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April 2015
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UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND / FEARLESS IDEASFlash Points: The Dept. of Fire Protection Engineering E-newsletterAlumni Cup 2015 FEATURED PHOTO: How many FPEs does it take to change a light bulb? Around a dozen, who spent a crazy week building a Rube Goldberg-style device to do it for them! These students participated in the Clark School's 2015 Alumni Cup, an annual competition sponsored by the Engineering Chapter of the University of Maryland Alumni Association. Teams from each of the Clark School's eight departments are given a small stipend and a short time to build an overly complicated machine that must perform a very simple task, usually in no fewer than 20 steps and in no longer than a minute. This year, the goal was to screw in, and turn on, a light bulb. The fun was all part of National Engineers Week. Photo by Alan P. Santos.

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Save the Dates!


Alumni Dinner

Buddy Guy's Legends
700 S. Wabash, Chicago, IL 60605

Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Open Bar 6:00–9:00 p.m. | Dinner 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
$40.00 per person
More Information / Payment Form »


SFPE Alumni Golf Tournament

Proceeds benefit UMD FPE students!
Sponsorship opportunities available.
Glen Dale Golf Course, Glenn Dale, Md.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015

7:00 a.m. Registration
8:00 a.m. Shot Gun Start
Per Greens Fee Costs:
Standard Rate- $125.00
Government Rate- $90.00
More Information »


Jim MilkeMessage From the Chair
Jim Milke, Ph.D., P.E., FSFPE, B.S. ’76

The spring semester is finally feeling like ‘spring,' with the snow days behind us.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the department career fair in February. With 36 companies represented, this was the largest in its history. This event was organized by the members of the Salamander Honor Society. FPE senior and Salamander President Cara Hamel was the lead organizer.

I'm pleased to announce a new display in our office, dedicated to the late Dr. John L. Bryan. Prof’s family donated the collection of awards, photos and mementos. (Learn More »)

In the last 6 months, the department has devoted an appreciable amount of attention to our recruiting activities, both for the undergraduate and graduate programs. With the combined efforts of a group of us, including Arnaud Trouvé, Peter Sunderland, Nicole Hollywood, and Faye Levine, we’ve developed new marketing literature for both programs. We also have started planning for new video presentations about the department, some of which have been captured, with more to be done.

CALL TO ACTION: While having the new recruiting materials is important, the department is seeking alumni volunteers who are willing to assist us by taking them to college fairs in their local areas attended by high school or community college students. We’re also interested in collecting short videos made by alumni describing noteworthy recent projects or activities they’ve done as fire protection engineers. Please contact Nicole Hollywood ( if you’re interested in doing either (or both).

The department is planning an array of activities for this year’s Maryland Day, scheduled for 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on April 25. FPE will be exhibiting in two locations: the plaza in front of the Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building, and in our laboratories on the 3rd floor of the J.M. Patterson Building. Our table on the plaza will include a demonstration of a small fire tornado; a display of a small-scale model home used to explore fire spread and the role of fire safety systems, created for our outreach program with Elizabeth Seton High School; and our special guests Horton, an arson dog, and arson investigator Carlton Saunders (see below). In our laboratories, we’ll be demonstrating the large fire tornado (10 ft. height) and a sprinkler spray.

In This Issue:

TestudoFPE Announces Inaugural Group of
Distinguished Alumni

This exceptional and inspirational group of ten people, selected for their outstanding contributions to the department and/or the field, will be honored at the 2015 FPE Alumni Dinner. More »

photoCampaign Update: We've Hit a Major Milestone,
but June 2016 is Fast Approaching!


A HUGE "THANK YOU" to the generous donors to the Legacy Campaign for the professor of the practice who have helped us hit the $1.5M mark of our $2.5M goal. Your investments have already had an impact on students who are being exposed right now to the applied side of the profession by inaugural professor of the practice Ken Isman. As many of you are aware, we were able to bring Ken on board through the generosity of dean of engineering Dr. Darryll Pines. However, that support ends on June 30, 2016. We have 14 months to reach our $2.5M goal, so if you’ve been considering your own gift to this campaign but have not yet made one, our Development Officer, Allison Corbett, would love to talk to you. You can reach her at or by phone at 301-405-5841.

Stanislav StoliarovStoliarov Promoted

Stanislav I. Stoliarov has been promoted to Associate Professor with tenure, effective August 2015. Congratulations, Stas! Learn more »

Arson DogsMeet a State Farm Arson Dog at MD Day!

An investigator and his canine partner from State Farm's Arson Dog Program will join FPE April 25th at Maryland Day to show how these talented teams examine fire scenes and uncover arson. Visitors will be able to talk to the investigator, interact with the dog, and participate in demonstrations. Learn more »


Ajay SinghSingh: Paper Award, Fellowship

Ph.D. candidate Ajay V. Singh, advised by Professor Michael Gollner, was recently honored by the Combustion Institute for his paper on a new modeling technique that could expand how we describe and predict the way materials burn under a variety of conditions. Singh also received a Northrop Grumman Graduate Fellowship.
Learn more about the paper award and Ajay's research »

Learn more about the fellowship »


In January, professors Michael Gollner and Arnaud Trouvé organized and chaired a 2-day workshop, Towards Data-Driven Operational Wildfire Spread Modeling, at the University of California at San Diego. The event was part of the WIFIRE project, a NSF-sponsored collaboration between UCSD and UMD. The workshop's objectives were to identify barriers and milestones that must be overcome in order to make data-driven wildfire spread models operational; and to bring together representatives of the wildfire research, geosciences, and fire science communities.

IsaacASHRAE Grant Supports Study of
Refrigerant Flammability

Associate Professor Peter Sunderland and Research Associate Dr. Vivien Lecoustre have received a $195,000 grant to improve the accuracy and reproducibility of ASTM E681. Left: From the project, a proposed redesign of flask flame propagation. Learn more »

IsaacLeventon: ASME and NIST Awards

Ph.D. Candidate Isaac Leventon (shown left teaching basic fire science to elementary school students) won an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Graduate Teaching Fellowship and a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/ National Research Council Postdoctoral Research Associateship. Learn more »

Arnaud TrouveTrouvé to Co-Chair Conference

Professor Arnaud Trouvé has been invited to act as Co-Chair and Coordinator of the “Fire Research” Colloquium for the 36th International Symposium on Combustion, to be held in Seoul, Korea, in August 2016. Learn more »

Link to FPE web site Link to Clark School web site