Albert Simeoni, Professor and Head, Department of Fire Protection Engineering

portrait of Albert Simeoni1. Binder with Dougal Drysdale’s Notes

The notes for the Fire Dynamics course he developed while on sabbatical at WPI in 1982 were turned into the most famous and most widely used textbook in fire science and fire protection engineering. Dougal gave them to me when we worked together at the University of Edinburgh.

2. Firefighter Qualification

This national certificate qualified me to manage teams of firefighters to respond to wildfire calls in my native Corsica.

3. Institute of Fire Engineers Rasbash Medal

Given for excellence in wildland fire research, this is highly symbolic to me because David Rasbash was the first chair of fire safety at the University of Edinburgh and I was No. 4.

4, Corsican Flag Postcard

In 1745, when Corsican patriots were fighting for independence against the Republic of Genoa, they modified an old flag inspired by the coat of arms of the King of Aragon. It showed a prisoner with a bandana over his eyes. The patriots raised the bandana to his forehead as a sign of freedom.

5. Wildland Fire Helmet

I used (and cleaned) this helmet to fight fires as a lieutenant in the North Corsican Fire Service. The organization follows military ranks—and lieutenant is equivalent to captain in the United States.

6. Tomsk State University Holder

A replica of the façade of the old university building was a gift from colleagues at this university in Siberia. It was there, at a dinner with academicians, that I promised I would bring an international wildland fire conference to Russia.

7. Appreciation Plaque

This was given following the international wildland fire conference I organized in St. Petersburg in 2015, delivering on the promised I’d made to my friends and colleagues in Tomsk.

8. Pine Needles

This is the standard fuel I’ve used since the beginning of my career to study wildland fire ignition and spread. We burn them today in our state-of-the-art wind tunnel in WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering Laboratory.

Learn more about WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering Department, home to the first master’s program and one of only three fire protection engineering graduate programs in the United States.

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