SFPE Nelson Nelson Award for Inspired Service

The Board of Directors created the Harold E. Nelson Service Award in 1987 to recognize dedicated and inspired service to the ideals and goals of the Society. The award is named after Harold E. "Bud" Nelson, P.E., whose unparalleled fire protection engineering and Society careers are truly worthy of emulation.

Harold E. Nelson, P.E., known to most as "Bud," served as director of the Accident and Fire Prevention Division at the General Services Administration and was its principal engineer and advisor on all safety and fire-related issues. From 1975 until his retirement in 1992, Nelson served as senior research engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) where he developed a series of hazard grading systems that are now accepted as national codes. He also generated simple engineering equations for measuring fire hazard and the impact of fire safeguards and produced the initial version of a computerized analytic hazard appraisal system incorporating current engineering state-of-the-art practice and applying this system to fire incident analysis.

Nelson received his B.S. in fire protection and safety engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and served as President of SFPE from 1983-1985.

2024 Recipient


Greg Baker, PhD, FIEAust, CPEng, PMSFPE

Prior Recipients

  • Harold E. Nelson, P.E. (1987)
  • Donald J. Keigher, P.E. (1988)
  • John J. Ahern, P.E. (1989)
  • Jack Bono, P.E. (1990)
  • Rolf Jensen, P.E. (1991)
  • Joseph E. Johnson, P.E. (1992)
  • David A. Lucht, P.E. (1993)
  • James A. Nolan, P.E. (1994)
  • Ralph E. Collins, III, P.E. (1995)
  • Kenneth W. Dungan, P.E. (1996)
  • Richard LP P. Custer, M.S. (1997)
  • Phillip J. DiNenno, P.E. (1998)
  • Arthur E. Cote, P.E. (1999)
  • James R. Quiter, P.E. (2000)
  • John E. "Jack" Woycheese, P.E. (2001)
  • James A. Milke, P.E., Ph.D. (2002)
  • Robert M. Gagnon, P.E. (2003)
  • David D. Evans, P.E., Ph.D., FSFPE (2004)
  • Craig L. Beyler, Ph.D., FSFPE (2005)
  • Professor W. K. Chow (2006)
  • Doug Brandes, P.E., FSFPE (2007)
  • Thomas Izbicki, P.E. (2008)
  • Dr. Kazunori Harada, Eng (2009)
  • Brian M. McGraw, P.E. (2010)
  • John McCormick, P.E. (2011)
  • Randal G. Brown, P.Eng., P.E., FSFPE (2012)
  • David W. Frable (2013)
  • William A. Webb, P.E., FSFPE (2014)
  • Richard J. Davis, P.E., FSFPE (2015)
  • Brian J. Meacham, Ph.D., P.E., FSFPE (2016
  • Daniel Madrzykowski, P.E., FSFPE (2017)
  • Kenneth E. Isman, P.E., FSFPE (2018)
  • J. Sargent "Sarge" Slicer, FSFPE (2019)
  • Jeffrey L. Harrington, P.E., FSFPE (2020)
  • Mark E. Fessenden (2021)
  • Sean S. Donohue, PE, PEng, FSFPE (2022)
  • Michael A. Crowley, PE, FSFPE (2023)