Summer 2022 Schedule:

  • The FPE Faculty Lecture Series will not be held this summer. Please check back in 2023.

Summer 2021 Schedule:

Speaker:  Jim Milke, Ph.D., P.E., FPE Professor & Chair

Logistics:  Wednesday, July 14, 11:00 A.M. via Zoom


The level of fire safety provided in residential and commercial properties varies with the income level of a region. An initial research effort has been conducted to understand the fire safety challenges in informal settlements in developing countries. This effort follows work (in 2015) for the Alliance for Bangladesh Workplace Safety, a consortium of textile manufacturers. This lecture will provide an overview of the nature of the problem in these environments and shortcomings in infrastructure that pose challenges in making improvements. 

Please follow this link to watch a video of this presentation.

Speaker:  Tom DeBold, P.E., CFEI Senior Engineer, Gexcon U.S.

Logistics:  Monday, July 26, 11:00 A.M. via Zoom


This lecture discusses a case study of a low magnitude explosion that occurred in an apartment when one of the occupants lit the kitchen stove. A partially open gas valve was discovered in the kitchen, which was left open for approximately 24 hr prior to the incident.  Since the valve was opened in the morning the day before the incident, investigators incorrectly concluded that it could not have been the cause of the fire because it would have occurred when they cooked earlier that 24 hr period from the same stove. An in-depth analysis involving experimental testing and CFD was then undertaken to explore whether the identified and quantified leak rate could have caused the incident.

Please follow this link to register for this event!

Speaker:  Stanislav Stoliarov, FPE Professor & FireTEC Director

Logistics:  Friday, August 13, 11:00 A.M. via Zoom


Lithium ion batteries (LIBs) are among the most promising technologies for effective electrical energy storage.  However, an exposure of LIBs to abnormal operating conditions may lead to a rapid self-heating accompanied by ejection of flammable gases and aerosols, termed thermal runaway.  In the energy storage systems containing multiple LIB cells, thermal runaway may propagate to neighboring cells and grow into a large-scale fire or an explosion. This lecture will provide a review of the thermal runaway phenomenon and related fire dynamics in single LIB cells as well as in multi-cell battery packs.  Applicability of various passive and active methods to suppression of LIB fires will also be discussed.

Follow this link to watch a video of this event, or PDF icondownload a PDF of the presentation slides.

Speakers:  James Quintiere (FPE Professor Emeritus), James Milke (FPE Professor and Chair), Robert Solomon (Chief Development Officer, SLS Consulting) and Joe Jardin (FPE Alum & NYCFD Chief of Fire Prevention)

When:  Friday, September 10, 11:00 am - 12:45 pm (EST)  

Where: Registration is required for both in-person and virtual attendance. The in-person portion will be held in CSI 3120 (computer science building).  


This seminar will review events of that fateful day two decades ago, in the spirit of commemoration. It will describe the catastrophic attack on the WTC Towers and the consequences. Some of the accounts of the victims and survivors will be described. A description of the fires and structural damage will be presented, and reflected upon. The findings on the collapse of the Towers will be examined. Members of the fire safety and investigative communities might reflect on this disaster and ask what more could have been done.

Please follow this link to watch a video of this presentation.


Summer 2020 Schedule:

Peter Sunderland, Ph.D.
FPE Professor & Director of Undergraduate Studies 


The annual rate of leaks from refrigeration systems worldwide is about 10% of the total charge. An international drive toward improved sustainability of refrigeration systems is motivating the adoption of refrigerants with low global warming and ozone depleting potentials. Most of these refrigerants are mildly flammable, which is the main impediment to their adoption. An introduction to the novel fire hazards will be presented, including those associated with halogens and hydrocarbons.

Follow this link to watch a video of this lecture.

James Milke, Ph.D., P.E.
FPE Professor & Chair


With the interest in reopening buildings and facilities on campus to faculty, staff and students while maintaining social distancing during a pandemic, pedestrian plans need to be developed to address the flow of people in and out of buildings. Such plans need to distinguish entrance from exit doors, stairs for ascent vs those for the descent, and circulation patterns in aisles and corridors. This presentation will describe the use of a building evacuation computer simulation that’s been adapted to help develop the needed pedestrian plans. This presentation will include a case study where this computer simulation has been used to develop plans for a building at the College Park campus of the University of Maryland.

Follow this link to watch a video of this lecture.

Isaac Leventon, Ph.D. 
FPE Adjunct Lecturer & NIST Research Associate


This presentation will provide an overview of ongoing research conducted in collaboration between the University of Maryland (UMD) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop the measurement science capabilities – experimental, analytical, and computational modeling tools – needed to determine the material properties and physical mechanisms that control how and why things ignite, burn, and support fire growth. Specific applications of recent research include: experimental and modeling studies characterizing flame spread in wildfires, firebrand generation and ignition of structural components, reducing furniture flammability, fire growth in electrical enclosure fires in nuclear power plants, and understanding the mechanisms of actions of flame retardants.

Follow this link to watch a video of this lecture.


These seminars will be conducted via Zoom. Registration is required and free of charge.
Please note: these seminars will be recorded.

Please contact Jim Milke for additional information (