Professor Rangwala's research interests include problems related to industrial fire and explosions. He has worked on topics such as deflagration of combustible dust clouds, ignition behavior of combustible dust layers, in-situ burning of oil, spread of an oil slick in channels, velocity measuring techniques in fire induced flows, and flame propagation and burning rate behavior of condensed fuel surfaces.
NBC News cited tests conducted in 2013 by Ali Rangwala, professor of Fire Protection Engineering, that led to passage last week of the Portable Fuel Container Safety Act of 2020, which establishes performance standards to protect against portable fuel container explosions. The piece showed that under certain conditions — including a very low volume of gasoline left inside — gas container explosions are possible.
According to The Exponent Telegram, Ali Rangwala, professor of fire protection engineering, is collaborating with researchers at West Virginia University on how to enhance underground mine safety training. With funding from the Alpha Foundation, Rangwala and his colleagues will be making developments to the Dust and Gas Explosion Model to help quantify mining fire hazards on WPI's campus.