Home to the first master’s program and one of only three fire protection engineering (FPE) graduate programs in the nation, the Fire Protection Engineering Department at WPI has driven significant cutting-edge research, developed real-world solutions through its state-of-the-art fire laboratories, and graduated highly trained, influential, in-demand experts.
Our internationally renowned faculty members are recognized for cutting-edge research and teaching focused on making the world safer by tackling challenging questions about fire behavior and our response to it. Students work alongside them in state-of-the-art facilities to gain and create knowledge that informs and shapes regulatory policy, building design, manufacturing processes, first responder operations, and product performance standards.
Performance Engineering Laboratory at Gateway Park
FPE Faculty and student researchers have access to facilities that are unmatched in academia—including the Performance Engineering Laboratory at Gateway Park, where researchers can conduct large-scale burns up to a two-story building.
WPI Fire Protection Engineers Collaborate with New York Times on Fatal Fire Investigation
Albert Simeoni, head of WPI's Fire Protection Engineering Department, and postdoctoral fellow Muthu Kumaran Selvaraj created a virtual smoke flow model for The New York Times to provide insights and information that could possibly help prevent future tragedies like the 2021 Bronx, NY fire that is the focus of a new Times report.
Spotlight on Engineering: Urban Fire Research Group
James Urban, assistant professor in fire protection engineering, researches advances in wildland fire, visual-based fire protection, and fundamental fire phenomenon. His team is especially skilled at finding low-cost ways to measure fire and provide collaborators access to state-of-the-art fire labs, easily allowing for multi-scale experiments.
A High-Demand Career Path
The demand for fire protection engineers continues to grow, providing nearly unlimited career opportunities for WPI FPE graduates. Our alumni are highly sought after and can be found working as consultants, at fire protection equipment manufacturers, and in government, the insurance industry, research laboratories, and more. Their jobs have taken them from the South Pole to Alaskan pipelines, Disney World, and beyond.
Faculty Snapshot: Albert Simeoni
A former lieutenant in the North Corsican Fire Service, get to know Albert Simeoni from the items in his office.
From the University Magazine
Fire Safety for Lithium Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems (ESS)
ESS facilities pose unique challenges as they can result in fast developing fires of significant heat release. Through a radiation heat transfer analysis, separation distances are examined. The results can inform the development of standardized spacing practices based on associated energy capacity and container size.