Major Highlight: Fire Protection Engineering

Filed in Uncategorized by on November 29, 2011

Peering over the horizon into the future, Henry Lucian Phillips (WPI Class of 1893) was the first to imply the importance of fire protection in a May 1898 issue of the WPI Journal. Over time, his vision was realized in line with a national need to improve fire safety.

The National Commission on Fire Prevention and Control was established in the early 1970’s. The reports developed by the organization aided in the creation of a U.S. Fire Administration. The agency’s first director, David Lucht, left his government position in 1978 to build and grow WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) Program and its Center for Firesafety Studies. In 1979, the graduate program was established as the first of its kind in the U.S.

The FPE  program has since produced renowned graduates hard at work on five of seven continents. By blending aspects of mechanical, civil, chemical, and electrical engineering into the curriculum, students learn to apply science and engineering to protect life, the environment, and business assets.

The WPI curriculum allows students to choose a Masters or Ph.D. program and engage with companies through their studies via research, internships, and co-op. Some WPI students are already working professionals and pursue a master’s degree through distance learning. Enhancing the learning opportunities for students within this major, new Fire Protection Engineering laboratory will open in 2012 within newly constructed space at WPI’s Gateway Park in Worcester, Massachusetts.

WPI students and alumni work with consulting firms, transportation companies, government agencies, construction and design companies across numerous industries, as well as regulatory organizations. For more information regarding Fire Protection Engineering and the qualities of the students graduating from this program, please visit the department webpage.

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