FPE Awards Three UL Fellowships

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Grayson Bellamy, Thomas DiPietro and Rebekah Schrader are the 2022/2023 recipients of the UL Fellowship with UL's Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI). The trio will contribute to research at UL FSRI, while pursuing their degrees at the University of Maryland.

UL's FSRI researches fire dynamics in contemporary environments to ensure victim and firefighter survival and safety. The fellowship, established in 2017, supports at least one FPE graduate research assistant each year, and will be renewed provided the fellow(s) remain(s) in good academic standing.

(left) – who is currently completing his master’s degree in fire protection engineering and will begin pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in the fall – received this award in 2020/21 and is the first doctoral student to be supported by the fellowship. His current research, being conducted at FSRI in Columbia, MD, is a redesign of an apparatus for determining the thermal transport properties of polymers during thermal decomposition.

Bellamy received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Georgia in early 2020, but his first hands-on experience with fire protection research began at UL’s large-scale fire testing facility in Northbrook, IL. Through a previous internship, he traveled to the facility to assist in large-scale fire testing of commercial fire sprinkler system arrangements. At UMD, he contributed to experimentation that would make retail occupancies safer and allowed him to gain a glimpse into the fire protection world. Bellamy also conducted an internship at UL FSRI in 2019, which allowed him to work on several projects including developing display boards for the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) and assisting with the Coordinated Fire Attack Study of garden-style apartments.

Thomas DiPietro 
(right) is currently completing his undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering, with a concentration in aerospace engineering, at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey. DiPietro is a member of the Bantivoglio Honors College as well as multiple clubs including the American Society for Mechanical Engineers. Since 2018, he has been a volunteer firefighter at the Monroe Township Volunteer Fire Company #1. During the summer of 2022, DiPietro conducted a research internship at UL’s FSRI where he assisted in experimentation and data acquisition. His research project for the following academic year is currently under development.

Rebekah Schrader
 (left) is currently a senior in fire protection engineering, minoring in global engineering leadership. Her long-time interest in the fire service, stemming from her father’s lifelong career as a firefighter, sparked a passion for fire safety research. At UMD, Schrader is an FPE Ambassador, a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), and a former FLEXUS Living and Learning Program participant. She is involved in the A. James Clark School of Engineering RISE Leadership Academy, through which she has conducted wildland-urban interface (WUI) research, and co-founded a virtual summer camp for high school girls interested in engineering research. In addition, Schrader has participated in the FPE Sophomore Research Experience; is a community plant leader for Maryland Cru, a UMD campus ministry; and is certified as a Blue Card Incident Commander.

Schrader is currently a research intern for UL's FSRI where she has worked on various literature reviews, and assisted with bench and large-scale experiments. She has focused on WUI fire research, looking at post-WUI fire drinking water contamination and structural ignition by firebrands, which she will continue to study as she pursues her master’s degree in fire protection engineering.

For additional information, follow this link to the FPE website.

Published March 15, 2022