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A new fire protection engineering facility at WPI is being sponsored in part by Honeywell Life Safety, a division of Honeywell International, and UTC Fire & Security. The state-of-the-art WPI Fire Protection Engineering Lab, a new facility still in the conceptual phase, is expected to house activities related to combustion and explosion, fire and materials, policy and risk, suppression, wildland-urban interface fires, and engineering tools to support the fire service. The Fundamentals Lab will be named for Honeywell Life Safety, and the Building Systems area in the Performance Lab will be named for UTC Fire & Security. Chicagobased Rolf Jensen & Associates, AON Fire Protection Engineering Corporation, and Wormtown Brewery are also supporting the new lab.
The Honeywell Life Safety Fundamentals Lab will support the leading-edge education and research of WPI’s world-renowned Fire Protection Engineering Program.
“Worcester Polytechnic Institute has been a great contributor to the fire protection industry and Honeywell certainly wants to help further this mission,” says Mark Levy, president of Honeywell Life Safety. “We’re going to provide our most advanced fire alarm systems and firefighter protective gear for this new lab to ensure the school continues its groundbreaking work.”
UTC will support the part of the Performance Lab often referred to as the burn tower, where WPI faculty and students study the behavior of fire and the effectiveness of fire suppression technologies.
“Innovation is central to UTC Fire & Security—we have more than 1,000 engineers working in 30 design centers around the world to help create safer environments. Our involvement with this new world-class fire protection laboratory will support the development of the next generation of fire protection leaders and advance the body of knowledge in this field,” says Scott Buckhout, president of UTC Fire & Security’s Global Fire Products business.
WPI is home to the world’s leading graduate program in fire protection engineering. Students in the program come from such diverse disciplines as chemical, mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering, architecture, and more. WPI’s fire protection engineering courses lay the groundwork for a firm understanding of the dynamics of fire: causes, prevention, and how to protect structures, vehicles, clothing, and people from fire’s devastating effects.
In addition to offering the nation’s first master’s degree program in the field, WPI was the first to provide a graduate-level program in fire protection engineering via distance learning in 1993, and it grants the world’s only formal PhD program in fire protection engineering. WPI currently delivers programs to students hailing from more than 30 countries.
“We are extremely grateful for Honeywell’s and UTC’s commitment to our fire protection engineering initiatives,” says Professor and Fire Protection Engineering Department Head Kathy Ann Notarianni. “Honeywell and UTC are dedicated industry leaders and partners in advancing education and research to benefit all those involved in fire safety.”