GAITHERSBURG, Maryland – The SFPE Foundation, a charitable organization focused on enhancing the scientific understanding of fire and its interaction with the social, natural, and built environments, is soliciting public comment on four papers focused on strategic cooperation in research and education to advance fire engineering. 

The four papers were published in July 2023 as part of the SFPE Foundation Grand Challenges Initiative. Now, the SFPE Foundation is soliciting comments from the public on four ten-year plans for strategic cooperation in research and education to advance fire engineering on the topics of: 

  • Climate Change
  • Digitalization, Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity
  • Energy and Infrastructure
  • Resilience and Sustainability

The papers can be downloaded from sfpe.org/foundation; all comments are requested by October 31, 2023.  

“For us to meet the grand challenges that face society on a global scale, we need to strategically invest in the research, education, and outreach initiatives that will advance fire engineering as it relates to climate change; digitalization, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity; energy and infrastructure; and resilience and sustainability,” stated Leslie Marshall, Ph.D., Director, SFPE Foundation. “While we – the 33 GCI Founding Partner organizations and 80 GCI Working Group members – believe that these four papers appropriately identify future areas for prioritization and cooperation, feedback from the greater community is needed to provide additional insight, improvement, and alignment.”  

To facilitate broad community participation and comments, the SFPE Foundation is hosting a series of free virtual Grand Challenges Initiative meetings on July 25, 27, and August 2, 3, 2023, to provide additional insight into the research, education, and outreach priorities identified in the papers, with on-demand viewing of the meetings to follow. The SFPE Foundation will also be sharing updates and soliciting feedback in person at the SFPE Annual Conference & Expo in Washington, D.C./Bethesda, and at the SFPE Engineering Solutions Symposium for Fire Safety and Sustainable Building Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia. 

The SFPE Foundation launched the Grand Challenges Initiative in 2022 to prioritize the pressing global challenges where fire safety science and engineering can contribute to ongoing discussions that affect the daily lives of billions. These four papers, and the entirety of work on the Grand Challenges Initiative, are led by experts serving on four working groups and made possible with the financial support of SFPE, Fire Safety Research Institute/UL Research Institutes, Code Red Consultants, FM Global, Harrington Group, Jensen Hughes, and additional corporate, academic, and research partners.  

Additional information about the SFPE Foundation, its Grand Challenges Initiative, and the public comments on these four papers is available at sfpe.org/foundation