Fire Protection Engineering
Modeling of compartment fire behavior is studied through the use and application of two types of models: zone and field. The zone model studied is CFAST. The field model studied is FDS. Focus on in-depth understanding of each of these models is the primary objective in terms of needed input, equations solved, interpretation of output and limitations. Additional fundamental understanding of fire models is gained via a student developed model. A working student model is required for successful completion of the course. Basic computational ability is assumed. Basic numerical methods are used and can be learned during the course via independent study. (Prerequisite: FPE 521 or permission of the instructor.)
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 burning, ignition, plumes, heat release rate curves, and flame spread. These topics are then used to develop the basis for introducing compartment fire behavior, pre- and post-flashover conditions and zone modeling. Basic computational ability is assumed. Basic numerical methods are used and can be learned during the course via independent study. (Prerequisites: Undergraduate chemistry, thermodynamics or physical chemistry, fluid mechanics and heat transfer.)
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. (Pre-requisites: Undergraduate courses in chemistry, fluid mechanics and either thermodynamics or physical chemistry.)
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. (Prerequisite: FPE 553 or special permission of instructor.)
Principles of fire detection 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. (Pre-requisites: FPE 553 and FPE 521, which can be taken concurrently.)
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.
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 and code officials, and an awareness of other factors in the building design process are incorporated through design exercises and a design studio. (Prerequisites: FPE 553, FPE 521 and FPE 570, 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 product 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 i nvolving actual case studies. (Pre-requisite: FPE 521, FPE 553, FPE 570 or special permission of the 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. Historic industrial fires influencing current practice on these topics are also discussed. (Prerequisites: FPE 553, FPE 521 or special permission of the instructor.)
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; pressure 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. See the SUPPLEMENT section of the on-line catalog at www.wpi.edu/+gradcat for descriptions of courses to be offered in this academic year ? Business Practice ? Combustion ? People in Fires ? Fire Risk and Regulatory Policy ? Fire Dynamics II ? Fire and Materials ? Forensic Techniques ? Uncertainty in FPE Design and Decision Making