Advance your professional knowledge by attending one of the in-depth professional development seminars. Seminars are taught by the top leaders and subject matter experts in the field. Meet your licensing requirements and earn up to 14 Professional Development Hours (PDHs).

SFPE is a registered provider for the American Institute of Architects continuing education system (AIA/CES) Provider # G219


SFPE is a Preferred Provider with the International Code Council Provider # 1699


 *Note: *The seminars require advanced registration and require an additional fee.

Engineering Human Response in Fire: Principles, Models and Applications

Description: This two-day seminar will address the human response in fire and the tools that are available to represent this response within the engineering process. The seminar outlines the theoretical and empirical basis of our current understanding, making frequent references to actual incidents as well as engineering applications. This is followed by a broad discussion of the tools available to represent human response--from engineering calculations to computational simulation models. The discussion of the underlying assumptions and techniques of these models is supported by demonstrations and case studies. In all instances, the strengths and limitations of the theory, the data available, and the tools employed are clearly outlined, providing the audience with a realistic expectation of what is available, what insights can be gained and what the implications of having or not having these insights might be. The subject matter (i.e., human response) and the modeling approaches are presented together allowing the audience to assess, select, and employ such tools in a more informed and integrated manner.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the subject matter to assist with their theory development and data collection.
  • Explain which factors are need to be included in calculations, and the data that is available to support these factors.
  • Identify the impact that products may have upon an actual population, why this impact is important, and what tools can be used to demonstrate this impact.

Instructor: Steven Gwynne, PhD, Senior Research Officer (Fire Safety), National Research Council Canada is a Senior Research Officer at that National Research Council of Canada, where he works for the Fire Safety Unit (as Team Leader of the Fire Resistance and Risk Management Group) and as the Safety Thrust Lead for the Working and Travelling on Aircraft programme. He has worked in evacuation and pedestrian dynamics for 20 years. He has been a Reader at the University of Greenwich (UK), a Senior Scientist at Hughes Associates, Inc. (US), a Visiting Researcher at NIST (US) and is still an Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland (US). He has been involved in developing and applying models of people movement to scenarios in aviation, maritime, rail and the built environment, along with urban-scale scenarios.

CEUs 1.4 | PDHs 14

Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering

Description: Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering is a 2-day seminar for fire safety consultants and people working with fire safety at companies, fire brigades, municipalities and government agencies. The aim of the seminar is to introduce human behavior theories that are relevant for Fire Safety Engineering (FSE). After completion of the seminar, the participants will also have a basic understanding of pedestrian dynamics, and understand different egress modelling approaches (network, grid and continuous models) and their limitations.

The seminar includes a wide variety of topics, such as human behavior theories, emergency exit design, evacuation elevators, toxicology, pedestrian dynamics, egress modelling and selection of evacuation scenarios. Most of the material will be covered in lectures, but there will also be one workshop, namely one workshop about the concept of ‘panic’ and exercises related to the design of emergency exits and basic egress calculations.

Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering has been developed in cooperation between the Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety at Lund University, Sweden, and NFPA, USA. Both these organizations have a long tradition of fire investigations and research in the area of human behavior in fire. Examples include investigations of the attacks on the World Trade Center, USA, in 1993 and 2001, and research relating to the design of evacuation alarms, emergency exits and way-finding systems for evacuation. In addition, the Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety has given courses in Fire Safety Engineering since 1986.

The knowledge gained at the seminar will help participants to incorporate aspects related to fire evacuation and human behavior in their work with FSE, e.g., in the design of buildings/constructions, systematic fire prevention, review of fire safety design, fire investigations, etc. The goal is to give the participants the tools and know-how to better incorporate human behavior aspects in FSE.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to:

  • Describe human behavior theories that are relevant for FSE.
  • Understand pedestrian dynamics, and different egress modelling approaches (network, grid and continuous models) and their limitations.
  • Perform egress calculations, i.e., back of the envelope calculations, which are often done in the initial phase of FSE design.
  • Analyze different emergency exit and building designs in order to identify points of potential improvement.
  • Analyze the design of exits and building layouts in a systematic way.
Instructor: Daniel Nilsson, PhD, FSE, Senior Lecturer, Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety, Lund University, Sweden

Daniel is Associate Professor at the Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety at Lund University, Sweden. He has been involved in research about evacuation and human behavior in fire since 2002, and received his PhD in Fire Safety Engineering from Lund University in 2009. Daniel’s research is focused on the use of way-finding systems for evacuation, e.g., flashing lights at emergency exits, but also on the effectiveness of different information system, e.g., voice alarms and information signs. Most of the studies have involved evacuation experiments. Examples include laboratory experiments in a smoke filled tunnel and a field experiment in the Göta road tunnel in the Gothenburg, Sweden. Daniel teaches courses on evacuation and human behavior at Lund University.

CEUs 1.4 | PDHs 14

Fire and Life Safety Design of Very Tall Buildings: Challenges and Strategies 

Description: This one-day seminar will explore a wide range of fire and life safety challenges associated with very tall buildings and strategies to address them. To enhance learning, attendees will be asked to participate in simple, qualitative hazard, risk or reliability analyses, fire and life safety strategy development for representative building configurations and fire scenarios, and fire safety management and evacuation planning exercises. Due to time constraints there will be no quantitative or computational analyses. The topics and sequence will generally follow those embodied in the SFPE Engineering Guide: Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings. Content includes an overview of fire events in tall buildings, highlighting issues of concern and lessons learned. Emerging trends in very tall building design, which may have implications for fire and life safety performance, will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:

  • Upon completion of this seminar, the participant will be able to
  • Identify the potential impacts of new and emerging technologies and design features on fire and life safety performance in very tall buildings,
  • Explain how hazard, risk and reliability analysis can help identify and assess scenarios of concern and potential mitigation options,
  • Explain the roles that occupant risk perception and situation awareness might have on the selection and operation of defend in place and evacuation strategies,
  • Distinguish the impact of building design decisions on factors such as smoke control, fire spread and structural fire resiliency,
  • Understand systems reliability and robustness issues,

Materials Needed: SFPE Engineering Guide: Fire Safety for Very Tall Buildings. Attendees will be asked to participate in exercises and encouraged to share experiences with fire and life safety issues and strategies in very tall buildings.

Who will benefit: Experience Level Intermediate: FPEs, Architectural, Civil, Structural, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, Insurers, Fire Safety Managers, Fire Service Personnel.

Instructor: TBD

CEUs .7 | PDHs 7

Performance-Based Design and Codes

Description: This one-day seminar will provide an overview of The SFPE Engineering Guide to Performance-Based Fire Protection. This process identifies methods of a) defining a project scope, b) developing goals, objectives and performance criteria, c) selecting design fire scenarios and design fires, d) developing and evaluating trial designs, and e) preparing design documentation.

The course will also discuss emerging issues related Performance-Based Design (PBD) that include:

  • Incorporating Risk Informed Methods in PBD
  • Selecting an Appropriate Fire Model for a Given Application
  • Estimating Required Safe Egress Time (RSET)
  • PBD in Tall Buildings
  • PBD in Long Tunnels
  • PBD in Structural Fire Engineering
  • Conducting a Peer Review for a PBD
  • Performance-Based ITM for Fire Protection Systems

Learning Objectives: 
 Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • Define the process outlined in the SFPE Engineering Guide to Performance-Based Fire Protection
  • Formulate fire safety goals & objectives for a given project
  • Differentiate and apply the different types of acceptance criteria
  • Estimate design fires based on a given scenario
  • Contrast the differences in incorporating deterministic vs probabilistic approaches
  • Identify the important steps in selecting a fire model for a given application
  • Estimate REST
  • Outline the steps in performing a structural fire engineering analysis
  • Discuss fire safety issues in tall buildings and long tunnels
  • Identify the steps to conducting a peer review for a PBD project

Explain how to Implement a performance-based ITM program for fire protection system

Instructor: Chris Jelenewicz, PE, FSFPE, is the Technical Director at SFPE and the Technical Editor of SFPEs Fire Protection Engineering magazine. He is responsible overseeing SFPE’s licensing and technical activities. Chris was featured in hundreds of articles and broadcast interviews, including the New York Times, CBS Nightly News, Public Television, USA Today, The Washington Post and the Philadelphia Daily News. Chris has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in fire protection engineering and a Master’s in Management from the University of Maryland. He is an SFPE Fellow and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in its inaugural year from the University of Maryland’s Department of Fire Protection Engineering. Chris is a licensed engineer in the States of California, Delaware and Maryland

CEUs .7 | PDHs 7