After hiring Robert McFeaters, a recent graduate from Georgia Tech who has no prior knowledge of fire protection, the question is:  How do we transform someone with no fire protection experience or education into a competent fire protection engineer?

The answer is simply to invest, invest, and invest some more in their development. Through continuing education, community involvement, and experience in the field, we hope to turn a recent college graduate into a fully developed Fire and Explosion Protection Engineering Consultant.

Continuing Education

Since there are only a handful of schools that offer fire protection engineering course studies (none of which are located here in Georgia), Robert will have an opportunity to participate in a distance learning program and enroll in master’s degree fire protection engineering courses. As a part of his continuing education, Robert will also take the necessary steps to become an EIT (Engineer-in-Training) and get on the track to become a licensed fire protection engineer – all paid for by Harrington Group.

Community Involvement

In addition to continuing education, Robert will become involved in the fire protection engineering community, which will be essential in his growth and development as a fire protection engineer. He will have a paid membership to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), where he will attend annual meetings and training seminars, and will be encouraged to participate in the NFPA standards process as a Technical Committee Member.

He will be provided with a paid membership to the Society Of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) at both the international and local levels, as well. In fact, he has already attended SFPE’s technical seminar on combustible dust and will be encouraged to be active on local committees, including officer roles. He will begin his involvement with the SFPE at a local level and then expand to the international level over time.

Robert will also continue to build on his background in chemical engineering, as well, with a paid membership to the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AiChE). Here, he will hone in on his chemical engineering technical knowledge and build competence in the chemical engineering aspects of fire protection engineering work, in areas such as combustible dust and hazardous materials fire risk assessments.

Real World Experience

Through Harrington Group’s extensive FPE library, Robert will be able to reference materials regularly used by all Harrington Group FPE’s. He’ll be able to use these materials for school and in the field where Robert will work as project team member or project auditor on FPE projects. By fully emerging Robert in the FPE world, he’ll be able to have a richer learning experience than any other fire protection undergrad.

Through thinking differently, finding the right candidate, and investing wisely, we’ll be able to foster the growth and development of a true fire protection engineer. By guiding Robert along, we hope to give him all of the skills and tools necessary to become an asset to our industry. We are extremely excited about the journey of transforming Robert into a fire protection engineering expert and are confident that the investment in his development will prove to be valuable; not only to our firm, but to the clients we serve.

By Jeff Harrington, CEO and Founder of Harrington Group, Inc.