A. SIMEONI, DEPARTMENT HEAD
PROFESSORS: N. A. Dembsey, A. Rangwala, A. Simeoni
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR: K. A. Notarianni
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR: J.L. Urban
PROFESSOR OF PRACTICE: M. Puchovsky, Associate Department Head
ADJUNCT FPE FACULTY: W. Krein, C. Wood, R. Solomon
EMERITUS PROFESSORS: R. W. Fitzgerald, D. A. Lucht
ASSOCIATED FACULTY: L. Albano (CEE), J. Liang (ME)
The fire protection engineering department seeks to expand the knowledge and training of WPI graduates from different engineering disciplines so they can apply these skills in their disciplines or pursue advanced training through the Fire Protection Engineering BS/MS program. The department seeks to cultivate a nexus of fire protection engineering knowledge, training, and research with students and researchers from diverse STEM fields.
Program Educational Objectives
- To enhance the education of undergraduate STEM students with Fire Protection Engineering knowledge and skills through an undergraduate minor program to apply to their main disciplines (undergraduate majors).
- To train undergraduate STEM students from other disciplines for advanced study through the BS/MS program.
Combined BS/MS Degree Program
A combined-degree program is available for those undergraduate students having a strong interest in fire protection. This program provides students with the opportunity to accelerate their graduate work by careful development of their undergraduate plan of study leading to a Bachelor degree in a field of engineering and a master’s degree in fire protection engineering. The combined-degree approach saves time and money since up to 40 percent of course credits counted towards the Master’s degree can also be counted toward the Bachelor degree. Holders of a Bachelor degree in traditional engineering or science disciplines and the Master’s degree in fire protection engineering enjoy extremely good versatility in the job market.
Fire Protection Engineering
High school seniors can be admitted to the combined-degree program as first-year students, allowing them to complete both a bachelor’s degree in a selected field of engineering followed by the master’s degree in fire protection engineering, in a total of five years.
Fire Protection Engineering Minor
This course teaches students of different technical disciplines the fundamentals of fire protection engineering including combustion chemistry, fire behavior, compartment fire dynamics, toxicity, human behavior in fire, and fire modelling. Students have an opportunity to conduct and view fire experiments in both the WPI Fire Safety Engineering and the WPI Fire Fundamentals laboratories. Fire models are used to aid in use of the scientific method to determine cause and origin of a fire. This course is intended for both majors and non-majors as an introduction into Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) and how engineering knowledge can be used to save lives and property around the world.
This course introduces principles and applications of building fire safety design. Topics include the interaction between fire, the building, and building occupants; systems that are used to detect, suppress, and control the spread of fire; and systems that facilitate the safe evacuation of occupants during fire. Building code requirements and engineering methods for analysis and design of building fire safety systems will be explored.
This course will cover experimental methods used in fire research as well as other thermal-fluid topic areas. Students will learn fundamentals of metrology (calibration, sensor response constraints, uncertainty quantification), standard tests in fire research (i.e. cone calorimeter, fire propagation apparatus, etc.), as well as other measurement methods (thermocouples, heat flux gauges, velocimetry, thermometry, etc.). Students will also learn design of experiments and conduct a large-scale experiment in the UL performance lab.
As the pace of development increases around the world, fire prevention and control are becoming more vital for individuals, organizations, and society itself. This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of fire risk and sustainability along with related multi-disciplinary topics such as economics, human behavior, and decision-making. The process of fire risk assessment is taught and applied to the built environment and to the wildland fire problem. Students will undertake a structured applied-research project (individually or in small groups) to develop sustainable solutions at the interface of fire and a chosen area of sustainability such as climate change, safe drinking water, public health, housing, and more.