Gateway Park II 1210
Affiliated Department or Office
BS Electrical Engineering, Government College of Engineering, India MS
MS Fire Protection Engineering, University of Maryland
PhD Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California,San Diego


Professor Rangwala’s research interests include problems related to industrial fire and explosion problems. 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.

He teaches courses on Explosion Dynamics, Explosion Protection, Industrial Fire Protection, Fire Dynamics, Combustion, and Heat and Mass Transfer.

Visit Digital WPI to view student research and projects advised by Professor Rangwala

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 4: Quality Education

SDG 4: Quality Education - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

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SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

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SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

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SDG 13: Climate Action

SDG 13: Climate Action - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

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Scholarly Work

Professor Rangwala’s research focuses on combustion, fire dynamics, industrial fire protection, and explosion protection

Featured works:

Rangwala, A. S., & Zalosh, R. G. (2023). Explosion Dynamics: Fundamentals and Practical Applications. John Wiley & Sons.

Rangwala, A. S., & Raghavan, V. (2021). Mechanism of Fires: Chemistry and Physical Aspects. Springer.

Zalosh, R. G. and Rangwala, A. S. (2022). Explosion Protection, SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 6th Ed. (Book Chapter) 

Rangwala, A. S. (2015 and 2022)Diffusion Flames SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 5th and 6th Ed. (Book Chapter)  

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.

Researchers Test Hotter, Faster And Cleaner Way To Fight Oil Spills

NPR's Debbie Elliott reported on test burns done at the Joint Maritime Test Facility in Mobile, Alabama which demonstrated the potential for the Flame Refluxer. The technology developed at WPI by Ali Rangwala, Professor of Fire Protection Engineering, with funding from BSEE, to efficiently burn oil spills while also minimizing water and air pollution. The segment aired nationally on NPR's All Things Considered program.