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Apr 25, 2022

Welcome to episode 51 of Fire Code Tech. On this episode we are speaking with Ernesto Janica on professional development, electrical engineering, IEEE, open source programs for community outreach and much more. Tune in on this episode to hear tips for how you can learn the fundamentals of fire alarm systems. 



Hello, all welcome to the show. I'm Gus Gagliardi, and this is fire code tech on fire code tech. We interview fire protection professionals from all different careers and backgrounds in order to provide insight and a resource for those in the field. My goal is to help you become a more informed fire protection.

Professional fire code tech has interviews with engineers and researchers, fire marshals, and insurance professionals, and highlights topics like codes and standards, engineering systems, professional development, and trending topics in the industry. So if you're someone who wants to know more about fire protection or the fascinating stories of those who are in the field, you're in the right place.

Welcome to episode 51, a fire code tech. In this episode, we have Ernesto Hanukkah. Ernesto is an electrical engineer. And on this episode, we get into some unique topics that I have not had the chance to cover before, like open source for fire and life safety and electrical engineering. And I E, which is one of the biggest professional societies in the world.

I really enjoy talking with Ernesto. He has some great takes on learning for young professionals and professional development recorded this episode earlier in the pandemic and just got the chance to release it, but a really great episode with Ernesto. If you want to hear how to go from a technician to a registered professional electrical engineer and who has a great specialty in fire alarm and electrical engineering.

And this is a great episode, really enjoyed it. Don't forget to subscribe. So you never miss an episode and follow us on social media. Let's get into the show. Hello, Ernesto. Welcome to the podcast. Good morning, Josh. How are you? Good. Good. So I wanted to get started with your background and how you got into the fire protection industry.

Would you tell me a little bit about that? Sure. I, I think this was

electrical engineer

on site

shoes at rice on the farm. Uh, project and, you know, I got to solve some of the issues, uh, the company that was performing that works. So kinda my potential, I guess, brought me to the industry, but it wasn't my, from a family of engineers. Um, so fire protection was not in my, uh, spectrum, but I'm glad that it happened.

Uh, and the best things in life happened like that. So, um, I have good friends and, and mentors in the industry and, and that got me to, uh, fire protection industry. Very neat. Yeah. It seems like, uh, yeah, you've, you are in the fire protection industry, but you've, you know, kept true to your electrical engineering roots and, you know, uh, stayed involved with, uh, you know, fire alarm heavily.

And that seems to be where your, uh, emphasis is. So it's neat to see that. Yes, the Al portion, the electrical portion of protection I also have done

and the interability, you know, systems, so mainly electrical and then a lot of, a lot of science, appli science involved. Um, and that's part of what I like, you know, it's a combination of engineering, math, science, um, and a little bit of luck, I guess. You know, we, we, we all projects very challenging where the solutions are not in the books.

So we have to creative and develop solutions for our customers or for society general. Definitely. Yeah. I think, uh, we can all, uh, benefit from a little luck. I can resonate with that for sure, too. and so, yeah, I definitely got into, uh, The fire protection industry, uh, with a little look. So, um, yeah, I, I understand what you're saying.

Hey, it's relatively a new career, a new field. Um, it's one of the core engineering fields where people were growing up, oh, you're gonna be a mechanical, you're gonna be electrical. You're gonna be civil engineer, building breaches and stuff. Um, so protection is kinda one of the newer, the newer ones. So, but we would see, I think now we have more, you know, multiple generations of, uh, protection engineers.

So on the industry, we continue to grow hopefully, and I've seen very young generations motivated this field. So that's a great, that's a great sensation when you see people into this industry, um, just like we did it before and we keep, you know,

Current engineers or all timers,

especially efforts, its it's a very challenging and promising career. So, um, I encourage everyone that I know to go for fire protection, engineer engineering. Um, so, um, it's a very, very nice field to, to be in actually definitely. Yeah. I have the same, uh, sentiment as you about just how promising the field is and how many opportunities there are for people to have meaningful work and to solve problems and to, you know, be a part of.

Uh, a profession that is just, you know, helping protect people and has an impact on life safety and just, you know, quality of life for people. So it's, uh, it's very meaningful. Yeah. Also the cultural aspects. Sometimes we did like many projects in museums, for example, and you get to enjoy deportation of those type of properties and artifacts that they have a huge, there is, there is no quantifiable value for, for those, uh, paintings or the structure there, or so it is also a beautiful field where you can go and enjoy and work, uh, for protecting not only people, businesses, but for cooking elements that if they can destroy in, um, then there is no replacement for them.

So. That's also one of the aspect that's very beautiful when you can protect, uh, museum or art. Uh, that is stuff, you know, there's not many people working on those, but there's a few, few machines in every city. So, uh, hopefully some people will get a, to work them. And you enjoy also those, those type of, uh, projects.

Yeah. I think, you know, that's a great point about museums and protecting, uh, historical and cultural artifacts. You know, I've been trying to do a lot of reading on fire protection lately and just, you know, thinking about historic fires, you know, thinking about, um, most recently Notre Dame and, you know, thinking about that situation and.

You know, uh, thinking about the implications, um, that that will have on fire protection in the future and how we look at historic structures and, uh, you know, cultural and, uh, you know, just buildings that have such value like that. Uh, so I think it's a very interesting point you make. Yeah, definitely.

Those also made major fire in Brazil where the main museum was down to the ground and every was destroyed. So, uh, we would never get those devices or, you know, S uh, that it's a shame, you know, been different, but you never know. It's just a challenge that we have to tackle moving. Yeah, that's great. So I wanted to circle back a little bit about, and talk a little bit about your, um, just kind of the, you know, your early career.

Um, wondered if you would speak a little bit about your educations and maybe some of the first roles that you had in fire protection. My trade, I was in my undergrad. I deed overseas and then I immigrated to the us. So I had both backgrounds in the, and overseas I master degree protection. I also a master degree management.

So, and education, I like optimization. I like taking those courses and even as an electrical project or as a protection. Related classes. Um, those are the critical for me, at least they were those involved in math analysis. Now also lab help you to

type of, of elements that you want to design. Um, when, uh, I first started on this, I, I did start, I didn't start as an engineer, uh, I guess that they didn't, uh, maybe believe or trust my credentials from overseas, maybe. Uh, so I was hired as a technician. I was helping someone else and driving a truck, uh, with a, a tool belt on my belt all the time.

Uh, every day, day and night doing service and everything the years, uh, changing my two belt and my skills to better serve this C. So from my screw drivers and multimeters, I have the tools set here in my house to be with you. I'm very proud. I'm very, did like that. So I have that technic skill of panels troubleshooting, um, seeing the issues with synchronization or phases in project.

So I did a start like that

helper, then manager consult, so on and so on. So I did not start applying to a job in the internet. There was not such much thing as the internet back then went or the job search back then went so. No resume for me for many years. And I did stay for in that company for several years, maybe eight, eight years.

So very grateful for the people that mentor me. There many technicians me to basics, and there was a lot internal training, uh, for programming panels and the sequence of operations, how to embed the, uh, codes of regulations into the programming part of, uh, the equipment and how that works. Don't recall you nowadays, it's just one that you in the matrix, but I know back then when we were doing programming, uh, with the basic logics, the program interfacing with the devices, going into the field, installing those devices.

So troubleshooting them as well. So a lot of work and I did work. At the same time when I went to university of Maryland for my, my school, my grad degree. So it was very challenging, only a few hours for sleeping and then going back to work and few hours of sleeping and then going the so on. And so for years, so probably double the time, but I got my 4.0, I got a patent application that you friends in that, in that

very grateful.

Wow. That's an incredible, incredible story. I think that it's very meaningful that you had the opportunity to, you know, see fire alarm installation, um, in the eyes of the, you know, the technician, you know, I'm sure that has a huge impact on you now, as you, you know, talk about engineering and, you know, looking at engineering standards and you know, your role now.

Um, so yeah, that's really inspiring and, and very neat. Uh, another thing you mentioned that I wanted to hear a little bit more about is you're talking about programming the panel and, you know, you're actually, you know, doing programming, I, uh, program a little bit in my spare time. I was just, uh, for my own curiosity, wondering, you know, what kind of language does, uh, fire alarm panel user?

Is it, uh, yeah. Could you tell me a little bit about that? Well, the most, the most, uh, most companies use proprietary programming, logic, logic. Why don't you understand what the logic is? It could be a C plus plus or a, or whatever logic is even, even, um, so they all follow logics. So once you understand the logic behind, and then, then you able to program the main challenge is when you, you go to existing site, reprogram something

there people can really and

algorithms into. So you gotta get familiar with, with people that are more complex or the ones that are simpler. So mainly if you, if you can program, uh, basic algorithms or basic databases as well, um, then, then you're to go, doesn't

basic basic logic. And, but they all use proprietary software, I believe, unless now we have, you know, something that is open source, but, uh, uh, back in my, uh, every, every company was a little bit different, but again, it's just you and logics. That's very interesting. Yeah. That makes sense that they all kind of follow the same, uh, logical operators.

And, you know, I have experience with the fire alarm input output matrix, and I could understand how that could be construed as, uh, logic. You know, it is logic it's um, yeah, it's similar. You have to actually translate from the matrix to, uh, to the programmer. So, um, that's basically what the do regarding programming.

Um, also get company has to you from the different levels of training. So you start with panels, then you go for, you know, and then you if

a year, so it takes you, you know, five projects to know a little bit on these things, you know, everything, but get sufficient, solve many problems. So it takes a. Again, it's great to work with these guys. I receive calls from, from my, my fellows as technicians they do on call service. So they call me in the middle of the night, they have this emergency, what can I do, what they trust my judgment and trust.

So we, we go back and forth, you know, even Haven worked with them for maybe 10 years. Now we keep calling each other and, uh, we each other, you know, we try to be friends and, you know, goes just the

friendship trust, you know, you working with these people for, for years or, you know, protecting, protecting people or chemical plants or stuff like that. You do have to trust them the professional skills, the personal level as well. I believe that's, that's how I work. That's awesome. That's really interesting.

Yeah. It's, you know, uh, I, I think any industry is about relations, but especially in fire protection where you're, you know, trying to help these people ensure life safety in a building. Um, there's an even, uh, bigger connection there. So that's neat that you still stay in contact with those people. Yes, I'm for that too.

They became my family actually. that's awesome. That's really cool. So another thing that you, uh, uh, touched on, um, when you were talking about your background is you're speaking a little bit about your patent for the fire alarm industry. I was curious about that. I, I think I read a little bit about it on your, um, LinkedIn or your bio somewhere, but yeah.

Would you tell me a little bit more about that? Well, yes. Uh, in these was, uh, performance based design application for. Um, we had a major project where we were protecting millions of a square feet, retail space use space. Um, the main was the

synchronization, which we fixed in the field and the other one. So we were not, we, we tried to installing the devices, right. We were not part the design team or anything, but I was, you know, doing my grad. So I did say, you know what, we could, this performance design, we could, these resources. So it's analysis there.

Uh, and they say, no, you're how you guys, the main senior consultants. How to put this into drawings, uh, but maybe that wasn't part of that project anyway, but that was, that was the, the challenge that we had, you know, millions of dollars invested, um, maybe more than 20 million actually at the time. So kinda like a big project.

Uh, so it was basically a math application of the code regulations. Uh, the main standard that regulates firearm systems is also based on other requirements. So we went back to those initial requirements, the listings, lab tests, and perform calculations and estimates. And we also had field devices to test and work having, you know, two or three Christmas times in, in these containers working in the.

Winter locations. Uh, so were like, you know what, let's, let's keep doing testing and see how can we improve these things? So we did that, uh, it came out that it before. So we submitted for patent and I did many presentations this topic once the company allowed me to do it, these walls to use work for, uh, so they, so they keep that on.

I think they're using it for their existing devices now. So if you combine that with, you know, maybe power saving, um, capabilities or patents, in other words, um, they're on a save millions of dollars. Uh, and in that specific project, for example, just give you an idea. You, we were able to go back to the owner and that this wasn't easy to do, but we went back to the, you know what?

We can 0.3, for example, So that kind of the scale of, of the savings that you could do in a major project. So some people were not happy, like how you gonna put money back to the owner, don't worry. And then we get hundreds of clients more so, you know, to you money. And then we have hundreds of clients saying, you know what, Hey, can you do this for me?

Can you do this for me? We also got a really good relationship with the designer of that project, which was the, just playing anymore. We, the great, great engineers, great people to work with. And they say like, whoa, we, it was a really good experience. We, we win situation for everywhere. Uh, yes, we, we, we use our project size or cost, but then we also gain so much, you know, So many friends, so many clients, so many, you know, interesting projects where we were able to, to apply these concepts.

So, uh, so that that's a little bit of, without going into the technical details or, or, or the legal aspects of it. Uh, I think that was great opened the door for, for me, especially as a person, an engineer, and also for our company to. Uh, to be out there, you know, and I kept this, these friendships, as I say, before they, before it was at technical level.

Now with this, uh, senior principal engineers, then you still valid today. So this also was more than 10 years ago. So that's great. Yeah, that's really interesting process. Uh, and it sounds like, you know, you got creative and, uh, an engineer's role is problem solving and it sounds like you were, you know, trying to build a better, you know, system, you know, even at the technician level.

So, you know, yeah. It's kind of strange the, uh, implications of, you know, people get a little bit, been outta shape about calling somebody, uh, an engineer, but I mean, you know, the functions of what you're doing, you know, um, helping to design the system at that level. Making it better. I mean, you were already there in, uh, in my opinion, but, uh, yeah, that's really fascinating.

Yeah. Challenge like a little, like

lot of, lot of trust that they put on me. And, uh, I remember my boss at that time, he was really good friend of mine. Uh, Mike, um, uh, I think he put a lot of trust to me and he shows and of friendship and working together and not together. We work different companies, uh, think that they, we do trust the judgment of the people when you you're able to say, okay, this is, this is something that we can do for you.

And then you say, OK. Yeah, I believe I do trust that they. Uh, solution it's looking for the better system or for the client's benefit or for the society benefit. So you start building these relationships with people that don't really care becomes easier. We did different like correctional facilities, environments, you, you were shoulder to shoulder with people that you trust and you know, society.

So that's,


issues, boundaries. When you work together with, with you, with your stakeholders, then, then you get these things to, to make these things happen. Yeah, I can see that. So I wanted to, uh, get a little bit of a picture of your role now with, uh, I E and, uh, Yeah. I'd like to hear more about, um, what you're doing now and yeah.

Your role. All right. Um, that's another

I, a membership for IE. We, for those know IE

engineers for those professionals in fields, but we have like nuclear radio

ums, the internet, uh, the wifi was developed here in my office. 25 years ago. The internet was really, you know, uh, 40 years, uh,

So a very passionate group of people. Uh, when I decided to leave the industry, the private sector engineering, uh, I did work for

develops. Unfortunately I came back to and offered this position where I do work for the standards association, which I like developing standards, work development, part of it. So we have about back I E the professional organization. We have over 4,000 members in countries let's put in prospective, maybe SF has about maybe.

Thousand members maybe. And we have, so we have lot of people, professionals, experts working in these fields. Um, we, we do have about 16 to standards and my job is to create new ways of, uh, presenting this information, getting the handbooks for the main standards, educational programs. Can we develop mobile apps, solving the equations within the standards, um, maybe databases to analyze, um, for developing the standards or for the public to use.

Um, so we, we have many of many, many products to, uh, to address those needs. So that's, that's, that's what I basically do, uh, trying to develop new ideas and new products, um, for these standards. Very cool. Yeah. I wasn't aware of. Um, I E is crazy as, as that sounds before, uh, I came across one of your articles on auditability and intelligibility and, uh, you know, I was working on a project and I was trying to understand better, you know, how to lay out voice devices.

Um, I was working at a, on a mass notification system at the time, but so yeah, after doing some research into you and your background, I found out about I E and man, that's really neat that there's such a large organization with so many professional members, and that sounds like, uh, a great thing. Um, I wanted to hear more.

Oh yeah. I just wanted to hear a little bit more about some of the. Types of standards that you guys produce, you know, uh, for, for people who don't know, um, what would these standards pertain to, or when would be a good time to go take a look at 'em and, uh, you know, look at some of the resources like that.

Well, it's, it's, it's a broader aspect though. We, as I said mentioned, we have 16 to 17 standards. So about 40% of them are from power, energy, meaning like nuclear power, um, maybe some aspects related to systems and storage systems, uh, both for like the, uh, vehicles or for our backup powering farm systems.

So we have the standard for almost everything. Uh, again, the internet, it's a big of the standards. Um, the IP addresses. It's also part of my, my group that we, we manage that for society in general. We, we, we are not a super big company. We, we, but we have a, you know, big number of volunteers doing all the work.

Um, so some the important standards are things, uh, power ethernet. That was probably one of my presentations related to firearm systems. So what I try to do sometimes is to, to bring those type of technologies into firearm system, for example, um, there is a lot of information in our databases in our, if you're a member, for example, we have a student members also that they, they, some of them are free or they like the charge is very minimal and you get access to our libraries.

Explore is the name of our main library and it has over 5 million documents. So for example, when I was doing my patent research, uh, I, I did with you more than 20 articles from, and thing happens today. Somebody asked me about any specific technology. The first thing that I do, it's got to explore and check what I need, uh, and read a few things there.

And then you get the top scientist around the world. This, this is people that are everywhere. Not only like, you know, government focus or one country focus or one, this is people from everywhere in the world, uh, looking these problems from different aspects. So when you get that sense of input, so that, that, that type of input that you get input from everywhere and different type of backgrounds, you get a better rounded.

You. Output, you know, you, you, you get a better sense of knowledge, I think. Um, so that's what we do basically. It's, you know, and I think at one point was producing about, of the technical content in the world. So, uh, we are, we are referencing patterns maybe three times more than any other institution. Um, so basically, cause we have many conferences a year, uh, many publications a year, depending on your industry, you know, for, for this specific aspect far, this maybe to society is the one that I to actually also, so maybe a little bit biased.

Uh, but it's one that is kinda related to what type of devices do we use in the field? Cause any device that we have. You know, input or outputs, you know, monitor devices or the relays and the, uh, IO devices, whatever you, you wanna use. Even the 20 relays that we used to have before, um, they could be improved.

And how do you, those technic devices that like electronics go one of those technic societies and you get, you get a lot of feedback. We're also working source

because we are not for profit organization. Uh, but we are looking into also how we develop multiple tools with open source software or, or devices, uh, that will help communities everywhere. So our main focus is advancing technology for human. So, if we can make it happen, we'll make it happen. And that's our main motivation is keep advancing, need to benefit of humanity.

That's really interesting. I've heard of open source a lot, uh, in the field of technology, or like I said, uh, Getting into programming. There's a lot of open source, but I've never heard of open source in the context of, um, electrical engineering or fire protection, um, engineering. So that's really interesting to hear you talk about that and, you know, trying to make resources more available for people.

Oh yes. We already have a team almost ready. We have people that have come from, from the private sector for startups, uh, with this set we're looking to with initiatives that we have. So yeah, but we can main focus. Uh, one of our main focus is one of, we have so many projects to do, but this is one of the important ones that we see in the future collaborating.

And let's put these tools. We also

projects in underserved communi. Uh, where we can send, uh, the devices. So these open source platforms, uh, and help resource system or alarm sensors, source, stuff like that. It's just, you know, using that type of technology for the benefit of humanity will require probably open source. And that's our goal, you know, it's just how make all available for standards them for them.

But after six months we make them available for free. So cause we want the community to know how to use the, you know, the platform for the tools or the requirements. So every manufacturer, every people that every company that is building devices. And able to be compatible with everyone else. So, uh, that, that, that's, that's one of the roles that we play in, in the field.

Uh, you know, we're grateful for that. And we, you know, we have a lot of people that support those ideas and, you know, we'll continue to, uh, as much as we can. That's really interesting. I like that, you know, uh, that's uh, kind of the whole reason why I got started with this podcast is to try to make information, um, about fire protection, just more accessible.

And so, yeah, that's really neat. Yeah.


for panels, if that, if that software will be an open source platform for. That, that incentive won't come from anybody in the protection industry and bring it to I E association or to any other organization. Hey, how can we build this knowing thing? But then you get into IP, intellectual and more challenging, but if you wanna develop something that is completely open source, uh, you know, please look for, for the opportunities out there for the societies that are, uh, trying to promote engineers, great tool, great.

All they, all, they all doing their, our limitations, your time and effort and money. Uh, but mainly time though, it's just like, um, I was talking to someone else before and, um, I think our main challenge would be to manage our. The projects that we have and how we focus, the specific topics that, that deserve more time, uh, because, you know, it seems that we won't have time for everything.

And especially the, with the coronavirus challenges, I think this is, this is important point of human, uh, history where we have to also focus on, you know, how can we improve these medical devices? For example, we have, uh, actually has, you know, many initiatives now, how can we develop, you know, respirators cheaper, or you can someone donates to, to do so that stuff you priority,

give those tools.

Is that there are some of those technologies that are for fire protection industry that could be helping other people in the medical fields. So, uh, there are many opportunities and once you get the grasp of what you can do, then you will, you'll never have enough time to do all. You always have idea new ideas, a new project.

That's the challenge, help some people and new generations to more that's we're

research, creating tools, solving new problems. That's what it's gonna happen. You you're gonna have new challenges and you need new. So. I like that. That's great. Uh, yeah, I definitely see what you're saying about, uh, once you start to peak under the hood, it, you know, trying to look at new and better waves to solve things, you know, it just kind of opens up Pandora's box and, you know, there's just, uh, never enough time for all the, you know, different problems you wanna solve or, you know, new methods you wanna try.

And so, yeah, I definitely hear what you're saying about that, but, um, uh, yeah, I wanted to, uh, transition a little bit, you know, I know that you have, uh, a specialty in fire alarm, so I wanted to pick your brain a little bit about some of the. Trickier areas in, in fire alarm or, yeah, I just was wondering if you had any advice for learning some of the more difficult areas in fire alarm design, like, uh, you know, I know that you have a heavy influence in mass, so I didn't know if you had any, um, tips or, you know, guidance for professionals trying to learn about calculations or just, uh, fire alarm design layout, or anything like that.

Okay. Um, yes, I would recommend ions to do, do it, just do it that way for, for a good time. You know, I mean, once you, when you, when you become familiar with that, with the standard projects, can't be solve with that set of recommendations or requirements, those that's code. Or designed to right where the code is gonna tell you this device have to be here at this distance far away from this ventilation system, X, Y.

So, uh, each device actually has a, a requirement, uh, a prescriptive way of doing it. You do it like that for, until you are really, really familiar with that. Um, then you, you, you explore into, uh, the performance based design. So anything that you think is a great area in the it's an opportunity. Um, look at the annex material in the handbooks, for example, in the I'm just referencing the main file signaling code.

If you go those and the handbook, the handbook.

Uh, and then the annex material, we have additional information about how the operate, right. Uh, that would be basic. Now there's also calculation for as well. So those aspects are there for recently. They're not in the code yet. They may come to the parts of the code. So they leave the annex and become part of the formal code with the standard.

The annex usually is not part of the code on the standard as regulation. So for those that know standards, but the is like add material there. Right? So look for those and see the, for the opportunities there. If you have these skills to do math at that level, or at a more advanced level, then you're gonna have great opportunities to develop your own things, to be successful at it.

So that, that would be my recommendation. Start with the, the regular standards work,

uh, ion facilities like courthouses or public or malls or hotels, then you're

stuff like that. We give you a really good background. Uh, once you have that, I think it's easier to go to the performance based, but I will not recommend a new person in the field to go directly to the performance based. Because those are, I think to, um, at this is my personal opinion. You know, I work for developing organizations, but I do not participate on the working groups.

This is only my personal opinion. It's not their recommendation. Um, I, I think those performance design elements are there to solve the unique environments. Uh, people hide or small control systems that are not, you know, in a square box, uh, that is when you're gonna need those type of

everything is to, so I think you have to put your time that's that's for sure. This is nothing that you're gonna practice 20 minutes a day for like three weeks. And you're good to go. Now it's gonna take a couple years or maybe more than that. So, um, just be patient and be thorough. The math. So especially math, you have to have background math and science.

Um, I dunno if I mentioned before, but I do write books for kids book for kids. So for me, it's language, you different native language. If you're good on math, you're gonna to explain your thoughts to any other person in the world, even if you're gonna speak the same language, like, you know, uh, but if you math is the universal language, I think so, uh, those are my recommendations.

At least that's great. That's really good recommendations. I like that. You know, get your fundamental solid, you know, use the annex material and the handbook material. Uh, I just got a couple, um, the 2019 handbook for. Fire alarm code and for, uh, sprinkler and FPA 13 and FPA 72. There's so much good information in those books.

Yeah. And, um, images that are not in the code show, like this is the way of the right way of

you see the examples of how you do it. Right. And how you don't do it. Right. So you get like, oh, this is what it means. And then when that clicks in your mind, then you know, it, you know, kinda it's like internalizing the knowledge and then it becomes like an, you know, transition to any project, but you're like, oh, okay.

That's what it means. Got. So, uh, but it's difficult. Sometimes the codes and the standards are really us from, from a legal perspective. So very black and white kinda thing. You know, the contrast are really there for a reason, but, um,

Uh, know what the subject matter experts thinks about. Every one of the regulations it's good stuff. Yeah. And, uh, I have a lot of interest in performance based design, but like you were saying, I don't, I don't know if I'm at that point in my career yet where I, uh, am comfortable with, uh, doing a lot of those, uh, calculations.

Um, and also they're not, yeah, you have to do everything though. Focus one or two things that you're really passionate about.


um, uh, don't try to, to learn everything cause you won't be able to do it, right. Not at least from my perspective. Yeah. That's a good note. I like that. I like that. So. I wanted to, um, ask you about some professional development topics, because, um, from my perspective, it seems like you have a passion for educating others and yeah.

Just, uh, being a resource. Uh, I really resonate with that and I think that's great. But, um, yeah, I wanted to ask, um, what do you see as a meaningful trend in the industry right now? I know you've talked about, um, power over ethernet and, uh, internet of things, um, which are a couple, uh, big terms in the industry right now.

But yeah. What are your thoughts on that? Well, mainly for educational purposes, there, there's a lot of training out there already. I think the main players educational program developers go into the online programs because.

Coronavirus outbreak. Uh, there is not too many face to face events anymore, which we used to do a lot of them, many of do as well. So I think that's, that's a challenge that transit of that content and information, the skills, some of these, um, trainers, they do have the expertise in this fields. So it's the face to face training was developed to bring that to the out there.

And I'm

72 and many countries. So you, you wanna to bring this information to people that cannot travel more distances or this. To come, uh, to the us or other places to, to get this training. So that's another challenge right now. And you, most entities will transition to program. Um, let's see how much we do, uh, from the it perspective.

We maybe develop to 20 programs a year. Uh, we'll see, how many can we do, uh, with the, this, this year, maybe a little bit different cause everythings changing, but, uh, we'll adapt. We will continue to educational training. And also from my perspective engineer, can we, um, we, we do it through different organizations.

Maybe this one


I think that's great. Yeah. The there's really been an explosion of online learning opportunities and a lot of free opportunities, you know, with organizations like, uh, S F P and American fire alarm association, and N F P and NFSA and a F S so there's a lot of great, uh, opportunities right now that people are trying to, um, you know, still have outreach in normal, uh, content delivery.

So it's been a really interesting time, uh, to be professional with all these, uh, resources being, um, the flag being, you know, thrown up for people still wanted to converse and grow the industry. Yeah, I don't mention the individual SDOs, but yeah, every, every SDO is trying to do the best for their communities.

Um, you know, our members are, you know, eager to go back to India, China, anywhere like, you know, these people really needs to be proficient. These design systems,

um, to like put plan together or groups of classes together. Okay. This is the basic level for the technician. This is the next level for. The next level of professional, you know, and don't try to replicate every content, you know, that be like a waste of resources from my perspective that, you know, we need to be this limitations.

We also vulnerable. We are, um, with our resources, with our time, with our, with our people that, that we get in contact with. Um, so I think we have to be very smart to identify, okay, these are good, skip it like that. You know, make an agreement with that organization and teach those the basic requirements and go to the next one.

The next one, the next one, you may find a few different ways of teaching one class, but, uh, the basic concepts should be basic concepts everywhere. So I will try not to the wheel if we can, you know, the fundamentals, right. And then. For those performance design classes. And that could a little bit different in technology, but, uh, don't try to make different classes on the same topic.

Cause then, then, then it's just a waste of resources. I believe the also get overwhelmed with, of invitations to glasses and stuff like that. So we have those as well. Yeah. I think that's a great point. You make about, um, the global state of fire protection and, you know, just, uh, having resources that can reach all around the world.

That's something that I have a lot of interest in just because, you know, I. Understand, you know, you know, how codes and standards work in other countries. You know, I was reading about, uh, like, uh, Australia and Japan last night. And you know, how they're a little bit about how their model codes work. And it's interesting.

I, I really like the idea of, uh, you know, a fire protection class or some sort of resource that would be helpful to anyone, you know, despite the fact that their model codes and standards might not work in the same way that the us does or that, you know, uh, another country that follows the international building code.

But yeah, I don't know what your, uh, thoughts are about that. I wanted to ask you just about, you know, your global sense of fire protection and maybe some of those resource things too. Well, all, all the S.

Depending on the technology, depending on the challenges, depending we get a new chemical product or acid, you know, that need to be especially the, to be specially designed for those types challenges. So that's gonna matter. Um, so the, the standards are mainly guidelines depending on the type of infrastructure that you have or the building you have between countries regions.

Right? So see that

gonna happen no matter what, but if you get your basics fundamental, done properly, how you, you know, take the, or file chemical reactions or of light or the levels of ability and are. Easy to get acknowledged to, or, um, an agreement on from people anywhere in the world. And we have done an in China with audio and everything.

So, um, many contractors came from Australia to

database there as well. So, um, same regulations, applications, a little bit different. Um, so I, I think it's gonna, you know, the difference between and could happen, but once you have fundamentals then to, to local regulations, be my perspective, you will adapt to projects like in the same, the us, you have 50 states, uh, and every state have different, a little bit different regulations.

Maybe, you know, half of them are the same. But then once you adapt to the basic gimme what's difference. What, what here do. So the basic concept should be based on math, science, and technology, right? The other are more like

bilities. So, uh, that's where you're gonna see the difference. Maybe body calculations, same applies for everywhere, but your of calculations will defer based on the local regulation or the insurance that

calculations doesn't matter. They tell you 24 hours or 48 hours. It doesn't matter. 60 hours, you put a name, a number you do calculation based with the number and you're good. So that would not be the challenge for me, at least from my perspective, uh, you get the fundamentals ready and then get the local organization to see what's different.

Yeah. Uh, yeah. You're, you're exactly right. Um, I mean, fire science is fire science all around the world and fire chemistry is fire chemistry, no matter what language you read it in. And so I like what you said about, you know, math and science or universal languages and yeah. The fundamentals, you know, understanding.

You know, needing battery calculations or needing, uh, uh, pressure and flow requirements for a sprinkler system, um, is the same, no matter where you are, you know, uh, despite the jurisdictional differences. Um, so yeah, that's really good. I like your take on, um, the fundamentals and building resources for people to, you know, understand the basics of fire protection engineering.

So I wanted to, um, end with, uh, topic that has been on my mind a lot recently, uh, energy storage systems seems like, has been, um, a big topic of discussion in the industry, uh, with lithium ion batteries and thermal runaway and that sort of thing. But, uh, yeah, I just wanted to hear your thoughts about, um, Energy storage systems and how you see, um, the fire protection industry gonna change to address these new hazards and yeah.

What your thoughts are about that? Well, I, I think that's one of the areas that

expert an expert on the energy storage. So, uh, I have read a few things, but I'm not that deeply involved into it. Don't have feedback into it just because,

oh, that's okay. Yeah. I'm no. Subject matter expert on, uh, batteries or energy storage either. I just, uh, yeah, it's interesting to me to look at those type of problems because, you know, I'll be designing fire protection for occupancies with, uh, battery testing, um, spaces, or, you know, where they'll be storing racks of batteries or, you know, just these rooms and, you know, thinking about the different hazard categories of, um, nickel, cadmium batteries and lithium ion batteries.

And, you know, I've read some interesting articles recently about, you know, uh, fire protection on, uh, airplanes and you know, how, uh, Thermo runaway of lithium ion batteries and like, um, the cargo bay of airplanes is a really big problem. And yeah, so, I mean, that's kind of where I'm coming on, but I understand, uh, it's kind of a out of the blue topic.

But, yeah, I think I've just been thinking about it a lot recently. Yeah, no, at least for me, I didn't work in those fields or the wildfires, for example, very important in California and places to also have likes recently. So wildfires big topic like that. I was surprised also when I

people involved, um, protect guys involved, um, developers involved. So the technical aspects, I think they will be solved. Um, some point we need to back to, to my roots. Uh, consensus based documents, right? So we need the feedback from all these experts to be able to build something that it's it's it's it's OK.

Or, you know, at least the baseline for designing systems for the as well. Um, so, you know, it just need a lot of people to, to develop something like this. Maybe 50 people I expect to be working a specific topic. So if you, you want something or, or agreement like design guidelines or design systems, you name any, any type of industry you're gonna need the working groups and the SSEs and you need program more than, than 20 people to do it order to make it happen.

Well, I think there could be smaller groups or task task forces to develop a specific. Uh, databases, how they track the existing fires. The data's out there. If, if they have the data, the owners manufacturers have the data stores, for example, the S for all that is collect data. And that data has to be analyzing order to get, um, a good fundamental data set or analysis of that data to be able to build on it.

So, because, you know, back in the day didn't have that capability or that data as a, because they didn't exist, we didn't have sensors for everything, but they went right. So was no data sets. Now we getting, we're getting more data sets to be able to do the calculations and say, you know what? Safety distance, three, four feet stuff like that will improve technology.

And thewhere. Without a doubt. Yeah. Uh, you, you talking about data sets, uh, brings to mind, uh, I think, uh, FM just released a good paper on, um, energy storage system and yeah, they were talking about, uh, separation distance being one of the biggest factors for, you know, limiting fire spread to other modules of energy storage systems.

So yeah, I think you're right. Uh, yeah, we're see that more and more


you know, before it was more about the good engineering practices, uh, what people thought it was good or safety enough. Uh, but now we're getting more into data analytics processing that data it's crucial for having. A better sense of what is, okay, what is a safety requirement? What is, you know, the proper voltage drop regulation, stuff like that is the more data we analyze, the better that, that, that, how be data is process.

So, you know, I think that's, that's only the aspect that some people will be moving into it. Not a lot of people get excited about the standards and processing data stuff, but one or two that work on this will be, be not on the, but do bring, do analytics on it's. We all need to put expertise, do little by little, get a C based out there for sure.

Yeah, no, I get ex I get a little excited about the data. I, I'm not, uh, I'm not real good about, uh, reading all those, uh, you know, I'll read the extract and the conclusion of those, some of those scientific journal journal articles, but, uh, it's pretty hard to get through a full, you know, 40 page document of talking about testing methods and all that.

So yeah. But anyways, Ernesto, thank you so much for, you know, go coming on the podcast and talking with me. I appreciate it. Um, I learned a lot, so thank you so much. Oh, thank you. Thanks for listening, everybody. Be sure to share the episode with a friend, if you enjoyed it, don't forget that fire protection and life safety is serious business.

The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are by no means a professional consultation or a code and standards. Interpretation. Be sure to contact a licensed professional. If you are getting involved with fire protection and or life safety. Thanks again. And we'll see you next time.