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The Society of Fire Protection Engineers

The Society of Fire Protection Engineers was established in 1950 and incorporated as an independent organization in 1971. It is the professional society representing those practicing the field of fire protection engineering. The Society has over 4500 members globally and over 60 regional chapters.

The following are links to The Society of Fire Protection Engineers and other chartered chapters:

The Southern Ontario Chapter

The Southern Ontario Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers is chartered by The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). Please send all general inquires to Additionally Chapter Officers can be contacted directly using the email addresses provided below.

2023/2024 Executive Committee


Matthew McDonald, Chapter President

Matt specializes in the area of fire and life safety consulting. His educational credentials include a Fire Protection Engineering Technologist Diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. He has been employed by ARENCON Inc., a specialty consulting group assisting clients in the area of Codes, fire safety and design, since February 2018.

Matt is a member of OACETT and is working towards certification with OACETT to become a Certified Engineering Technologist.

Matt’s project experience as a fire protection consultant includes Code compliance assessments and fire safety and evacuation planning.

Prior to employment with ARENCON Inc., Matt was enrolled in the Fire Protection Engineering Technology program at Seneca College where he received training in Building and Fire Codes, various NFPA standards, fire dynamics, sprinkler, fire pumps, fire alarm and chemical extinguishing system design.

Matt received the 2016 and 2017 Society of Fire Protection Engineers Southern Ontario Chapter (SFPESOC) Thomas Chiang Award, the 2017 Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA) Scholarship, and the 2017 Legacy Fire Award recognizing both educational and community involvement as well as maintaining high levels of success in his studies.

While attending Seneca College, Matt was the Treasurer and Vice President of the Fire Protection Student Association (FPSA) and was an active volunteer where he assisted in organizing events.

Matt had the opportunity to work at Homestead Land Holdings Limited during his co-op work term where he performed monthly inspections for their high-rise apartment buildings.

VACANT, First Vice President & Program Chair

Kami Singh, Second Vice President & Membership Chair

Kami has been involved in the Property and Casualty industry for over 25 years and has considerable expertise in the areas product development, marketing, training and underwriting.

Kami sits on several insurance committees in Canada. Just to name a few,

  • Insurance Bureau of Canada –Toronto
  • Insurance Bureau of Canada – Atlantic Canada
  • Property Underwriter Club – Past President
  • Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO)
  • Centre for Study of Insurance Operations. (CSIO)

Kami currently works for Informco Inc. as the Vice President of the Insurance Division, she has held several other senior roles with Insurers in the Insurance Industry. In her current role, she works very closely with the Superintendents of Insurance (Ministry of Finance and Justice) across the country in developing insurance regulations and wordings for the Canadian Insurance Industry.

Her involvement in the industry includes automobile forms, rates and underwriting filing for several major players in the industry, development of property, farm and church insurance products for insurers and serves as a technical wording expert for the Superintendent’s offices, legal counsel, claims, underwriters, and rehabilitation centers.

She was instrumental in launching a major Insurance company, which successfully became one of Canada’s leading insurers in direct writing insurance business.

Above her current role, she sits on other boards and is an Instructor for the Insurance Institute of Canada. Kami has also instructed at Seneca Collage and Sheridan Collage. Kami has won the “Instructor of the Year” award 2 years in row for her outstanding performance.

She is also an Associate of the Insurance Institute of Canada.

Cathy Shen, Treasurer

Cathy Shen has served on SFPE Southern Ontario Chapter's Executive Committee since 2019.

Cathy has over 20 years of experience in the fire protection industry and is currently a Senior Associate and Project Manager at LRI Engineering Inc. Cathy is a Certified CFAA Technician with experience in audit, design, construction site management and commissioning of the fire alarm and fire protection system retrofits and new constructions, building's life safety and smoke management system assessment, building and fire code consulting.

Ms. Shen works as a project manager on a variety of projects involving fire alarm system and fire suppression system design, tender, construction site management and commissioning tests. Cathy is also a ULC Certified ULC-S1001 Integrated Systems Testing Coordinator for fire protection and life safety systems.

Ms. Shen is a graduate of Fire Alarm Technician program and Fire Sprinkler System Design program at Seneca College. Prior to these studies, Cathy also completed Computer Programming Diploma at Seneca College and holds a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Degree from East China University in Shanghai, China. Ms. Shen was a certified Professional Engineer in Beijing, China, specializing in industrial clean room HVAC systems design.

Frank Cina, Secretary

Frank is a graduate of the Fire Protection Engineering Technology program at Seneca College and is also a graduate from the University of Cincinnati where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Fire and Safety Engineering Technology. He also holds a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) designation, Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation and is a Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS).

Frank began his career in fire protection at Statewide Fire Protection in Las Vegas, NV performing fire sprinkler design and project management for a variety of commercial buildings.

Frank then moved back to Canada and started his insurance and risk management career with Economical Insurance where he was a risk services consultant for 11 years looking at a large variety of commercial risks.

Mr. Cina then made the move to Northbridge Insurance in 2018 taking a role as senior risk services consultant and is currently the Manager of the Ontario & Atlantic Property and Casualty Risk Services team at Northbridge, a position he has held since 2019.

Christopher Mastro, Past President

Chris has served on the SFPE Southern Ontario Chapter’s Executive Committee since 2017.

Chris began his insurance and risk management career in 2008 with Northbridge Insurance as a risk consultant conducting risk assessments and developing risk mitigation solutions. He is currently the Risk Services Director at Northbridge for Property and Casualty.

Chris is a graduate of the Fire Protection Engineering Technology program at Seneca College and holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Cincinnati. He also holds his Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) and his Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designations.


Bishoy N. Awad

Dr. Bishoy N. Awad is a Senior Fire Protection Engineer at Fire & Risk Alliance, LLC. Holding a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from McMaster University, his academic focus centred on fluid modelling and the development of numerical models for enhanced computational efficiency. Complementing his doctorate, Dr. Awad also holds a master's and bachelor's degree in civil engineering, specializing in water engineering and computational fluid dynamics.

With over a decade of hands-on experience in the Fire Protection domain across North America and the Middle East, Dr. Awad has emerged as a key player in designing, managing, and testing diverse fire protection systems for various structures. His specialized knowledge extends to the design of fire pumps and the creation of alternative solutions tailored to meet the unique requirements of each building. His expertise further encompasses building and fire code consultation, involving the assessment of existing building conditions and the provision of innovative solutions for storage protection in warehouses.

Dr. Awad currently focuses on computer modelling and risk assessment for Lithium-Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS), conducting CFD simulations of fire scenarios to develop hazard mitigation analyses and community risk assessments.

An active contributor to professional organizations, Dr. Awad is an SFPE Professional Member and serves on the SFPE RTM committee, specifically the Existing Building Task Group, contributing to the development of the Existing Building Guide. Additionally, he serves as a ULC-S1001 Integrated Testing Coordinator (ITC).

Derek Gruchy

Derek has served on the SFPE Southern Ontario Chapter’s Executive Committee since 2016. He has been an active SFPE member, since 2002, participating in this Chapter, as well as the National Capital Region Chapter. He has served as Treasurer, Membership Chair, Program Chair, President, and now is a Past President of our Chapter.

Derek has been involved in the fire industry since 2002, and is currently the Program Co-ordinator for the School of Fire Protection Engineering Technology at Seneca College. Derek is a Certified Engineering Technologist with experience in human behaviour during fire emergencies, life safety analysis, exposure risk determination, building and fire code interpretation, and suppression system designs.

Mr. Gruchy specializes in the areas of Human Behaviour During Fire Emergencies, Fire Dynamics and Explosions and also teaches Water Supplies, Fire Pumps, Fire Modelling, Combustion Chemistry, Fire Code and Fire Protection Fundamentals. He has experience in life safety systems commissioning, suppression system designs, performing building inspections and the application of provincial and national fire and building codes, occupant load, and exit capacity calculations.

Mr. Gruchy was the first graduate of Carleton University’s Fire Safety Engineering program, obtaining his Master’s. Derek’s thesis was on “Occupant Behaviour During Fire Emergencies”. His findings were used in the CUrisk model as well as marineEXODUS to better predict and model occupant behaviour. Previous to these studies, Derek also completed a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering Degree (specializing in Computer Integrated Manufacturing) from Carleton University.

Derek also has research experience determining the impact of smoke levels on occupant evacuation capability (performed as part of his thesis, using volunteers from the general public). He has also done research regarding combustion properties for various materials (performed using Seneca College’s cone calorimeter).

As part of the hands-on experience at Seneca College, Derek also leads the live fire demonstrations for students in various courses so that graduates have a true understanding of where Code and standard regulations are derived from.

Lorena Folcia

Lorena has over 6 years of experience in the Construction and Industrial field with 2 years in the Building and Fire Code sector. Her career has been focused on systems ranging from electricity to HVAC, pipeline and machinery. She has experience in retail and healthcare buildings, having been involved in various stages of the project as an estimator, project manager and industrial engineer in North America and Europe. On the industrial side, she has experience carrying out surveys of a broad range of Industrial, Marine and Naval plants. Thanks to this multidisciplinary background Lorena is familiar with various Standards and Codes such as NFPA, ISO or BREEAM. Currently Lorena is a Project Manager at CodeNext Inc. working on a wide range of projects from commercial Building Code design reviews to industrial Fire Code solutions.

Mario Cannataro

I am currently a Senior Risk Engineering Consultant with Sovereign General Insurance Company and have worked for various insurance carriers for the last 15 years. I graduated from the Fire Protection Engineering Technology program at Seneca College in 2008 and prior to that, worked in the trades for 6 years as a licensed gas and sprinkler fitter. This trade experience has allowed me to specialize and excel in the contracting and construction sectors while strengthening my skills in the commercial and industrial sectors.

Nino Ferrante

A former graduate of the Fire Protection Engineering Technology (FPET) program at Seneca College, Nino graduated with Honours. Nino’s has attained the following certifications: Certified Technician (C.Tech.), formerly Applied Science Technologist (A.Sc.T.) with the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT), Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP), Canadian Risk Manager (CRM), and Level I Thermographer.

Nino has several years of experience in the field as a Risk Consultant, including time as a Fire Prevention Officer and Fire Inspector and has conducted numerous risk assessments for many types of buildings, occupancies, industrial/ manufacturing processes, highly protected facilities, and buildings in development. He is well versed in conducting inspections and enforcing the Ontario Fire Code and other relevant legislation and standards. Nino also has experience inspecting, testing, maintaining, and repairing various fire protection equipment.

Paul Johnston

Paul has served on SFPE Southern Ontario Chapter's Executive Committee since 2008. He is a graduate of the Fire Protection Engineering Technology program at Seneca College and has over 35 years of experience regarding insurance risk engineering. He is currently the Manager in the Risk Management / Loss Control Department for Wawanesa Insurance, and was formerly the Manager in the GTA at Aviva Canada. Paul is a Certified Engineering Technologist, and has also attained his CRM (Canadian Risk Management) and CIP (Chartered Insurance Professional) designations. Aside from various management duties, Paul also works on a variety of risks involving building surveys with the application of various Standards, and Provincial and National fire and building codes.

Stanis Yu

Stanis has served on SFPE Southern Ontario Chapter's Executive Committee since 2006 and is a 2022 recipient of SFPE's 'Hats Off Award' for his exemplary service to the Society. During his tenure, he has held several Chapter leadership positions including Treasurer, Membership Chair, Program Chair, President, and Past President. He is currently serving as a Member-at-Large.

Stanis is a Senior Project Handler at UL Solutions in the Built Environment Division. He has been evaluating building materials and systems for their reaction to fire and fire resistive properties since 2002. Stanis also represents UL Solutions on technical committees of ULC standards.

Stanis is a graduate of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry.

Xiao Li

Xiao Li is currently a Senior Fire Protection Specialist at Westinghouse Electric Canada Company. Xiao holds a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering (fire safety) from Carleton University and a master’s degree in Fire Safety Engineering. He conducted extensive research work in fire risk analysis and fire safety in the timber-built environment, followed by a continuous work experience as a fire engineer in Canada and abroad. His vast project experiences include mass timber buildings, transportation facilities (subways, rolling stock, airports, transit hubs, and rail tunnels), assembly, industrial, residential and forensic projects.


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