Fire Protection Engineering

Fire protection engineering – the study of the causes of fires and how building design influences the prevention and suppression of fires – is a rapidly growing sector of the job market, Charles Joyce, PE, director of fire safety at AKF Group®, told students from the Fred DeMatteis School of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Since 9/11, the need for Fire Protection Engineers has
increased dramatically,” Joyce said. “These devastating events make people
realize all the things we still don’t know about building design.”

Mr. Joyce spoke to engineering students as part of the
DeMatteis School’s Executive Speaker Series. The series brings industry
professionals to campus to provide insight into career options.

In addition to serving as the head of AKF’s Fire and Life
Safety team, Joyce is the vice chair of the Fire Protection Systems Technical
Committee developing the next version of the New York City Building Code.  He was also involved in the $1.1 billion
renovation of Madison Square Garden.

In his presentation, Fire
Protection Engineering:  Protecting
People, Property and the Environment, Joyce discussed the roles and
responsibilities of fire protection engineers, including analyzing fire hazards
and design solutions, installing and maintaining fire detection, suppression
and communication systems, and post-fire investigation and analysis.

Joyce also outlined the variety of career paths available for
engineers interested in fire protection, such as insurance underwriting,
laboratory testing and product development, working for a regulatory agency or
in building design and consulting.

“It was interesting to learn about all of the elements
involved in fire protection and how Fire Protection Engineers need to
coordinate with civil engineers on issues like the weight of water tanks,” said
Benjamin Rey ’20, a mechanical engineering major. “This is a career I would
definitely consider in the future.”

AKF Group is a full-service consulting engineering firm
serving public and private sector clients across the United States and worldwide.

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