Fire Protection Engineering
This course introduces students of different technical disciplines to analytical methods and techniques to address problems of fire, explosions, or hazardous incidents. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the physical concepts of the problem and their interactions. Quantification will adapt existing procedures to appropriate levels of theoretical and empirical methods in the field of fire science and engineering. Computer applications will be incorporated.
Recommended background: mathematics through differential equations; engineering science; fluid mechanics.
Graduate Fire Protection Engineering Courses of Interest to Undergraduates
(Prerequisite: FPE 521 or special permission of the instructor.) Advanced topics in fire dynamics, combustion and compartment fire behavior will be discussed within a framework of modeling fire and its effects. Topics include computer modeling of pre-flashover and post-flashover compartment fires, burning characteristics of polymers and other fuels, the effect of fire retardants, products of combustion generation, flame spread models, plume and ceiling jet models and overall toxicity assessment. Some familiarity with computer programming is recommended.
(Prerequisites: Undergraduate chemistry, thermodynamics [or physical chemistry], fluid mechanics and heat transfer.) This course introduces students to fundamentals of fire and combustion and is intended to serve as the first exposure to fire dynamics phenomena. The course includes fundamental topics in fire and combustion such as thermodynamics of combustion, fire chemistry, premixed and diffusion flames, solid and liquid burning, ignition, plumes and ceiling jets. These topics are then used to develop the basic for introducing compartment fire behavior, pre and post-flashover conditions and smoke movement.
(Prerequisites: Undergraduate courses in chemistry, fluid mechanics and either thermodynamics or physical chemistry.) This course provides an introduction to automatically activated fire suppression and detection systems. A general overview is presented of relevant physical and chemical phenomena and commonly used hardware in automatic sprinkler, gaseous agent, foam and dry chemical systems. Typical contemporary installations and current installation and approval standards are reviewed.
(Prerequisite: FPE 553 or special permission os instructor.) Advanced topics in suppression systems analysis and design are discussed with an aim toward developing a performance based understanding of suppression technology. Automatic sprinkler systems are covered from the standpoint of predicting actuation times, reviewing numerical methods for hydraulic analyses of pipe flow networks and understanding the phenomenology involved in water spray suppression. Special suppression systems are covered from the standpoint of two phase and non-Newtonian pipe flow and simulations of suppression agent discharge and mixing in an enclosure.
Principles of fire detection and using flame, heat and smoke detector technology are described. Fire alarm technology and the electrical interface with fire/smoke detectors are reviewed in the context of contemporary equipment and installation standards. Smoke control systems based on buoyancy and HVAC principles are studied in the context of building smoke control for survivability and safe egress.
Risk Management is highly interdisciplinary drawing upon systems engineering and managerial decision making and finance. The basics of risk management including hazard analysis, risk assessment, risk control and risk financing are covered. The course is self-contained and includes material from engineering economy, risk assessment and decision analysis. Group projects can draw from fire protection engineering, hazardous waste management and product liability. The projects serve to emphasize important techniques for quantifying risk and the challenge of integrating risk assessment with managerial decision making.
This course focuses on the presentation of qualitative and quantitative means for firesafety analysis in buildings. Fire test methods, fire and building codes and standards of practice are reviewed in the context of a systematic review of firesafety in proposed and existing structures.
(Prerequisites: FPE 553, FPE 521 and FPE 570 or special permission of instructor.) This course covers practical applications of fire protection engineering principles to the design of buildings. Both compartmented and non-compartmented buildings will be designed for criteria of life safety, property protection, continuity of operations, operational management and cost. Modern analytical tools as well as traditional codes and standards are utilized. Interaction with architects, code officials and an awareness of other factors in the building design process are incorporated through exercises and a design studio.
(Prerequisites: FPE 570, FPE 521 and FPE 553 or special permission of the instructor.) Development of fire investigation and reconstruction as a basis for evaluating, and improving firesafety design. Accident investigation theory and failure analysis techniques such as fault trees and event sequences are presented. Fire dynamics and computer modeling are applied to assess possible fire scenarios and the effectiveness of fire protection measures. The products liability aspects of failure analysis are presented. Topics include products liability law, use of standard test methods, warnings and safe product design. Application of course materials is developed through projects involving actual case studies.
(Prerequisites: FPE 553, FPE 521 or special permission of instructor.) Principles of fire dynamics, heat transfer and thermodynamics are combined with a general knowledge of automatic detection and suppression systems to analyze fire protection requirements for generic industrial hazards. Topics covered include safe separation distances, plant layout, hazard isolation, smoke control, warehouse storage and flammable liquid processing and storage. Historical industrial fires influencing current practice on these topics are also discussed.
Principles of combustion explosions are taught along with explosion hazard and protection applications. Topics include a review of flammability limit concentrations for flammable gases and dusts; thermochemical equilibrium calculations of adiabatic closed vessel deflagration pressures and detonation pressures and velocities; pressures development as a function of time for closed vessels and vented enclosures; the current status of explosion suppression technology; and vapor cloud explosion hazards.
Individual or group studies on any topic relating to fire protection may be selected by the student and approved by the faculty member who supervises the work.
Reports on current advances in the various branches of fire protection.
(Prerequisite: FPE 521.) This course provides overall instruction and hands-on experience with fire science related experimental measurement techniques. The objective is to expose students to laboratory-scale fire experiments, standard fire tests and state-of-the-art measurement techniques. The Lateral Ignition and Flame Transport (LIFT) apparatus, state-of-the-art smoke detection systems, closed-up flashpoint tests and gas analyzers are among the existing laboratory apparatus. Fire related measurement techniques for temperature, pressure, flow and velocity, gas species and heat fluxes, infrared thermometry, Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LVD) and Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) will be reviewed.