Center for Global Public Safety 2nd Annual Symposium

President Laurie Leshin presents the H.W. Emmons Distinguished Lecture Award to Professor Weicheng Fan of Tsinghua University

MA Senator Michael Moore participates in the panel discussion

President Laurie Leshin presents a gift to Professor Bin Yang, Vice President & Provost of Tsinghua University

Keynote Speaker Lou Gritzo, Vice President & Manager of Research at FM Global

FPE Professor Ali Rangwala; JENSEN HUGHES Technical Director, Daniel Gottuck, and FPE Dept Head Albert Simeoni

Prof. Jianyu Liang, Zachary Magnone, Russ Fleming, UMD Prof. Jose Torero; Nadia Mofidi, and FPE Dept Head Albert Simeoni

Worcester Fire Chief, Mike Lavoie speaks with Keynote Speaker & FPE Dept Head, Albert Simeoni

Keynote Speaker & FPE Dept Head, Albert Simeoni, is featured in International Fire Fighter magazine.

Worcester Deputy Chief Martin Dyer meets with WPI students and CGPS Co-Director, Professor Jianyu Liang

The Center for Global Public Safety (CGPS) hosted a Symposium on Monday, September 17th dedicated to New Frontiers in Global Public Safety.  The objectives of the event were:

  • Bring together leaders in academia and industry related to global safety concerns
  •  Identify new frontiers in public safety, especially as they relate to emerging science and technologies; educational and industry needs; and policy implications
  •  Honor H.W. Emmons Distringuished Lecture Award Recipient:  Professor Weicheng Fan 
  •  Look for ways to leverage the expertise and facilities available at WPI and CGPS partner institutions to drive research, education, outreach, and strategic alliances in the advancement of global public safety concerns

The day-long event was attended by nearly 100 people from industry, academia and government including a delegation of colleagues from Tsinghua University in Beijing China.  President Laurie Leshin welcomed guests and presented the Howard W. Emmons Distinguished Lecture Award to Professor Weicheng Fan who delivered a presentation on Fire Safety Science and Public Safety Technology in China.  Professor Fan is the Director of the Institute of Public Safety Research at Tsinghua University and is renowned for his work in fire and public safety.   Other special guests included:

  •   Vice President & Provost of Tsinghua University, Professor Bin Yang
  •   Keynote Speaker:  Vice President and Manager of Research at FM Global, Dr. Lou Gritzo
  •   Keynote Speaker:  FPE Professor and Department Head at WPI, Professor Albert Simeoni
  •   Massachusetts State Senator Michael Moore
  •   Worcester Fire Chief Mike Lavoie
  •   Professor Jose Torero, FPE Professor and Director for the Center for Disaster Resilience at the University of Maryland 

There was an engaging panel discussion on the topics of Emerging Science, Emerging Technologies, Industrial Needs, Educational Needs, Perspectives from China and Policy Implications.  Panel participants included Chem Eng Prof. Eric Young; Dirk Steyn of E-One Fire Trucks; ECE Prof. Xinming Huang; Mark Macaulay of ZHP Systems; FPE Prof. Jose Torero from the University of Maryland; Prof. Hui Zhang from Tsinghua University; and MA State Senator Michael Moore.

During lunch, research posters were on display and students and faculty were on hand to discuss seed grant projects they have been working on that are funded by the Center for Global Public Safety.

Provost Wole Soboyejo closed out the event with a presentation reviewing the feedback received from the Industry Forum event in the spring and describing how the Center intends to grow and advance research in the areas that were identified as having the largest needs.


Some of the questions raised at the Symposium:

  • How are education and policy keeping pace with the advancements of technology?
  • How can data science and predictive analytics help address global safety issues?
  • How do we make communities and economies more resilient in the face of natural disasters and public health risks?
  • How can we reduce short and long-term health and safety risks for first responders?