SFPE Volunteers Make a Big Difference
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
People are buzzing about volunteering these days, and with good reason: Studies show that volunteering strengthens the industry, is good for your health, and can even help you land a new job!
However, in our time-demanding profession, it can be challenging to find an opportunity that allows you to give back in a way that fits your busy schedule and makes the best use of your talents, while giving you the opportunity to bolster your professional reputation and possibly learn new skills. How many types of volunteer opportunities really fit that bill?
Well, depending on what type of experience you’re looking for, the Society has plenty of options. Below are our five SFPE Standing Committees, and their respective committee’s current activities, to consider joining. Each offers different types and levels of commitment and participation to fit your needs.
Committee participation is a benefit of SFPE membership. If you are interested in learning more or joining, please complete this short online application form.
Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
If you wish to apply to participate on any of the following, complete this online application indicating you want to join the CPD Standing Committee.
Course Content and Delivery (CCD) Subcommittee
The CCD subcommittee oversees the Society’s educational offerings. With the recent publication of SFPE’s “Recommended Minimum Technical Core Competencies for the Practice of Fire Protection Engineering,” this group is aligning our course content with this document. We are seeking member volunteers to help develop this “core curriculum” around the core competencies. While the content development will be done through Content Development Teams, CCD members are expected to participate through leading these teams.
- Content Development Teams (CDTs)
CDTs are focused task groups that review and develop content on specific topics. Our current CDTs include: Human Behavior, Fire Sprinklers, Alarm and Detection, Principles of Fire Protection, Smoke Control and Practical Chemistry for FPE Teams. These teams will develop content, based on guidance given by the CCD subcommittee, ranging from 1-hour elearning modules to multi-day in-person courses. We are seeking members to participate in the six CDTs listed above.
Conferences, Workshops and Symposia (CWS) Subcommittee
The CWS subcommittee provides recommendations on what conferences, workshops, and symposia the Society needs to be hosting to meet the body of knowledge transfer and continuing education needs of members worldwide. Once determined, the members select which specific program committees they wish to serve on.
- Annual Conference & Expo Program Committee (2019 Arizona, 2020 Atlanta, 2021 Vancouver)
- European Fire Safety Engineering Conference & Expo Planning Committee (May 2019 in Malaga Spain)
- International Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods Conference Planning Committee (May 2020 in Auckland New Zealand)
Emerging Professionals of SFPE (EPS) Subcommittee
The EPS subcommittee is comprised of members early in their fire protection engineering career with the goal of engaging their peers within SFPE as well as providing content and materials needed during the early stages of one's career. This subcommittee is looking for members who are interested in identifying the needs of emerging professionals as well as developing content for the group. Current activities include designing a networking event and content track at the Annual Conference, creating a “5 Under 35 Award,” and identifying opportunities to engage the next generation of fire protection and fire safety engineers within the Society.
PE Exam Review Subcommittee
With the PE Exam moving to Computer-Based Testing (CBT) in 2020, the PE Exam Review subcommittee seeks members to contribute to the update on both the SFPE PE Reference Manual (5th Edition) as well as updating the PE Exam Review Course.
Membership and Chapter Relations (CMC)
If you wish to apply to participate on any of the following, complete this online application indicating you want to join the CMC Standing Committee.
This subcommittee only meets via conference call quarterly and is in need of member volunteers to review and recommend to the Board of Directors the Society’s annual award recipients that are given out at the
Chapters Relations Subcommittee
This subcommittee is responsible for looking at ways to strengthen and better align the Society’s mission with the network of over 100 SFPE chapters worldwide.
Membership Growth and Engagement Subcommittee
This subcommittee is seeking member talent that thinks outside the box on ways to recruit new members, recommends changes in membership criteria and benefits, and identifies new products and services to deliver a strong value proposition to existing members.
This subcommittee evaluates applications from Member to Professional Member and also evaluates nominations for the grade of Fellow. Their selections are put forward to the Board of Directors for final approval.
Outreach and Advocacy (COA)
If you wish to apply to participate on any of the following, complete this online application indicating you want to join the COA Standing Committee.
Fire Service Subcommittee
This subcommittee is a diverse group of SFPE members that all have an interest in the advancing cooperation and communication between the fire service and the fire protection engineering profession. Working with research, emerging trends, and hot topics, where applicable, engineering information is transferred to the fire service.
Student Outreach Subcommittee
This subcommittee helps developing materials that can be used to help students learn about fire protection engineering. Volunteer members work with student outreach programs such as the annual Future City Competition and bi-annual Engineering and Science Festival. Materials and resources are gathered to disseminate to middle schoolers, high schoolers, and college students.
Strategic Alliances Task Group
This task group helps coordinate agreements between the Society and industry organizations that have a common goal to share resources, or to undertake a specific, mutually beneficial common goal to further the missions of both entities.
Public Policy Task Group
This task group helps developing efforts to improve relationships and policies impacting fire protection. Member volunteers collaborate with other organizations to improve public policies, such as with ICC and NFPA.
Women in Engineering
This is a special interest group of SFPE members that supports women in fire engineering and fire sciences. Members will support women in the fire protection engineering industry and support women around the globe to pursue their career aspirations in engineering.
Professional Qualifications (CPQ)
If you wish to apply to participate on any of the following, complete this online application indicating you want to join the CPQ Standing Committee.
Higher Education Subcommittee
This subcommittee is comprised of member volunteers with an interest, experience or expertise in the development and promotion of new and existing programs and courses at the university level in fire protection engineering. The subcommittee helps develop programs and materials to promote career opportunities within the profession.
PE Exam Development Subcommittee
This subcommittee for PE Exam Development is comprised of member volunteers who are licensed Professional Engineers (P.E.) with technical subject matter expertise in fire protection engineering and have competency in developing and determining the standard of minimum competence for licensing fire protection engineers. They are also responsible for sustaining an engineering licensure examination within the standards (e.g. item quality and quantity, testing format, test specification refresh frequency, clean audit statement, etc.) established by the United States (U.S.) National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).
Professional Competency & Credentialing Subcommittee
This subcommittee evaluates and determines the attributes of minimal competence for fire protection engineers. They are also responsible for evaluating minimum occupational competency standards, licensing, and credentialing criteria for fire protection and fire safety engineers in parts of the world that do not presently recognize and/or use the U.S. engineering licensure.
Professional Ethics and Standard of Conduct Subcommittee
This subcommittee provides support in the Society’s efforts to establish and promote the profession’s Code of Ethics and provide impartial evaluations on questions of ethics within the profession.
Research, Tools & Methods (RTM)
If you wish to apply to participate on any of the following, complete this online application indicating you want to join the RTM Standing Committee.
Codes and Standards Liaison (SCCSL) Subcommittee
The SCCSL promotes the use of fire safety engineering data, tools and methods within building codes and standards. The SCCSL is responsible for facilitating the adoption of SFPE standards and guidelines into building regulations, codes and standards. The subcommittee will begin exploring a strategy of getting more SFPE standards and guidelines referenced in codes and standards outside the US and is looking for members who practice outside the US to help us with this effort.
Research & Innovation (SCRI) Subcommittee
This subcommittee is seeking members with a research or technology development background, a desire to help chart future research priorities for the profession, and an interest in working with other groups, companies, and associations to obtain input for, and communicate back, SFPE research priorities and directions for the future.
Standards and Guidelines Development (SCSGD) Subcommittee
This subcommittee includes the Standards Committees (SCs) and Task Groups (TGs) which develop specific, topic-oriented SFPE standards and guidelines. SCs and TGs are not standing committees, and as such are established as needed solely for the development and maintenance of SFPE standards and guidelines.
- Standards Committee on Performance-Based Design
The SFPE Standards Oversight Subcommittee recently approved starting a committee to draft a Performance-Based Design Standard. This standard will define the process for implementing a performance-based approach in the design and/or assessment of building fire safety within both prescriptive and performance-based code systems. The standard is intended to be used in the development of alternate or equivalent means of protection to the prescriptive code requirements, especially in cases where no specific building and fire regulations apply. It is also intended to be used where protection features are intended or desired to exceed the applicable building and fire regulations. The standard will provide a framework for preparing a performance-based design for use in the regulatory process, including required technical documentation and design submittals as well as future reviews of existing conditions subject to the authority having jurisdiction. The standard will have appendices with similar content to what was provided in the SFPE Guide to Performance-Based Design, 2nd edition. For example, it will provide practical information to assist design professionals on how to prepare, and authorities having jurisdiction on how to review a performance-based design. We are seeking subject matter experts to participate on this standards committee.
Peer Review Task Group
- Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings Task Group
This task group is drafting the second edition of the Engineering Guide on Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings. They will address the complex fire protection challenges of very tall buildings and provide information on the special topics that affect the fire safety performance of very tall buildings and their occupants during a fire. The task group is looking for members who represent the producer, manufacturer, insurer, code official / Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), and building owners.
The SFPE Standards Oversight Subcommittee has recently approved forming a new technical document task group that will be charged with revising the SFPE Guide for Peer Review in the Fire Protection Design Process (2009). This guide addresses the initiation, scope, conduct, and report of a peer review of a fire protection engineering design. The task group is looking for members who represent the producer, manufacturer, insurer, code official / Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), and building owners.