One of the newest societies on EKU’s campus, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, has one major goal: fire safety.

“I became involved (with SFPE) because I saw the value of the opportunities that this organization has to excel the fire program and its students,” said Philip Gilman, the co-president of SFPE at EKU.

EKU’s strong fire and safety programs and degrees, including Fire Protection Administration and Fire Protection and Safety Engineering Technology, continue to draw students from across the state and country to study. In 2008, SFPE was chartered on campus to become a society but was joined with the Association of Fire Science Technicians, AFST, Gilman said.

This year, however, the university saw the benefit of providing students with SFPE and AFST as two separate organizations to get involved in, so SFPE became an organization this fall semester.

“My favorite part of SFPE is being able to inform and educate others on the importance of fire prevention research,” Gilman said.

That’s what the goal of SFPE is, both on EKU’s campus and across the globe.

SFPE has been an independent organization in the United States since 1971. It was established because educators began to see the need for more fire education across the country, especially in universities. Now, the society has over 4,500 members, with 76 regional and local chapters, and 16 student chapters around the world.

The society members plan many different activities for student members. Some of these activities include monthly educational webinars with fire professionals, conferences throughout the year and books and publications – all intended to further the fire protection engineering profession and provide fire information to the community.

According to the SFPE 2016 Annual Report from 2016 found at SFPE’s website, the median U.S. salary for fire protection engineers is $110,000. For entry-level fire protection engineers, the median total compensation is $72,500. The report shows that fire protection engineering can be a very successful profession and can pay very well, even for students just entering the profession.

SFPE provides an opportunity for students interested in fire protection engineering to learn more about the profession and grow as a “leader in engineering in a fire safe world,” according to SFPE’s mission. Along with competitive salaries, fire protection engineering also gives students the chance to help people and give back to their society, Gilman said.

For any student who is interested in joining SFPE, their Facebook account, SFPE EKU Chapter, and Twitter account, @EKUSFPE, has all the information about upcoming meetings, seminars and events where students are free to come and join or to learn more about the society. Visit their website at – (

“I would encourage other students who are interested in joining SFPE to at least to come to one of our meetings to see what we are about,” Gilman said. “Any students with the desire to research, get published, and educate are welcome to join, no fire experience is needed.”