A chemical plant burns in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. (ABC News)
A chemical plant burns in Texas after Hurricane Harvey. (ABC News)
There are few things that will jeopardize a business more quickly and profoundly than an explosion. The word alone brings to mind all manner of destruction, and it can take years to recover, with some assets lost forever. That’s why preventing explosions in the first place is so crucial.

But as the world changes, it’s hard for many professionals in civil engineering and fire protection to stay on the cutting edge of prevention, says Professor Ali S. Rangwala, a professor in WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) program.

“Industrial safety in the form of codes and standards is always one step behind recent advancements,” he says.

prof rangwala

  Professor Ali S. Rangwala

Due to what Professor Rangwala calls “ever-changing regulations, new materials and designs,” it’s now more important than ever for fire-protection professionals to get more in-depth knowledge about their field. That’s where his graduate course, “Industrial Explosion Protection,” comes into play. With an in-depth focus on fire and explosion safety, the course’s topics include radiation, dust explosions, and the handling and storage of flammable liquids.

All of this is done through the use of recent, relevant case studies and infused with Rangwala’s ongoing research in the field: a combination of theory and practice that means students can solve real-world problems when they graduate. Professor Rangwala also teaches Industrial Fire Safety, another rare find in the world of FPE.

“I don’t think any other university teaches these courses,” Rangwala says. “Most courses in FPE revolve around teaching how to read code. This course goes beyond this aspect and explains how code comes about. This is an important aspect for students, engineers, and field personnel to grasp. These courses prepare the student to be one step ahead.”

And when it comes to industrial explosions, one step ahead can make a world of difference.

Free download: “Avoiding Costly Losses Due To Fire”

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