Public Safety & Security

Threats to our security and safety abound in our world. From fire to traffic accidents to Internet hackers, researchers at WPI are working to understand the risks we face and to develop technological solutions that help identify, manage, or eliminate them, making our world and our work safer.

  • WPI's Fire Protection Engineering Department is known worldwide for the quality of its graduate programs. Department faculty conduct research on a wide range of topics related to fire science and fire safety, including ignition, flame spread, explosions, building fire safety, and fire policy and risk.
  • Two of the most significant threats firefighters face on the job are experiencing heart attacks and becoming lost inside burning buildings. WPI's Precision Personnel Location research team has been working for several years on systems that use a combination of radio and radar technology to pinpoint firefighters' locations in three dimensions indoors, and combining that technology with physiological sensors to monitor their vital signs. The group holds the nation's only workshop on indoor location.
  • The security of information in the age of the Internet and ubiquitous wireless communication is the focus of WPI's Cryptography and Information Security Laboratory , which develops advanced methods for encrypting data, including tools especially designed for tiny, low-power devices like RFID tags, and the Wireless Networking and Security Laboratory, which develops novel techniques for securing data transmitted over wireless networks or in the "cloud."

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