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Home to the first master’s program and one of only three fire protection engineering graduate programs in the United States, WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering Department 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.

Degrees & Certificates

Area of Study Bachelor Minor Certificate Master PhD
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Save The Date: March 18th & 19th, 2022 for the FPE Department 40 + 3 Years Anniversary Event

Mark your calendars on March 18th and 19th, 2022 for an event to celebrate the 40 + 3 years anniversary of WPI's Fire Protection Engineering Department 

Where the wind blows wildfires can go

Related video: WPI fire protection engineers are using a newly designed wind tunnel to better understand wildfires.

WPI Professor Talks to Newsweek

In light of the devastating California wildfires that have killed 17 people, Newsweek interviewed fire protection engineering professor Albert Simeoni, asking him if these types of fires always must be devastating to human life and property. Simeoni, who studies wildfires and is a former firefighter, said damage can be minimized through science and consideration of fire behavior. 

WPI burn lab

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.

Professors

Kathy Ann Notarianni

Kathy A. Notarianni

Associate Professor

Today, firefighters serve increasingly as first responders for emergency medical calls, civil emergencies, terrorist threats, and hazardous materials incidents, in addition to fire emergencies. The fire service needs tools and technologies that aid in carrying out their ever expanding mission without increasing costs. My research is focused on working with the fire service to achieve this important goal. I am conducting research on fire department mobilization times and exposure of fire fighters to toxic gases.

Nicholas A. Dembsey

Nicholas A. Dembsey

Professor

My research focuses on the building performance applications of fire dynamics, fire characteristics of materials and fire models.  I am working with students in the following areas: closing the fire performance gap in buildings; fire safety of green buildings; development of new techniques and guidance documents for practicing engineers to measure fire properties of materials; the optimization of building assemblies for fire performance, ease of manufacturing and cost effectiveness.

Ali S. Rangwala

Ali S. Rangwala

Professor

Current fire-safety standards do not fully account for the wide range of combustibility of materials found in industrial settings. Nor do the standards provide for accurate measurement of hazardous dust accumulation within the environment. My research addresses combustion, industrial fire protection, and explosion protection. Among the potentially life-saving projects I’m working on is the development of measurement and ~sensing devices designed to identify the presence, velocity, and flow direction of smoke.

Milosh T. Puchovsky

Milosh T Puchovsky

Professor of Practice & Associate Department Head

Practicing fire protection engineers recognize and assess a broad range of fire and life safety risks and, possess the technical knowledge and skills needed to develop effective solutions. Through my academic endeavors and professional practice, I bring practical perspectives to our students' educational experience. My teaching incorporates situations that practicing fire protection engineers face on a daily basis facilitating our students' functional understanding of a fire's physical behavior, its impact, and the role of reacting systems, regulations and product standards.

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.

Avoiding Costly Losses Due to Fire

This white paper, written by FPE professor of practice Milosh Puchovsky, introduces the profession of fire protection engineering and explores the many roles fire protection engineers play in helping organizations mitigate fire and explosion threats.

Albert Simeoni office items WPI
WPI Journal

Faculty Snapshot: Albert Simeoni

A former lieutenant in the North Corsican Fire Service, get to know Albert Simeoni from the items in his office.

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.

Announcements

May 06, 2021
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
April 20, 2021
Online and Corporate Education

Media Coverage

Professor Albert Simeoni, fire protection engineering, is quoted in the Lifewire article. Simeoni discusses the pros and cons of the new feature.

ISS360 reports fire protection engineering professor James Urban is working on cutting edge research to better predict the spread of massive, deadly wildfires by studying flames on the International Space Station.