Donald Hopkins, PE
With more than 24 years of experience as a fire protection engineer, Don Hopkins is an expert in designing water-based fire suppression, gaseous suppression, fire alarm and emergency communication systems; conducting performance-based assessments that include fire and smoke modeling and timed-egress analysis; and preparing code and life safety evaluations for new and existing buildings. He oversees fire protection system installations and system failure investigations, and he also serves as a technical expert for legal cases. Don has more than 20 years of experience mentoring, developing and managing staff, including those in remote locations and within areas of work outside his area of technical expertise.
Don’s project experience includes high-rise buildings, cleanrooms, libraries, museums, laboratories, warehouses, historic buildings, wineries, theaters and other unique and complex building designs. His expertise extends to performance-based alternative design work to demonstrate code equivalencies for projects requiring analyses that entail fuel loading and hazard assessments, timed-egress studies, computational fire modeling and bench- or full-scale fire testing to evaluate specific fire hazards.
In his current role, Don is responsible for the development and execution of security business strategy and the management of a globally dispersed staff through a matrix organizational structure. In addition, he ensures appropriate staffing based on skillsets for various regional security teams and assists the security team in developing and maintaining clients.
Previously, Don rose from Intern to General Partner at the Automatic Fire Sprinkler Co., where he was responsible for all operational aspects of the business, including hiring, training and business development. He also designed, hydraulically calculated and inspected all types of automatic fire sprinkler systems, fire pumps and standpipe systems. Don supervised system installations and acted as the company liaison for performance of acceptance tests. While serving as a Fire Protection Engineer at S.A. Maglione Associates, Don performed fire protection systems analyses, site suitability analyses and water supply analyses, and assisted in fire and loss investigations. As an instructor at Sussex County Community College, he developed and taught courses on Fire Suppression Systems and Fire Hydraulics that covered basic methods of operation; theories and principles behind applications of water, foam, gaseous and powder extinguishing agents; and hydraulic calculation methods and formulas as well as the necessary mathematical techniques.
Don earned his Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland. He is a registered Fire Protection Engineer (PE) and participates on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committees on Sprinkler System Discharge Criteria, Records Storage, and Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. He is a member of NFPA and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). Don was the recipient of the Frank J. Fee Jr. NFPA Award in 1992 and 1993.