Speakers

Adam Barowy, Research Engineer, UL, LLC
Adam Barowy is a Research Engineer in UL’s Fire Research and Development group. Adam works to develop and implement UL Standards and Test Methods, and to support UL’s testing of new and innovative fire protection products. Adam is currently involved in testing li-ion products, including the development of UL 9540A and large scale testing of ESS. Prior to UL, Adam worked in the Fire Fighting Technology Group at NIST where he developed data from full-scale fire experiments of acquired structures to enable improved firefighting tactics, reconstructed line of duty death/injury fire incidents, and evaluated PPE technology. Adam graduated from WPI with a MS FPE degree and volunteered for Amherst Fire Department while pursuing his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at UMass.

Eyosias Beneberu, PhD, PE, Structural Engineer, Bridgefarmer & Associates
Dr. Eyosias Beneberu is a Structural Engineer at Bridgefarmer and Associates and a Research Engineer Scientist at the University of Texas at Arlington Civil Engineering Department. He has vast experience working in the industry as well as in academia for more than 10 years. His areas of research include repair and rehabilitation of structures, structural fire engineering, and health monitoring of bridges.

Justin Biller, PE, CHFM, CFPS, CLSS-HC, Senior Life Safety Engineer, Carilion Clinic
Justin Biller is the Senior Life Safety Engineer for Carilion Clinic, a healthcare clinic organization that includes a renowned teaching hospital and service to nearly 1 million Virginians. In this role as a fire protection and life safety engineer, he provides in-house consultative support in building, fire and life safety code compliance for project design and construction, as well as facility survey readiness assessment. Mr. Biller is also owner and principal fire protection engineer of Emerson Graham + Associates – a fire protection engineering and code consultancy firm, Technical Director of AEGIS, a fire barrier management inspection agency, adjunct faculty for Eastern Kentucky University in fire protection engineering technology, and a life safety code surveyor with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). Justin holds registration as a professional fire protection engineer in multiple states including GA, NC, NY and VA. Additionally, he is a Certified Healthcare Facilities Manager (CHFM) from the American Hospital Association, and both a Certified Life Safety Specialist - Healthcare (CLSS-HC) and a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In addition to SFPE, Justin is also a professional member of the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) and NFPA.

Haavard Boehmer, PE, Senior Engineer, Combustion Science & Engineering, Inc
Haavard R. Boehmer, PE, is a Fire Protection Engineer with over 10 years of diverse experience applying fire and evacuation models for design, forensic and research projects to analyze problems such as smoke spread, gas dispersion, heat transfer, sprinkler activation, and occupant tenability in commercial buildings as well as nuclear generating plants and industrial facilities. Research includes limited ventilation compartment fires, effects of sloped ceilings on sprinkler activation, incapacitation of smoke alarms, and gas dispersion modeling..

Warren Bonisch, PE, Vice President, JENSEN HUGHES
Mr. Bonisch is responsible for consulting activities in fire protection and life safety issues. As Vice President, Mr. Bonisch directs project teams, and maintains client relationships for a variety of commercial, governmental and institutional clients. Project work includes mercantile facilities, health care, correctional, and judicial facilities, multi-use projects, hotels, convention centers, office buildings, shopping malls, and colleges. As project manager, his work includes the development and presentation of equivalencies, variances, fire testing, computer modeling, code interpretations and accessibility code compliance, sprinkler designs, & reviews.

Chuck Boyte, PE, CFPS, Global Account Executive, SOMPO International
Chuck is a licensed Professional Engineer in fire protection and has his Certified Fire Protection Specialists designation from the NFPA. He received his BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and has a MS in Information Systems Management from Christian Brothers University. He is a long time member of the SFPE and NFPA and is a Past President of the Middle Tennessee Chapter. Chuck has spent his career in the property insurance loss prevention industry with more than 15-years of concentration in automotive assembly facilities. In addition to the US, he has visited automotive sites in Mexico, Japan, France and Brazil.

Kyle Chandler, PE, CEO, Chief Fire Technologies/Chief Fire and Rescue
Kyle Chandler is the CEO of Chief Fire, a manufacturer of mobile firefighting systems located outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Before founding the company in 2011, he served as Principal Engineer on various projects contracting with the US Department of Defense as well as a Research and Development Engineer for United Technologies. Mr. Chandler also served as the Chief Research and Development Engineer for Kidde Firefighting (National Foam) primarily focused on their “Big Flow” product line He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Pennsylvania and has his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and a Masters in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Russell Fleming, PE, Managing Director, International Fire Suppression Alliance
Russ Fleming is serving as a consulting Managing Director for the International Fire Suppression Alliance, a non-profit organization committed to globally promoting the use of effective water-based fire suppression systems. A Fellow and past president of the SFPE, his 40-year career with the National Fire Sprinkler Association in the United States centered on standards development, research and technology transfer through numerous publications, including chapters in the NFPA and SFPE handbooks.

Juan Font-Rivera, PE, Engineer, United States Air Force
Juan Font is an engineer and Subject Matter Expert for the United States Air Force (USAF), Support Equipment and Vehicles Program Office at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex, Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia USA. Mr. Font provides engineering support in the acquisition and sustainment of Noise Suppressors (Hush Houses) and engine test stands for military jets and turboprop engines. He has been working for the US Air Force since 2002 in a variety of positions related to electronic warfare systems, facilities design and maintenance, and jet engine testing equipment. Juan has a Master’s degree in Engineering Management, a Bachelors’ in Mechanical Engineering, and a combined experience of 20 years of private and government work industry.

Adam Graybeal, PE, Registered Fire Protection Engineer, Koffel Associates
Adam Graybeal is a Registered Fire Protection Engineer in the state of Maryland. Adam started his career in fire protection engineering as an intern at Koffel Associates in 2009. Upon graduating with a B.S. in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park, Adam started full time at Koffel Associates and has worked there since. Adam works primarily on projects for health care facilities all over the United States and has traveled overseas to perform life safety assessments in the Middle East and present at the SFPE Performance Based Design Conference Warsaw, Poland in 2016. Adam specializes in: Fire protection and life safety surveys; Building, life safety, and fire code analysis; Life Safety Code® Assessments, including Joint Commission Statement of Conditions™ preparation; Fire protection risk and systems safety analysis; Fire safety equivalency development including the use of Fire Safety Evaluation Systems (FSES).

David Icove, PhD, FSFPE, Professor of Practice, University of Tennessee
The Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Professor of Practice at the University of Tennessee, Dr. Icove is an internationally recognized forensic fire engineering expert with over 40 years of experience. Dr. Icove holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from The University of Tennessee. He also holds a B.S. degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a Fellow in the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, a Senior Life Member in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and a Board-Certified Fellow and Diplomate in the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE).

Alan Johnston, BSME, President, Hydratec, Inc.

Alan Johnston has been the president of Hydratec, Inc. since 1972. Beginning with providing sprinkler system design services, Hydratec went on to develop software for hydraulic analysis, material fabrication and AutoCAD and Revit based design of fire protection sprinkler systems. Alan holds a BS in mechanical engineering and has been involved in design, programming, training and support within Hydratec. Alan is also the holder of several US patents including one to simplify the retrofit of sprinkler systems into single family houses. Alan has provided advanced training on the latest features of the HydraCAD software to groups of existing users in cities around the United States and Canada, as well as teaching classes on hydraulic calculations. His passionate interest in the use of BIM related software in the design of fire sprinkler systems has been an important application of his more than 45 years of experience in this industry.

Katelynn Kapalo, M.S., Human-Computer Interaction Research Assistant, University of Central Florida

Katelynn Kapalo is a doctoral student in the Modeling and Simulation graduate program at the University of Central Florida. She has previously worked as a contract Research Psychologist with the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division in Orlando, FL and as a Naval Research Enterprise Intern at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA where she participated in the coordination and execution of the Joint Interagency Field Experimentation (JIFX) program. JIFX is a series of quarterly field exercises designed to fill capability gaps for the United States Unified Combatant Commands (COCOMs). Katelynn has experience conducting hazard analysis for several counties in Central Florida and coordinating training exercises for the hazardous materials first responder community. In addition, she has conducted a technology needs assessment with fire battalions as part of her doctoral research on 3D user interfaces and emerging technology for first responders. She received her master’s in Modeling and Simulation from the University of Central Florida in 2015. She has published papers in venues focused on the advancement of technology in safety-critical domains.

Amanda Kimball, PE, Research Director, Fire Protection Research Foundation

Amanda Kimball is the Research Director at the Fire Protection Research Foundation, an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association, where she is responsible for projects relating to suppression, fire alarm, and building life safety. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Mrs. Kimball’s professional background includes fire protection engineering consulting with experience in building code life safety analyses, design of fire protection systems, and fire and egress modeling of buildings and subway stations. She is a registered Professional Fire Protection Engineer in the state of Massachusetts..

Jeremy Knoll, LEED, AP, BNIM
Jeremy Knoll is a Project Manager at BNIM with a deep passion for green building and social equity. His work includes a wide range of project types, from hotels, to zoo exhibits, schools, and housing. His recent work includes the revitalization of a number of historic buildings in Kansas City, Missouri. Through his focus on building performance and human health, Jeremy has lead a growing conversation around the connection between building materials and systems and first-responder health. Jeremy serves as the Chair of the Central Plains US Green Building Council community, as an active Board member with Kansas City’s minority workforce development focused ReEngage Inc., and with the Public Interest Design focused national DesignCorps Board of Directors.

Jaewook Kwon, PE, Senior Fire Engineer, Arup

Jaewook is a Senior Fire Engineer in Arup's New York office holding BS/MS degrees in a fire protection engineering at WPI. Jaewook has a strong background of fire engineering and has strength in performance-based designs utilizing advanced analytical techniques including CFD and egress modeling. Jaewook has also provided code consulting services with the understanding of the intent of code provisions. He has been heavily engaged in performance-based fire engineering analyses, including fire modeling studies, fire scenarios evaluations, timed egress analyses, structural fire study, and hazard assessment involved in various areas including mixed-use, residential, commercial, performing art centers, high-rise buildings, train stations, and airports.

David Laks, P.Eng., RRC, CFPS, ARM
David Laks is Vice President of Risk Control Services at HUB International Ltd. whose responsibilities include providing risk control, safety, property, environmental, risk management, claims management, and workers’ compensation reduction guidance to HUB’s clients. David has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil from McGill University. He is a Professional Engineer (P. Eng.) registered in Ontario, a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS), Associate in Risk Management (ARM),and a Registered Roof Consultant (RRC) from the Roof Consultants Institute. David holds the distinction of being the first Canadian with the title of RRC. His previous experience includes design, installation supervision, and development of maintenance programs for a variety of commercial building envelope systems. He was also a project manager for several construction projects, including a $46 million plant renovation and $5 million roof replacement project. Prior to joining HUB, David was the Loss Control Manager for a Fortune 500 manufacturing company. His unique experience from the insurance, building consulting/design, and client perspective will provide for an interactive, fast paced discussion on the topic.

Chris Lautenberger, PhD, PE, Principle Engineer, Reax Engineering Inc.

Chris Lautenberger is a Fire Protection Engineer based in Northern California. He received a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and an MS in Fire Protection Engineering from WPI. His areas of specialization include materials' flammability, fire modeling, and forensic fire reconstruction. Chris has co-taught Masters-level courses in Fire Dynamics and Fire Modeling in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

John LeBlanc, Principal Standards Engineer, FM Global

John LeBlanc is a Staff Vice President and Principal Standards Engineer within the Engineering Standards group of FM Global. John has been with FM Global for 34 years. John is responsible for the development and updating of FM Global’s Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets on ignitable liquid handling/storage, providing guidance on the development of other engineering standards and the development of fire test programs. John received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and a Masters of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He serves on ten National Fire Protection Association committees including those responsible for flammable liquids (30), aerosols (30B), and explosion prevention (67/68/69). John is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

Thomas May, MS, JD, Attorney of Law, Certified Fire Investigator, Law Offices of Thomas R. May
Thomas R. May has extensive experience in all facets of the fire service industry with over 29 years of involvement in fire/investigations related fields. He is a licensed attorney who specializes in cold case forensic fire/explosion investigations, litigation, and representation of expert witnesses facing Daubert or similar challenges. Mr. May also provides expert witness testimony and performs NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033-based peer and file reviews for insurance companies and attorneys. He is a frequent lecturer an active author and researcher in the area of forensic fire science and law and teach fire-related subject areas as an adjunct professor. Mr. May routinely advise Innocence Projects worldwide in matters involving fire-related forensics. In 2008-09, he served in Iraq as a Forensic Fire Investigator for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and Task Force SAFE.

Daniel O’Connor, PE, Vice President, JENSEN HUGHES
Daniel J. O'Connor, PE is Vice President of Jensen Hughes, Inc. where he provides technical leadership and expertise to staff on a company-wide basis often in the areas of fire modeling, human behavior, and new fire protection technologies and research-related projects. He provides leadership on engineering and sales activities for high-profile projects and new market initiatives by the firm. In addition to serving as Chair of the National Fire Code, NFPA 72, Committee on Initiating Devices he is a member of several other NFPA Committees. Mr. O'Connor is Chair of the SFPE Task Group on Human Behavior; and a past Co-Chair of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats (CTBUH) Fire Safety Working Group. Mr. O’Connor has authored chapters in both the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook and the SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering. Mr. O'Connor earned his Master of Science degree in fire protection engineering at the University of Maryland. He is a registered professional engineer in Illinois and Kansas and a Fellow of the SFPE.

William Pittman, PhD, Fire and Gas Detection Consultant, Micropack Detection (Americas)
Dr. Pittman holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University and received the university’s Safety Engineering Certificate in August 2015. His doctoral research investigated the potential for micro-emulsion formation and phase inversion within semi-batch mixed-acid nitration of Toluene. He has 10 years of experience with process safety research working mostly with Texas A&M’s Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center (MKOPSC). He has worked in process safety consulting and incident investigation for 5 years. After receiving his doctorate, he briefly served as a post-doctoral research scientist with MKOPSC before joining Smith and Burgess to work as a safety relief engineer. He now works with Micropack Detection (Americas) as a Fire and Gas Detection Consultant and Risk Analyst.

Katherine Pothier, PE, Senior Fire Protection Engineer, Fisher Engineering, Inc.

Katie has a M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering from WPI and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT. She is on the NFPA committee for Testing and Maintenance of Fire Alarm and Signaling Systems (SIG-TMS) and an alternate on the Industrial, Storage, and Miscellaneous Occupancies (BLD-IND) and Industrial, Storage, and Miscellaneous Occupancies (SAF-IND) committees. She is also the current 1st Vice President for the Greater Atlanta Chapter of SFPE. With more than a decade of experience in the field of fire protection engineering, Katie has extensive knowledge and expertise in the design, inspection, and analysis of fire protection systems, interpretation and enforcement of fire codes, life safety/building code surveys, and fire hazard analysis. She has been the fire protection engineer for projects related to tire manufacturing and heavy industrial facilities. Katie’s fire protection expertise includes a wide range of facility types, including high- and moderate-hazard industrial and storage, assembly, higher education, K-12 education, day-care, residential (hotel, dormitory, and apartments), office, high-rise, special structures (aircraft control towers), and historic facilities. She has experience with a variety of systems, including sprinkler, AFFF, Hi-Ex, fire alarm and detection, clean agent, smoke control, life safety, fire pump, water tank, and standpipe systems.

John Regan, Research Engineer, UL FSRI
John Regan is a Research Engineer with the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI). His work there included a study evaluating the performance of SCBA facepieces when subjected to repeated thermal exposures. Jack went on to complete his M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland, where he graduated in 2017. His work has focused on training fires and victim tenability. Jack is currently a volunteer Firefighter/EMT with the College Park Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, MD.

Bob Renton. CFPS, Senior Code Consultant, Henderson Engineers
Bob Renton is currently a Senior Code Consultant at Henderson Engineers. His formal education includes Bachelors and Master’s Degrees in Public Administration with specialized credentials including, Certified Fire Protection Specialist – NFPA, Certified Building Code Official, and Certified Fire Code Official – International Code Council, and the Fire Marshal (FM) designation from the Center for Public Service Excellence. Bob has been and continues to be a leader serving in various capacities at local, regional, and national levels. He recently completed two, two-year terms, as the President of the Kansas Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators and continues to chair the Fire Research Committee for the chapter. Bob retired from the fire service with more than 25 years of experience which included fire suppression activities, fire origin and cause investigations, and the review of hundreds of projects for building/fire code, life safety systems, and suppression/detection systems compliance. As an internationally credentialed Certified Fire Investigator (CFI) through the International Association of Arson Investigators, Bob has been involved with hundreds of fire and explosion investigations, in both the public and private sectors and has conducted dozens of live fire burn tests.

Christina Saunders, Graduate Student, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Christina Saunders is an engineer with over 35 years of experience in the building industry. She has been a licensed General Contractor in North Carolina for the past 25 years and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. Currently, Ms. Saunders is a Master student in the Fire Protection program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her research focuses on the fire hazards of green building initiatives in the built environment, with an emphasis on a multi-criteria decision analysis and risk-based structure for the facade. Ms. Saunders has extensive knowledge in aluminum composite material and the cladding industry overall. She assists architects, contractors and engineers with building envelop designs, concentrating on the synergistic effect of the systems. She has lead project teams involving code compliance, product certifications, testing, sustainability, and performance-based designs. Recent research includes the fire performance of aluminum composite material in a dynamic building envelope and a quantification method of the fire hazard of green building initiatives on a tall wood building. Ms. Saunders is an advocate of an integrated approach to design and construction; Christina’s broad background uniquely qualifies her to facilitate the global perspective needed to deliver safer structures in the built environment.

Ronnie Thomas, PE, Associate, Reax Engineering Inc.
Ronnie Thomas is a Fire Protection Engineer based in Northern California. He received his MS in Fire Protection Engineering from WPI. His areas of specialization include smoke control, fire modeling and performance-based code compliance. He has been actively involved in cannabis-related projects for over 10 years in California, Nevada and Oregon.


Andrew Valente, PE, FSFPE, Project Director, JENSEN HUGHES
Andrew Valente is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s 

prestigious Department of Fire Protection Engineering. He started his 

career as a Fire Inspector and Plan Reviewer with the City of Gainesville, Florida and is now a Project Director for JENSEN HUGHES. He has provided services related to all facets of FPE, including code consulting, systems design and performance -based design. He has been involved in testing, inspection and commissioning of fire protection systems, since before it was called commissioning..

Joseph Willi, EIT, Research Engineer, UL
Joseph began his fire research career in 2012 as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, where his primary research work focused on characterizing the immediate thermal environment of a firefighter during live-fire training. After obtaining his Bachelor's Degree in General engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Joe worked as a Fire Protection Engineer in the Fire Fighting Technology Group of the Fire Research Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His work at NIST covered numerous fire research topics, including fire model validation, firefighter personal protective equipment performance testing, and the evaluation of firefighting tactics. While at NIST, he earned an M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. Joseph joined the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute as a Research Engineer in April 2017 and continues to work diligently on research projects that benefit the fire service and increase firefighter safety.

Rosalie Wills, PE, Fire Engineer, Arup
Rosalie Wills is a Fire Engineer within the DC office of Arup. She studied Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland and received a Bachelor of Science in 2013 and a Master of Science in 2015. During her graduate studies, she had two fire research projects, one on photovoltaics and one on cyber-physical systems for fire safety. Since starting at Arup in 2015, Rosalie has worked on many different projects of various occupancies in various states and has a particular interest in fire modeling. She has stayed involved with the fire protection community by being a member on the board of the Chesapeake Chapter of SFPE and the UMD Alumni Club.

Xiangyang Zhou, PhD, Senior Lead Research Scientist, FM Global

Dr. Xiangyang Zhou is Senior Lead Research Scientist at FM Global. He has been working in the field of fire science for 20 years. After joining FM Global in 2006, his research focuses on experimental investigation of warehouse fire protection, water spray droplet formation, and interaction of water droplet with gas and solid phase combustion.