Fire Protection Research Foundation announces winners of the 2015 William M. Carey and Ronald K. Mengel Awards

Fire Protection Research Foundation announces winners of the 2015 William M. Carey and Ronald K. Mengel Awards

August 17, 2015 – The Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation), an affiliate of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), announced winners of the 2015 William M. Carey and Ronald K. Mengel awards. The award winners were selected by participants at the Foundation’s 2015 Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium (SUPDET). Recipients will receive their awards at the 2016 SUPDET Symposium.

Elyse Gottuk won the 2015 Ronald K. Mengel Award for outstanding detection paper for her report entitled “The Effect of Ceiling Fans on Smoke Alarm Performance.” Gottuk recently completed eighth grade at Burleigh Manor Middle School in Maryland. Her presentation, which centered around work she conducted for a science fair project, also won the Chesapeake Chapter of Systems Engineering Award for best project.

The late Mengel had a long and distinguished career in fire protection, and served for many years as the vice president of industry affairs for the system sensor division of Honeywell Corporation. He was instrumental in Honeywell’s industry-sponsored research and training efforts. Mengel contributed to a number of Foundation projects and served on the Foundation’s Fire Detection and Alarm Research Advisory Council.

The 2015 William M. Carey Award for best suppression paper was awarded to Daniel R. Steppan for “Protection of Rack Stored Exposed Expanded Group A Plastics with ESFR Sprinklers and Vertical Barriers.“ Steppan began his career at Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) in 1993 after working in the aerospace industry for four years in component and system design engineering. He currently holds the position of staff engineer at the Northbrook, Ill. UL fire test facility, working primarily in Large Scale Fire Research. He has been involved in large scale fire research programs since 1996.

Carey was a senior staff engineer at Underwriters Laboratories Inc., and participated in many Foundation fire suppression projects, including the first The National Quick Response Sprinkler Project. Throughout his career, he was regarded as "the bridge" between research and the application of new fire safety knowledge.

About the Fire Protection Research Foundation

The Fire Protection Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates research on a broad range of fire safety issues in support of the NFPA mission. The Foundation is an affiliate of NFPA.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at