WPI and FM Global to Increase Collaboration on Fire Research and Fire Protection Engineering Graduate Education

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5706

Worcester, Mass. - July 2, 2003 - Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and commercial and industrial property insurer FM Global have announced a new memorandum of agreement (MOA) which will increase their collaboration on fire research and fire protection engineering graduate education.

As part of the agreement, FM Global will provide more than $570,000 in financial and equipment contributions to WPI. Funding will support a WPI fire protection engineering professor to be designated as the FM Global Scholar as well as the work of graduate students. FM Global also is donating two state-of-the-art fire propagation apparatus for use in WPI's Fire Science Laboratory.

"We are grateful for FM Global's generous support and the recognition of our unique fire protection engineering program" said John F. Carney III, WPI's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. "We are delighted to have WPI's fire protection engineering program further strengthened by its relationship with this world-class leader in property loss prevention engineering and research. We are especially pleased that FM Global is so close to WPI philosophically and geographically!"

WPI professors and graduate students have been working with FM Global scientists, researchers and engineers and taking advantage of their laboratory facilities for decades.

"We believe this agreement will further strengthen our relationship with WPI's premier program in fire protection engineering and will provide its graduate students with added educational value," said Dr. Paul Croce, FM Global vice president and manager of research. "The knowledge and insight gained from faculty and student research findings make this a partnership of which we are proud to be a part."

The increased collaboration takes on additional significance as FM Global nears completion of its $70-million plus research campus in West Glocester, RI. The campus' fire technology laboratory will be the largest fire research and testing facility of its kind in the world.

Since the inception of WPI's fire protection engineering graduate program, research support for professors and students has been one of the most difficult challenges we've had," said Professor David A. Lucht, director of WPI's Center for Firesafety Studies. "This extra effort on the part of FM Global not only helps in material ways, but most importantly, lends a sense of encouragement to the basic importance of graduate studies and research in the fire safety field."

About FM Global

FM Global is a world leader in commercial and industrial property insurance and property loss prevention engineering, and research. For more than 168 years, many of the world's top corporations have relied on FM Global to better understand the nature and causes of fire, natural hazards and other risks as well as for cost-effective insurance to help maintain continuity in their business operations.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865, WPI is a pioneer in technological higher education. WPI was the first university to understand that students learn best when they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in the classroom to the solution of important problems. Today its students, working in teams at more than 20 project centers around the globe, put their knowledge and skills to work as they complete professional-level work that can have an immediate positive impact on society.

WPI's innovative, globally focused curriculum has been recognized by leaders in industry, government and academia as the model for the technological education of tomorrow. Students emerge from this program as true technological humanists, well rounded, with the confidence, the interpersonal skills and the commitment to innovation they need to make a real difference in their professional and personal lives.

The university awarded its first advanced degree in 1898. Today, its first-rate research laboratories support master's and Ph.D. programs in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. WPI was the first American university to offer the master of science degree in fire protection engineering (1979). Currently WPI offers graduate programs in fire protection engineering at both the masters and doctoral level as well as five year dual degree programs for high school graduates.