The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading information and knowledge resource on fire, electrical and related hazards, has created the NFPA Fire Protection Engineering Support Fund to further fire protection engineering (FPE) education and research at Oklahoma State University, the University of Maryland and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
NFPA has given many fire protection awards over the course of its 120-year history in the name of fire safety trailblazers, but this support marks the first time that the non-profit organization has committed funds to provide ongoing investment in the future of fire protection engineering. At a time of unprecedented demand for leadership in FPE education, the NFPA funds will directly help these universities recognize fire protection engineering and research students who are tackling today’s most pressing fire protection challenges.
“We applaud these three universities and their students for their commitment to protecting people and property,” said Kathleen Almand, NFPA’s vice president of research. “As the leading global advocate for fire prevention and research, we’re committed to actively supporting future innovators.”
Each institution will distribute awards to students who have demonstrated a strong aptitude and passion for fire protection engineering, a discipline that typically includes a focus on mathematics, physics, chemistry, research and technical writing. The schools will distribute the NFPA funds in the following ways:
- Oklahoma State University will recognize up to three undergraduate students annually in its Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology program who have led their class with technical excellence during their required senior engineering project. A monetary award will be presented to honorees each spring, along with a stipend to pay for travel to NFPA’s Annual Conference & Exposition, where each student will showcase his/her project to more than 3,000 fire and electrical safety professionals.
- The University of Maryland department of Fire Protection Engineering will utilize NFPA funds to recognize students who play a key role in the university’s extensive outreach program. Throughout the year, top fire protection engineering students visit schools in the region to discuss careers in the FPE field with teenagers involved in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. With NFPA’s support, department leaders can now recognize students that are actively involved in the community engagement program with a stipend to cover their time and associated travel expenses.
- WPI has created the NFPA Fire Protection Engineering Graduate Support Fund award to be distributed as a single gift annually to an FPE graduate student during their course of study at WPI. Criteria for the award will be developed by the Fire Protection Engineering Department in consultation with the provost and NFPA.
“Recipients of NFPA funds represent the future of fire protection engineering,” said Chris Dubay, NFPA’s vice president of engineering. “Supporting these students’ efforts presents a powerful opportunity to reinforce their passion and validate that their research has a real, vital impact on the world of fire protection.”
The inaugural winners of the NFPA Fire Protection Engineering Support Fund awards will be recognized at NFPA’s Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 14, 2016.