Course Information

Advanced study planned and completed under the direction of a member of the program faculty. Open only to graduate students in the FPE program who have demonstrated ability to do independent work. FPE 500 must be taken as a 4-unit class when substituting for a required course in the FPE program. Prerequisite: Consent of graduate coordinator and supervising faculty member.

Fundamental understanding of the thermal sciences that serve as the foundation for the modern practice of Fire Protection Engineering. The thermal sciences include fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat and mass transfer. An understanding of fluid mechanics is essential for the design of fire suppression systems, while an understanding of all the thermal sciences is essential for the analysis of fire dynamics, flammability of materials and enclosure fire modeling. Students without a background in the thermal sciences are required to take this course, while students with such a background may want to take this course to refresh and update their understanding of these important subjects.
First exposure to fire dynamics phenomena. Includes fundamental fire and combustion topics such as thermodynamics of combustion, fire chemistry, premixed and diffusion flames, ignition, burning of liquids and solids, heat release rates, flame spread and fire plumes. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: FPE 501 or consent of instructor.
Characterization of flammability properties of gaseous, liquid and solid materials. Fire test methods for evaluating flammability properties of materials and burning characteristics of products. Overview of regulatory requirements for restricting the flammability of products and materials used in buildings. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: FPE 502.
Fire modeling techniques for fire safety assess- ment. Application of various engineering correlations and computer-based fire models, including zone models and computational fluid dynamics models, to representative fire problems. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: FPE 502, FPE 503.
Life safety from fire is the paramount objective of Fire Protection Engineering. Detailed understanding of how fire safety regulations have traditionally addressed life safety in buildings as well as an introduction to performance-based approaches to human behavior in fire, building evacuation timing and tenability analysis. Upon completing this course, students will be able to work with other building design professionals to help them determine if their building designs are providing the expected levels of life safety from fire.
Detailed understanding of the engineering analysis and design of fire detection, alarm and communication systems, including requirements contained in current installation and approval standards. Topics addressed in this course include: analysis of the operating characteristics of different fire detection devices and alarm notification appliances, introduction to modern fire alarm systems and components, and introduction to mass communication systems.
Analysis and design of water-based fire suppression systems, including water supply analysis and hydraulic calculations. Overview and design considerations for automatic sprinkler, water spray, water mist and foam suppression systems. Typical contemporary installations and current installation and approval standards. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
Regulation and analysis procedures for structural components of wood, steel, con- crete, composites. Structural capabilities, modifications under fire induced exposures. Calculation methods for predicting fire resistance of structural components. Definition of types of building construction. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
Use of model building and fire codes, administrative regulation, retrospective codes, performance-based codes, and risk-based regulation to manage fire safety. Identification and application of different fire risk assessment methodologies. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
Analysis and design of smoke management systems. Assessment of smoke hazards. Identification of special hazards. Analysis anddesign of fire suppression systems used for fire control of special hazards, including gaseous and chemical agents and systems. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: FPE 502 and FPE 504.
Introduction to the processes of fire investigation and reconstruction. Engineering analysis of structural and wildland fires. Identification of failure mechanisms in fire safety systems. Case studies of actual fire incidents to address and reinforce concepts related to different types of system and performance failures. 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Consent of graduate coordinator and instructor. Recommended: FPE 504.
Social, economic, political, and technological issues affecting fire management in urbanized landscapes where fire continues its ecological role. Fire risk analysis; needs assessment, legislative codes, standards and policies; liability issues; evacuation; incident response planning. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. Recommended: LA/NR 318 and NR 340.
Independent study course resulting in a project based upon the culminating experience in fire protection engineering. Please contact the instructors, Dr. Fred Mowrer and Dr. Chris Pascual for detailed information. Note: Method of delivery can be online or face-to-face.
Each individual will be assigned a thesis project for solution under faculty supervision as a requirement for the master’s degree, culminating in a written thesis. Prerequisite: Consent of graduate coordinator and graduate standing.