Steve Kerber ('05)
UL Vice President of Research
Director of the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute

TITLE:  Finding a Voice for Fire Safety Progress


This talk will explore Kerber's perspective on how fire protection engineers can find their voice for fire safety progress. He will share his journey and how he found his voice to impact the overall safety and effectiveness of fire service. Steve will draw many parallels between the fire service and FPE communities with examples of UMD alumni that have made a difference. Join the discussion and bring your perspective on how we can further achieve fire safety progress!


Steve Kerber is the vice president of research for Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and director of the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute. He leads a fire safety research team dedicated to addressing the world's unresolved fire safety risks and emerging dangers to reduce death, injury and loss from fire. Kerber has led research in the areas of fire safety engineering, firefighter safety, fire forensics and fire science. He received his B.S. and M.S. in fire protection engineering from UMD and Ph.D. from Lund University in Sweden. Kerber is also a 13-year veteran of the fire service, with most of his service conducted at the College Park Fire Department in Maryland, where he served at ranks up through deputy chief. He has also been appointed the Fire Department of New York Honorary Battalion Chief and was named the 2014 International Society of Fire Service Instructors and Fire Engingeering George D. Post Instructor of the Year. In 2019, Kerber was awarded the Metropolitan Fire Cheifs President's Award of Distinction and is a fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

Date/Time: Wednesday, April 14, 2021 @ 5:00 pm (EST)

Please follow this link to listen to a captioned version of this event.



Raj Arora ('00)
CEO, Jensen Hughes

TITLE: The Business of Fire Protection Engineering


This discussion will focus on Raj's philosophies on business growth including culture, client relationships, operational excellence and innovation. Included will be some useful tips and examples that will help our engineering students have a more entrepreneurial headset. The discussion will require an open dialogue in some sections so please be prepared to engage in active Q&A.


As CEO of Jensen Hughes, Raj Arora is responsible for guiding the global market leader's rapid expansion, delivering on its commitment to client service excellence and inspiring its 1400+ scientists, engineers and consultants to develop and deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions that advance the science of safety and protect what matters for clients worldwide.

Before his appointment to CEO, Raj served as the President of JH's Strategy and Business Development team, managing the firm's multi-year strategy, and overseeing the mergers and acquisitions group as well as the sales and marketing team.

Throughout his two decades in the fire and security industry, Raj has established himself as an experienced engineer and a strategic business leader who is passionate about people and culture. Earlier in his career, Raj held leadership positions in various segments of the global fire and life safety industry as Vice President and General Manager of Johnson Controls' $1B Fire Detection and Special Hazard Product division, headquartered in Switzerland, and as General Manager of Tyco International's Fire Detection Products group. Additionally, he spent a decade as Executive Vice President and Equity Partner at Arora Engineers, a mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering consulting firm with a specialty in fire protection engineering and a focus on the aviation and transportation markets. 

Raj holds a B.S. degree in fire protection engineering from UMD. He is a licensed Professional Engineer. Over the course of his career, he has earned awards ranging from "Top 40 Under 40" in an engineering publication to an "early career award" from his alma mater, and performance awards for accountability, teamwork and technical acumen.

PDF iconFollow this link to download the slides from this event (PDF).

FPE Alumni Robert Andrews profile picturePDF iconRobert C. Andrews, Jr., P.E. (B.S. '80),
Founder and President of the Bob Andrews Group, LLC


Managing the Forks in the Road: Managerial vs. Technical Personal Development

In this inaugural lecture, drawing from his 40 years of experience, Bob Andrews will offer advice, lessons learned and describe the leadership and managerial skills needed to become a successful entrepreneur. Bob has spent a lifetime transforming his personal passions into successful business and philanthropic pursuits. During his career, Bob has fought refinery and chemical plant fires, chased fugitives with his K-9 partner, investigated train wrecks, designed complex fire protection systems, restored vintage Pennsylvania Railroad Pullman cars and kept our first responders safe. He is a highly regarded international lecturer and is passionate about life-long learning.

Join us for a discussion showcasing the many exciting opportunities and choices that are available to fire protection engineers and a conversation about navigating career paths over a lifetime. There will be the opportunity for a Q & A session following the presentation.


Mr. Andrews earned a B.S. in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland in 1980 and a M.S. in Executive Fire Service Leadership from Grand Canyon University in 2002. Mr. Andrews is currently attending Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in pursuit of a Doctor of Business Administration degree (2021 cohort). He is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and received the 1990 Outstanding Research Award for his paper that discussed the feasibility of applying the Incident Command System to incidents in the refining and petrochemical industry. He was one of the first industrial fire chiefs to earn the prestigious Chief Fire Officer Designation in 2003 and is an internationally recognized author and speaker having delivered emergency response, industrial firefighting, and railroad fire-safety presentations in the United States, Jamaica, France, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland, and Germany.

Follow this link to listen to a captioned recording of this event. You may also follow this link to watch a video recording of this presentation, or Filedownload the PPT slides here

Please Note: These sessions are recorded.

Questions? Please contact FPE Chair Jim Milke ( for more information.