Faculty Directory

Contact Information

Office:
Gateway Park, II 1212
Phone: +1-508-831-5971
Fax: +1-508-831-5862
ndembsey@wpi.edu

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Nicholas A. Dembsey

In today’s cost-conscious world, ensuring greater life safety and property protection has never been more challenging. To this end, my research focuses on the building performance applications of fire dynamics, fire characteristics of materials, and fire models. With the able assistance of a Fire Protection Engineering doctoral student, we are developing new techniques and a guidance document for practicing engineers to measure fire properties of materials. This work will enable practicing engineers to more accurately predict fire behavior. In addition, I am working with several other graduate students in the areas of fire model flame spread validation, and improvement of building fire safety design by developing a more effective interface between architects and fire protection engineers. Our goal is to provide knowledge that enables fire protection engineers to develop more effective and efficient designs in the built environment and serve as a basis for improvement of regulatory policy.

Research Interests

  • Fire properties of materials via bench-top scale experimentation
  • Compartment fire dynamics via residential scale experimentation
  • Evaluation, development and validation of compartment fire models
  • Performance fire codes
  • Engineering design tools
  • Engineering forensic tools

Education

  • BS, University of Michigan
  • MS, University of California at Berkeley
  • PhD, University of California at Berkeley

Featured Publications

  • You, Y.G., Park, H.J., Dembsey, N.A., Till Jr., W.B., Johnson, E.R., and Butler, J., "Characteristics of Nuclear Facility Waste Bag Fires", Fire Technology, (2013). [DOI: 10.1007/s10694-013-0368-z]  
  • Park, H.J., Meacham, B.J., Dembsey, N.A., and Goulthorpe, M., "Conceptual Model Development for Holistic Building Fire Safety Performance Analysis", Fire Technology, (2013). [DOI: 10.1007/s10694-013-0374-1]  
  • Alvarez, A., Meacham, B.J., Dembsey, N.A., and Thomas, J.R., "A Framework for Risk-informed Performance-based Fir Protection Design for the Built Environment", Fire Technology, (2013). [DOI: 10.1007/s10694-013-0366-1]  
  • Sipe, J.E., and Dembsey, N.A., "A Porous Media Model for Sprinkler Wetting: Ceramic Fiberboard Validation", Fire Safety Journal, 58 (2013) 213-220. [DOI: 10.1016/j.firesaf.2013.02.003]  
  • Wong, W.C.K., Dembsey, N.A., Alston, J., and Lautenberger, C., "A Multi-component Dataset Framework for Validation of CFD Flame Spread Models", Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, 23: 2 (2013) 85-134. [DOI: 10.1177/1042391512472087] SFPE’s 2014 Jack Bono Award. Best JFPE paper for 2013.
 
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