FPE at Maryland

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  • Founded in 1956
  • More than $2.5 million in average annual research expenditures
  • Six tenure-track faculty
  • Core research areas: Fire behavior, fire simulations, material flammability, wildfires, fire in microgravity, fire detection and suppression, smoke movement and control, evacuation analyses
  • Center affiliates include FireTEC, Center for Disaster Resilience, Carrier Center
  • Three Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) Fellows
  • Enrollment: 130 (Fall 2019)
  • Percentage of female students: 32% in Fall 2019
  • Degrees awarded: 43 in Spring 2019
  • Total Enrollment: 19 (M.S.), 28 (M.Eng) 
  • Percentage of Female Students, Fall 2019: 36% (M.S.), 18% (M.Eng)
  • Degrees Awarded in 2019: 26 
Clark School Facts & Figures

Meet the Chair

James Milke

A member of the faculty and staff since 1977, Dr. Milke is Professor and Chair of the Department. His principal areas of expertise involve smoke management, fire detection and analyzing the response of materials exposed to fire conditions. Milke is also Director of the distance option for the Master of Engineering Program.

In 1991, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland (UMD) in Aerospace Engineering. He received a Master of Science degree from UMD in Mechanical Engineering, and is a 1976 graduate of the UMD Fire Protection Engineering program. Dr. Milke also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Ursinus College.

Dr. Milke has served as a Research Fire Prevention Engineer at the Center for Fire Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as the Fire Protection Engineer for Fairfax County, Virginia, as a Research Assistant for the University of Maryland and as a consultant to several organizations.

Dr. Milke is a Fellow and a past president of the SFPE. He is a member of the National Fire Protection Association and the International Association for Fire Safety Science. He is a member of the Fire Council of Underwriters Laboratories and the NFPA Technical Committee on Smoke Management Systems.  He is a past member of NFPA Standards Council. He is the past-chair of the NFPA Technical Committee on Smoke Management Systems and the ASCE/SFPE committee, "Structural Design for Fire Conditions." He was a member of the Core Group of the FEMA Building Performance Assessment Team for the World Trade Center incident on September 11, 2001.