John L. Bryan receives first Society of Fire Protection Engineers Mentoring Award

At its Annual Technology Symposium, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) presented John L. Bryan with its first Mentoring Award. This award will be named the John L. Bryan Mentoring Award.

The award is made by the SFPE Board of Directors in recognition for commitment to mentoring that enhances the practice of fire protection engineering.

Professor Bryan was recognized for his leadership in establishing the University of Maryland Department of Fire Protection Engineering and serving as the as the Department Chair from its establishment in 1956 until his retirement in 1993. Under his leadership the department evolved from a modest, one-person operation to one of the preeminent fire protection engineering programs in the world.

“As the Department Chair, Professor Bryan has mentored and inspired a significant number of fire protection students. He was known as a professor who cared deeply for his students and tended to put their needs in front of his own,” said SFPE Engineering Program Manager Chris Jelenewicz. “He always encouraged his students to develop their own individual talents and strengths. In fact, it would be difficult to find a significant contribution in modern fire protection engineering that was not affected by one of his students.”

In recognition of his leadership, Prof Bryan was appointed Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland when he retired. As a tribute to him and his contribution to fire protection engineering education, his dedicated graduates initiated and completed the endowment of the John L. Bryan Chair in Fire Protection Engineering.

“As a leader of the fire service community he is considered a role model for those who are interested in making the world safe from fire,” said Jelenewicz.

Professor Bryan has more than 25 years of active career and volunteer fire department experience that includes a life membership with the College Park, Maryland Volunteer Fire Department. He was named SFPE Man of the Year in 1977.

About Society of Fire Protection Engineers

Organized in 1950, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers is the professional society for engineers involved in the field of fire protection engineering. The purposes of SFPE are to advance the science and practice of fire protection engineering, maintain a high ethical standing among its members and foster fire protection engineering education. SFPE’s worldwide members include engineers in private practice, in industry and in local, regional and national government. Chapters are located in Canada, China, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and the United States.

More information about SFPE can be found at

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