FPE Honors Two John L. Bryan GRA Award Recipients

news story image

From left: Mahdi Tlemsani ad Genevieve Tan.

Mahdi Tlemsani and Genevieve Tan, both students in the UMD Department of Fire Protection Engineering, are recipients of the John L. Bryan Graduate Research Assistantship (GRA) Award for the 2021/2022 academic year.

The John L. Bryan Chair Endowment provides support for up to two GRAs each year. The funding is offered to outstanding, incoming FPE Master of Science (M.S.) students, domestic or international, and is awarded on a competitive basis. The award includes up to 25 standard tuition credits, health benefits and a $32K stipend.

"I would like to express my thanks to everyone involved in selecting the awardees," said Tlemsani. "I cannot appropriately describe what having this opportunity means for me and my family. I am beyond ecstatic and truly excited for the future!"

Originally from Miami, Florida, Mahdi moved to Maryland at age 8. He's part of the FPE B.S./M.S. combined program and has been involved in research for the majority of his undergraduate career, having initially worked in Michael Gollner's lab where he studied the dynamics of inclined flames. Mahdi continued gaining research experience at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under Isaac Leventon, characterizing firebrands via image analysis. Tlemsani, who is also pursuing a double degree in geographical sciences at UMD, is the current treasurer of the Salamander Student Society and a big volleyball enthusiast. Although his current research topic is still under development, Mahdi says a primary topic of interest is wildfires and the wildland-urban interface.

Genevieve Tan, currently an FPE Undergraduate Student, completed high school with an additional associates degree in general engineering from Montgomery College. "When I joined UMD Fire Protection Engineering, I quickly developed an interest in the fields of human behavior in fire and community resilience," she said.

To gain more exposure to disaster mitigation issues, Tan worked with social scientists at NIST in 2020 to study emergency communications used in Puerto Rico during Hurricane Maria. For her master’s degree, she plans to study fire safety in developing countries with a focus on high-density urban areas or informal settlements. Her research topic is still under development.

For additional information, please contact FPE Professor, Arnaud Trouvé (atrouve@umd.edu).

Published April 6, 2021