Fire Protection & Public Safety

WPI is a recognized as a world leader in fire protection engineering and research on firefighter effectiveness and safety. WPI faculty and students collaborate with national and international partners on research that helps shape how buildings are designed, what materials are used, the ways firefighters respond, and how products are developed and regulations defined. The state-of-the-art facilities in WPI's new Fire Protection Engineering Laboratory include a 2,000-square-feet burn-lab where researchers can conduct burns of structures as large as a two-story building. In the Combustion Laboratory, researchers study the fire safety hazards associated with portable gasoline containers and explosion risks of industrial dusts, among other topics. Recent research grants include a $1 million award from Homeland Security to study fire safety concerns of green buildings and a grant to develop a fire proof fire hose for firefighters.


Studying the Lofty Challenge of Fighting High-Rise Fires

Kathi Notarianni examines the efficacy of existing methods for fighting high-rise fires and evaluates new approaches to making it more effective and safer—including the use of elevators.

 
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  • prof-cyganski

    Faculty Profile

    Name: David Cyganski
    Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering
    Title: Professor

    Cyganski is a member of the Precision Personnel Locater research team that recently received a $1 million award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

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  • prof-duckworth

    Faculty Profile

    Name: James Duckworth
    Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering
    Title: Associate Professor

    Duckworth and his research team were awarded $1 million to continue developing a system that will locate firefighters, monitor their health, & detect the risk of flashover.

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  • meecham-profile

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Brian Meacham
    Department: Fire Protection Engineering
    Title: Associate Professor

    Prof. Brian Meacham works with many funding agencies to address public safety issues in fire protection and civil engineering through risk-informed & performance-based analyses.

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  • notarianna-profile

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Kathy Notarianni
    Department: Fire Protection Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering
    Title: Associate Professor

    Prof. Notarianni directs a study to determine efficient resource allocations for 400+ fire departments. She co-created a tool to predict ignition time of combustible materials.

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  • rangwala

    Faculty Profile

    Name: Ali Rangwala
    Department: Fire Protection Engineering
    Title: Associate Professor

    Concerned with fire-safety standards, Prof. Rangwala is creating a sensor to detect the velocity and flow of smoke, among various other combustion-based research projects.

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