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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 10, 2014
Contact: Office of Public Affairs

ATF’s Sheppard Elected as SFPE Fellow

WASHINGTON — Assistant Director H. Richard Holgate, Office of Science and Technology/Chief Information Officer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), congratulates David T. Sheppard, Ph.D., on being recognized as one of seven 2014 fellows selected by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE).

“This prestigious recognition of your abilities and contributions to the profession shines a bright light on ATF, its employees, and the mission of the bureau in the area of fire and arson,” said Holgate.

SFPE’s recognition of Sheppard is a first for ATF. This honor for the seven fellows represents the highest level of excellence in the fire engineering field. This not only honors the achievements of fire protection engineers as individuals, but the significant contributions to fire protection engineering and society globally.

Dr. Sheppard contributes daily to ATF’s mission in the field of fire research at ATF’s Fire Research Laboratory (FRL), which is the world’s largest research laboratory dedicated to fire scene investigation. ATF’s lab involves fire scene reconstruction, fire cause evaluation, and validation of fire pattern analysis indicators. He also participates in important investigations regarding the impact of accelerants on fire growth and spread, ignition studies, and electrical fire cause analysis.

For nearly 40 years, ATF has developed scientifically proven investigative capabilities, expertise, and resources that have positioned ATF as the nation’s primary source for explosives and fire investigative knowledge and assistance. ATF scientists use the FRL’s unique structure and sophisticated instrumentation to investigate fire-scene phenomena, conduct forensic fire science and engineering tests, and analyze fire growth and dynamics questions.

ATF is the federal agency primarily responsible for administering and enforcing the criminal and regulatory provisions of the federal laws pertaining to destructive devices, explosives, and arson. For more information on ATF and its programs, go to