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The David A. Lucht Lamp of Knowledge Award

The David A. Lucht Lamp of Knowledge Award honors an organization, company, or individual that has contributed substantially to increasing the opportunities for higher education in fire protection engineering. The award is named for David A. Lucht, P.E., FSFPE, in recognition of his 25 years of leadership and dedication to the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) Center for Fire Safety Studies and his tireless efforts on behalf of the fire protection engineering profession.

Lucht served as the head of the WPI graduate degree program in fire protection engineering from the time of its founding in 1979 until his retirement in 2004. During those first 25 years the program grew to become one of the leading programs of its kind, with a corps of talented faculty serving students from nearly thirty countries, worldwide.

Lucht’s preparation for leadership at WPI was enhanced by a diverse background ranging from his first job as an insurance industry field engineer to executive vice president of a consulting engineering firm. Along the way he served as project engineer running ASTM fire endurance tests at the Ohio State University Building Research Laboratory and later served as the Ohio State Fire Marshal. In 1975 he became the first Senate-confirmed presidential appointee in the U.S. Fire Administration, serving under both Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter.

Lucht is a Fellow and Past President of SFPE and has received numerous recognition's for his accomplishments including the SFPE’s Arthur B. Guise Medal & Prize and John L. Bryan Mentor Award and the Institution of Fire Engineers’ David Rasbash Memorial Medal. In retirement he has become an artist and nonfiction story writer; and he volunteers for patients and families affected by Parkinson’s Disease.

2020 Recipient


Robert W. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., P.E., FSFPE

Prior Recipients

  • FM Global (2005)
  • SimplexGrinnell (2006)
  • BRE Trust (2007)
  • ARUP Fire (2008)
  • Rolf Jensen and Associates, Inc. (2009)
  • Brandkonsulten Kjell Fallqvist AB (2010)
  • XL Global Assets Protection Services (2013)
  • Underwriters Laboratories (2014)
  • Koffel Associates (2015)
  • New Zealand Fire Service Commission (NZFSC) (2016)
  • Brandforsk - The Swedish Fire Research Board (2017)
  • International Master's in Fire Safety Engineering [IMFSE] (2018)
  • Johnson Controls (2019)
  • Robert W. Fitzgerald, Ph.D., P.E., FSFPE (2020)

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