Gateway Park II 1210
+1 (508) 8315000 x6409
BS Government College of Engineering, India MS
MS University of Maryland
PhD University of California,San Diego

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. Tunnels, tall buildings, and underground transit systems will be safer once this new technology is deployed. I’m also developing benchmark tests to better understand the physics of ignition and deflagration in dust-air premixed combustion. This research will enable scientists to study combustibility in ways that enable fire safety professionals to predict fire and explosion hazards. Our work on developing novel methods and techniques for measurement of fire-induced flows will aid in better understanding of the complex fire problem.

Scholarly Work

A. S. Rangwala, V. Raghavan, J. E. Sipe and T. Okano, "A New Property Evaluation Scheme for Mass Transfer Analysis in Fire Problems," Fire Safety Journal, Vol.44 (4),pp. 652, 2009.
M. J. Gollner, K. Overholt, F. A. Williams, A. S. Rangwala, and J. Perricone, "Warehouse commodity classification from fundamental principles. Part I: commodity and burning rates," Fire Safety Journal, Vol. 46 (6), pp 305-316, 2011.
K. Overholt, M. J. Gollner, F. A. Williams, A. S. Rangwala, and J. Perricone, "Warehouse commodity classification from fundamental principles. Part II: Flame Heights and Flame Spread," Fire Safety Journal, Vol. 46 (6), pp 317-329, 2011.
K. A. Joshi, V. Raghavan, and A. S Rangwala, "An Experimental Study of Coal Dust Ignition in Wedge Shaped Hot Plate Configurations," Comb. Flame, Vol. 159, pp 376-384, 2012.
NBC News
New law requires portable gas containers to add devices to protect against explosions

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.

The Exponent Telegram
WVU receives grants to further develop mine safety research in WV

According to The Exponent TelegramAli 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.