Director of Fire Protection | Principal

Virginia Beach, VA


During college, Chris Born responded to a double fatality house fire as a fire and rescue squad volunteer. This experience opened his eyes to fire protection engineering as a professional field where he felt could make a difference in his community. He then took advantage of the University of Maryland offering the only fully accredited undergraduate fire protection engineering program in the U.S. and went on to earn a Master of Engineering in engineering management from Old Dominion University.

As Director of Fire Protection, Chris is responsible for the design and technical quality for all fire protection work at Clark Nexsen, including fire sprinklers, standpipes, foam and clean agent suppression, and fire pump and fire alarm systems. He leads a team of fire protection engineers and designers and holds a firmwide advisory role on fire protection related code compliance for architects, engineers, and spec writers.

In his 33 years as a fire protection engineer, his experience includes a wealth of project types ranging from commercial, healthcare, and student life facilities, to aircraft hangars to hotels. He is a recognized expert who has presented at the annual American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) convention on topics including fire system design for aircraft hangars and BIM as it relates to the FPE’s design role.

Having worked as a fire protection contractor, Chris has firsthand knowledge of how systems are built. “My perspective offers an advantage for our clients. It allows us to build a higher level of accuracy in our drawings and specifications resulting in fewer RFIs and changes as the systems are built.”

Chris has made substantial contributions to the safety of his community as a member of the Kempsville Fire Department and Rescue Squad in Virginia for 19 years. In addition to leadership roles, he served as a volunteer firefighter and a member of both the extrication/squad truck crew and rescue squad, rising from EMT to a nationally registered paramedic. He impacts fire protection code as an alternate member of the National Fire Sprinkler Association 11 Committee on Foam Systems.