate knowledge of the principles of fire protection engineering. This course presents the application of science and engineering principles to protect people, property, and their environments from the harmful and destructive effects of fire and smoke. It covers areas of fire detection, suppression, and mitigation as well as human behavior and recommendations on how to maintain a tenable environment for evacuation during a fire scenario. Fire suppression systems components will be examined to include fire science, fire safety design, fire detection, and fire alarm systems, fire suppression systems, automatic sprinkler systems, and smoke control principles. Industry standards and variations will be discussed using NFPA codes and building codes.
    Target Audience: Fire Protection Engineers (FPEs), Fire Alarm Designers, Architectural, Civil, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers.

    William "Bill" Koffel, PE
    Mr. Koffel is President and founder of Koffel Associates, Inc. He is recognized as an expert in the fire protection and life safety aspects of codes and standards.
    Mr. Koffel graduated in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland; earned his Professional Engineering license in the specialty of fire protection engineering in 1983; and worked in private industry as well as in the Maryland State Fire Marshall’s office. Totally committed to the fire protection and life safety industry with its governing codes, standards and design guidelines, he is Past President of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, serves on numerous National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committees, past member of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Advisory Committee on Structural Safety Issues, and is one of a handful of approved NFPA instructors teaching various code-related seminars, nationally and internationally. He has co-authored manuals, including the “Fire Warning and Safety Systems” American Hospital Association manual which is the industry’s guide to selecting, testing, and maintaining fire suppression, fire alarm, and smoke control systems; and has contributed to, or currently serves on, various panels and committees including those for Underwriters Laboratory and the International Code Council (ICC).
    In 1986, he founded Koffel Associates and has presided over its national and international growth to its current staff of 40 people with offices in Maryland, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

    Christine Pongratz, PE
    Christine is currently a Senior Fire Protection Engineer in Los Angeles, California. She has worked for Jensen Hughes for two years, and prior to this she worked in the London, Boston, and Los Angeles office for Arup. Christine studied Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland and has a significant technical understanding in subjects ranging from enclosure fire dynamics, smoke management, human behavior in fire, suppression system design, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), Wildland Urban Interface fires, risk mitigation and resilience strategy. With over 8 years of global experience in Fire and Life Safety consulting, Christine enjoys specializing in smoke control design to inform holistic design strategies on a range of projects worldwide. 

    This newly updated course is designed to provide participants with the tools needed to design and install fire sprinkler systems in accordance with the latest building and fire codes. The course covers introductory aspects that are essential for engineers who are new to sprinkler system design, classification of the hazards and commodities to be protected, confirmation of the hydraulic date and preliminary hydraulic design, and preparation of design documentation. In addition, more advanced topics such as the application of new technologies, protection of high-piled storage, and computer-generated hydraulic calculations are also included.

    Target Audience: Fire Protection Engineers, Sprinkler System Designers, Building Owners and Managers, Building and Fire Inspectors, Mechanical Engineers, Civil Engineers, Electrical Engineers, and Architects

    Scott Futrell, PE
    As President and Founder of Futrell Fire Consult & Design, Inc. Scott Futrell has provided services related to fire code consulting, project management, system design, and loss investigation of fire protection systems for a broad range of building types and system failures since 1989. He is a Fire Protection Engineer registered in the State of Wisconsin and has been in the Fire Protection industry since 1975 (between 1975 and 1989 designing and project managing fire sprinkler systems). Mr. Futrell is a Fellow in the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, a Certified Fire Protection Specialist, a Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, a Senior Engineering Technician (NICET IV), and a Certified Water-Based Systems Designer. Mr. Futrell is a principal member of the NFPA 25 and 96 technical committees as well as a principal member of the International Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Association technical committee.

    Kevin Hall, PE

    Kevin is the Senior Manager of Engineering and Technical Services for the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA). He is a member of, and involved in, several National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) technical committees responsible for developing the model codes and standards including, NFPA 1 Fire Code, NFPA 13/13R/13D Installation of Sprinkler Systems, NFPA 20 Installation of Stationary Fire Pumps for Fire Protection, NFPA 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code, and NFPA 915 Remote Inspections. He also represents AFSA on numerous UL standard technical panels responsible for revising and maintaining the product standards used in the sprinkler industry. He is a registered professional engineer in Delaware and Maryland, NICET III certified in water-based system layout, a Certified Water-Based System Professional (NFPA), and a professional member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Engineering degrees from the University of Maryland, College Park in fire protection engineering. In 2021, he was recognized as one of SFPE's "5 Under 35" award recipients. Prior to his association and committee work, he worked for Reliance Fire Protection in Baltimore, Maryland as a project manager overseeing projects of various sizes and complexity for the Contracts Division.

    Seminar Fees
    Early bird registration rate ends on Sept. 1.

    Pre-conference In-person Seminars



    Early Bird Rate Member

    Early Bird Rate Non-Member

    Regular Rate Member

    Regular Rate


    Introduction to Fire Dynamics Simulator and Smokeview


    8:30AM - 4:30PM





    Principles of Fire Protection Engineering


    8:30AM – 5:00PM & 8:30AM – 11:30AM





    Sprinkler Design for Engineers


    8:30AM – 5:00PM & 8:30AM – 11:30AM





    Registrants will receive $100.00 OFF seminar price when bundled with conference registration. To receive the discounted price for pre-conference seminars, add the desired seminar to your cart when you register for the conference.

    Please contact for discounted group registrations for 3 or more registrants from the same organization.

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