This conference is recognized as the top source of the latest technical information on fire protection engineering issues and emerging trends and research. With more than 200 leading fire safety professionals from Europe and around the globe, the conference offers unparalleled opportunities for networking with peers and exploring new products, technologies, and business opportunities. Additionally, a virtual attendance option is available for individuals unable to travel to Berlin. View a pdf version here.

Speaker Bios


Monday 27 March 


Seminar Registration 


Professional Development Seminar - Introduction to Fire Risk Assessment 
Registration Required – (Day 1 of 2) 

Tuesday 28 March 


Seminar Registration 


Professional Development Seminar – Introduction to Fire Risk Assessment 
(Day 2 of 2) 


Professional Development Seminar - Introduction to Performance-Based Design (Engineering Solutions) and Regulation in Europe - Registration Required - (Day 1 of 1) 


Professional Development Seminar – Human Behavior in Fires - Registration Required - (Day 1 of 1) 


Conference Registration 


Offisite Cocktail Reception (All invited)  (Generously Supported by Jensen Hughes)

Wednesday 29 March 

0700 – 0830 

Expo & Poster Set-up 

0830 – 1700 

Conference Registration 


0900 – 0915 

Opening General Session 

Welcome to the 5th SFPE European Conference on Fire Safety Engineering 

Nicole Boston, SFPE CEO; Jimmy Jӧnsson, SFPE 2023 President; Udo Kirchner & Karl Wallasch, Conference Co-Chairs  

0915 – 1000 

Opening Keynote:  
Competence and Responsibility in the Practice of Fire Safety Engineering 
Jose L Torero, PhD, CEng, FSFPE 
Professional practice requires clear standards of competency. With this competency comes significant responsibility. This presentation will explore the definition of what a competent fire safety engineer is and what responsibilities are assumed by the practitioner through the knowledge and attributes embedded in competent practice. 

1000 – 1030

General Session 

The Changing Role of a Fire Engineer - A Perspective from the UK 

Irene de Lezcano-Mujica Gonzalez, MEng (Hons), AIFireE  

The role of the fire engineer in the UK is changing. Following the Grenfell Tower fire, a public inquiry and an independent review of the Building Regulations and fire safety practice in the UK was commissioned, which identified issues with the competency of all roles within the UK construction industry. This included fire safety engineers, which do not currently have a set of minimum requirements to carry out their profession. Fire safety guidance in the UK, but also in the rest of Europe and worldwide, is shifting to a more performance-based approach. This presentation will discuss new guidance and methods in the UK that aim to assess the competence of what has become an increasingly complex and specialized technical skillset. It will also discuss the main principles and methodology to establish a fire safety specific framework for demonstrating competency.  

1030 – 1100 

Morning Networking Break & Expo456472d9-ca28-49a1-bdf0-e48fd7b26ce6 (Generously Supported by Protectowire)


Breakout Sessions


Track A 

Track B 


Building Fire Protection 

Structural Fire Engineering 

1100 – 1125 

Fire Engineering Analysis on Heritage Industrial Engineering Structures  
Roberto Cerdeiriña, Msc, EUR-ING FEANI, Director, JVVA; Andrea Bartolini, Director Fire Engineering ImTech s.r.l.  

Structural Fire Design of Room Cell Buildings in Steel Construction 
Laura Biermann, M.Sc., Structural Fire Engineer, BFT Planung GmbH 

1125 – 1150 

Car Fires in Multi-story Parking Garages 
Serdar Selamet, PhD, Associate Professor, Bogazici University 

Coupling the Fire Simulation and Structural Analysis through Adiabatic Surface Temperature 
Humza Khan, AIFIreE, GMICE, Jensen Hughes 

1150 – 1215 

Non-propagating Containers: Achieving Risk Reduction in Top-Loading Automatic Storage and Retrieval Systems 
Benjamin Ditch, Sr. Lead Research Engineer, FM Global 

Structural Fire Assessment of an Existing Tunnel Using Performance-based Approach and Design  
Eric Tonicello, Bsc Civil Eng., PEng, Fire and Structural Engineer - Director, ISI - Ingénierie et Sécurité Incendie Sàrl 

1215 – 1315  

Networking Lunch & Expo 

1215 - 1315

SFPE Women in Fire Protection Engineering Networking Lunch

1315 1330 

Sponsored Presentation
Fire Protection for Lithium-ion Battery Energy Storage - A Manageable Fire Risk

Dipl,-Ing. Gerd Hulsen, Head of Fire Safety Application Engineering at Siemens Smart Infrustructure

Learn about the fire hazards that Lithium-ion batter energy storage facilities present including thermal runaway, along with the most effective detection and suppression solutions. Siemens.png

1330 – 1400 

General Session

Application of Fire Safety Engineering in the Building Permission Procedure in the Federal Republic of Germany

Dr. -Ing. Michael Schleich


Breakout Sessions


Track A 

Track B


Building Envelope 

Resilience & Sustainability 

1405 – 1430 

Prioritizing Risk in Existing Buildings with Flammable Facades: Learning from Industry and Research 
Matthew Bonner, PhD, MSci(Hons), AIFireE, Fire Engineer - Research Lead, Trigon Fire Safety LTD 

Fires on Industrial Flat Roofs with Solar Panels: This Is What We Learn from It. 

René de Feijter, Bbe IAAI-CFI, Project Leader Fire Investigations, Efectis Nederland BV 

1430 – 1455 

Flame Length in Ventilated Cavity Walls  

Paul Hoondert, MSc, Consultant Fire Safety Engineering, DGMR Consulting Engineers 

Performance-based Fire Safety Design of Buildings with PV Installations in Norway - key challenges 

Brynhild Garberg Olsø, M.Sc., Research Scientist, SINTEF 

1455 – 1520 

Experimental Investigation of Moisture Content Influence on the Fire Behavior of Modular Living Walls 
Jakub Bielawski, Fire Safety Engineer, Instytut Techniki Budowlanej 

Grand Challenges in Resilience & Sustainability: Developing a 10-year Strategic Plan for the Field 
Natalia Flores Quiroz, PhD, GCI Research Fellow & Post-Doc, Stellenbosch University & Seth E. Sienkiewicz, PE, GCI Resilience & Sustainability Chair & AVP, Sr. Lead Research Engineer, FM Global

Supported by SFPE Foundation

1520 – 1550 

Afternoon Networking Break & Poster Presentations
(Generously Supported by Siemens)


Breakout Sessions


Track A 

Track B   


Building Fire Protection / Digitalization 

Human Behavior / Wildland Fires 

1550 – 1615 

Global Plan for a Decade of Action for Fire Safety - Overview and Current Status 
Brian Meacham, PhD, PE, CEng, EUR ING, FIFire, FSFPE, Managing Principal, Meacham Associates 

Evacuation Behavior in Retirement Facilities 
Anass Rahouti, PhD, Fire Safety Engineer, VK Architects+Engineers 


1615 – 1640 

A methodology for evaluating costs and benefits of fire protection in buildings - conclusions of a review study 

Ruben Van Coile, PhD, Associate Professor, Ghent University 

Lessons for Evacuation Learned from Field Observations of Large Events During the Pandemic 
Steve Gwynne, PhD, Research Lead, Movement Strategies / GHD 

1640– 1705 

Digital Transformation of Fire Safety Engineering Practices 

Melchior Schepers, ir., Project Manager, Jensen Hughes 

A Probabilistic Mesoscopic Model for Fire Evacuation in Large Gatherings 
Lorenzo Contini, MSc, Fire Safety Engineer at CERN, Switzerland

1705 – 1730 

Application of Machine Learning Techniques for Semantic Enrichment of BIM model for development of automated code compliance checker 
Soheila Bigdeli, PhD Candidate, Ghent University & Project Engineer, Jensen Hughes

Simulations of Wind-driven Firebrand Accumulation around Vertical Wall Elements 
Simona Dossi, PhD Candidate / Early Career Researcher, Imperial College London 


1830 – 1945

Offsite Reception hosted by the SFPE and SFPE Germany Chapter4b1c14b8-7daf-40b0-a217-c2ed88d7e43a

Thursday 30 March 

0730 – 1330 

Registration & Expo (expo breakdown after lunch) 

0830 – 0900 

General Session 

Today’s Challenges & Tomorrow’s Triumphs – Exploring our Role as Individuals, as a Profession, and as a Global Society 
Nicole Boston, SFPE CEO; Chris Jelenewicz, PE, FSPFE, SFPE Chief Engineer 

In this era of constant change and constant challenges – where environmental unease and an ever-present focus on sustainability drive our focus toward new ideas, collaboration, and performance – there is a role for each of us as individuals, for our fire protection engineering profession, and for SFPE as our global professional society. With a healthy dose of reality and future-focused outcomes, this talk will explore how you, how our profession, and how SFPE can champion triumphs for tomorrow. 

0900 – 0930 

General Session 
Performance-based Design – Application of Fire Safety Engineering in Germany – Guideline of the German Fire Protection Association 

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. Jochen Zehfuss, Professor and Head of Department of Fire Safety, Institute of Building Materials, Concrete Structures and Fire Safety (iBMB), TU Braunschweig, Germany 

The guideline "Fire Protection Engineering" published by the German Fire Protection Association (GFPA), explains and presents the basic principles, boundary conditions and applications for fire safety engineering methods such as the definition of objectives, fire scenarios, fire and egress simulations and structural fire engineering. Since its first publication in 2006, the guideline has been the essential reference for fire safety engineering methods in German-speaking countries. 

This presentation will discuss the most recent edition (English version published 2022). In addition to the description and evaluation of newly developed approaches and procedures, a focus is placed on the standardization and the improvement of the quality of the verification through suitable validation and documentation.

0930 – 1030 

General Session – Panel Discussion  

Moderated by David Grossmann &  Wojciech Węgrzyński, Dr Hab Inż

Invited Panelists: Peter Holland, CBE QFSM FIFireE (Life); Lucia Ortega, Jimmy Jönsson BSc Fire MSc Risk FSFPE; Prof Bart Merci; Miroslav Gojic

1030 – 1100 

Morning Networking Break & Expo
(Generously Supported by HRS Systems)


Breakout Sessions


Track A

Track B


Mass Timber 

Fire Testing 

1100 – 1125 

Fire Development in Timber Buildings Considering the Structural Fire Load 
Jochen Zehfuß, Prof. Dr., Full Professor and Head of Department Fire Safety, TU Braunschweig; Sven Brunkhorst, M.Sc. 

Addressing Statistical Variation in Furniture-scale Fire Testing 
David Morrisset, PhD Student, The University of Edinburgh 

Supported by SFPE Foundation

1125 – 1150 

Review of Current Understanding of Fire Experiments in Tall Timber Compartments 
Harry Mitchell, PhD Student, Hazelab, Imperial College London, London, UK 

Design and Testing of a Ventilated Wooden Façade for the Plaines-Du-Loup Car Park in Lausanne 
Olivier Burnier, Peng, PFSPE, Expert in fire protection APIB, Fire Safety & Engineering SA 

1150 – 1215 

Can Algorithms Predict the Charring Rate of Timber in Fire? 
Rikesh Amin, PhD Researcher, Imperial College London 

Timber Protected Using Intumescent: Studies on Swelling of Coating and Charring of Timber
Stavros Spyridakis, MSc, MIEAust, CPEng, NER, PhD Candidate, Fire Safety Engineer, The University of Queensland, Arup 

1215 – 1310

Networking Lunch & Expo 

1215 - 1310

Networking Lunch
SFPE101: An Introduction to SFPE for New Members
Join this networking lunch to hear SFPE highlights - perfect for new members looking to learn more about the Society's programs and engagement opportunities (and long-time members looking for a refresher and to meet new members).

1310 – 1325 

Sponsored Presentation

IEEE Standards: Educational Programs & Standards Developing Process

Ernesto Vega Janica, Sr. Manager, IEEE Standards Association
This presentation will provide general guidance and raise awareness of standards content and how educational programs have been evolving.

1325 – 1355 

General Session 

Your SFPE Foundation: Fire Engineering Research, Tools, & Education to Address WUI Fires 

Peter Senez, M.Eng., P.Eng., Chair, SFPE Foundation Board of Governors 

This presentation will provide an overview of the SFPE Foundation’s recent research projects and initiatives aimed at developing fire engineering expertise and tools in the SFPE Research Roadmap area of Wildfires/Wildland-Urban Interface Fires. Participants will learn about: (1) the findings of the SFPE Foundation’s WUI Working Group Initiative, an effort to scope out areas where practicing fire engineers can contribute globally to addressing the problem of fire and related hazards in the WUI, including next steps in developing industry-wide guidance and tool development; and (2) how the SFPE Foundation is drawing on fire engineering-based science and expertise to develop risk assessment and mitigation guidance and training for fire service personnel conducting property risk assessments in WUI areas. The presentation will conclude with opportunities to get involved for a global audience.  

1355 – 1425 

General Session  

The Importance of Competency in Fire Safety Engineering 

Prof. Bart Merci 

Fire safe designs for modern complex buildings often require a performance-based design approach. Many decisions must be made, and the overall design must be assessed. This requires competency in Fire Safety Engineering. The presentation will address some thoughts hereon. 

1425 – 1440 

Afternoon Break PeerlessPump.png
(Generously Supported by Peerless Pump)


Breakout Sessions


Track A 

Track B


Mass Timber/Structural Fire Engineering 

Fire Dynamics/Smoke Control 

1440 – 1505 

Application of Performance-based Fire Design in Timber Projects in Finland
Mikko Salminen, PhD, Markku Kauriala Ltd Fire Engineering and Fire Safety Consultants


PyroProBiD - Development of a Pyrolysis Prognosis Model for Biogenic Insulation Materials 
Patrick Sudhoff, MSc, Research Associate, Magdeburg-Stendal University of Applied Sciences 

1505 – 1530 

The Coupling Effect of Fire Protection and Traveling Fire Spread Rate on Steel-composite Structures: A Numerical Investigation  
Zhuojun Nan, BEng, MSc, PhD Candidate, Hong Kong Polytechnic University 

Roof Aerodynamics and Smoke Ventilators - Escaping the Discharge Coefficient Paradigm 
Wojciech Węgrzyński, Dr Hab Inż., Professor of ITB, Instytut Techniki Budowlanej 

1530 – 1555 

Grand Challenges in Energy & Infrastructure: Developing a 10-year Strategic Plan for the Field  
Enrico Danzi, PhD, GCI Research Fellow & Post-Doc, Politecnico di Torino & Kieran Ager, PEng, GCI Energy & Infrastructure Chair & Technical Director/Branch Manager – Calgary, LMDG

Supported by SFPE Foundation

Sensitivity analysis of simulation input parameters, a comparison between flame spread and cone calorimeter setups 
Tassia Quaresma, MSc Chemical Engineer, Doctoral researcher, Forschungszentrum Jülich 

1600 – 1645 

Closing Keynote: 

Regulating Fire Safety in England 

Peter Holland, CBE QFSM FIFireE (Life) 

1645 – 1700 

Summary & Closing Remarks 

Udo Kirchner & Karl Wallasch, Conference Co-Chairs 

David Grossmann, SFPE Europe Chair 

1700 – 1800 

Closing Reception  


Thank You to Our Sponsors


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