FPE Hosts Fire Safety Science Summer School

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Photo provided by Arnaud Trouvé.

The University of Maryland (UMD) Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics, in collaboration with the Combustion Institute, hosted a Fire Safety Science Summer School, which ran June 4–9, 2023. Led by Arnaud Trouvé, FPE Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, 47 students – consisting of Ph.D. students, early-career researchers, and consultants – and 22 instructors/panelists from around the world attended the week-long program.

The program focused on the behavior of wildland fires and wildland-urban-interface (WUI) fires via an engineering-based lens. Participants were exposed to a broad range of advanced topics relevant to wildland and WUI fires with a mix of fundamental courses (emphasizing the underlying physical and chemical mechanisms) and general courses (describing the scope of real-world problems, while emphasizing challenges in finding solutions to mitigate the negative effects of these fires) such as, firebrands, soot and radiation, human behavior in WUI fires, rate-of-spread models, and regional-scale fire risk modeling. The program also gave participants ample opportunity to network and foster international collaboration. The lectures were video recorded and will soon be shared with the fire research community at large as open access material.

“There is a growing appetite in the international fire research community for community-level activities during which we review the state-of-the-art, exchange information and knowledge, and coordinate efforts in education and research,” said Arnaud Trouvé. “The UMD Fire Protection Engineering Department responded to this growing interest by organizing a summer school for PhD students and recent PhD graduates. This is a first and we have already started discussions with international peer institutions to explore the possibility of making this type of summer school a regular event.” He added: “We also decided to focus on a current hot topic: wildland fires and WUI fires. There is a need to make fire protection engineers aware of the problems posed by large outdoor fires and to invite them to contribute their skills and talent to develop solutions that better protect people, structures, communities, and the environment from the negative impact of wildland/WUI fires.”

The summer school was financially supported by the UMD Burgers Program for Fluid Dynamics and by the Combustion Institute. Thanks to this financial support, most students were offered access to the school without any registration fee and with free lodging at a local hotel (a few students from private organizations were asked to pay a registration fee).

About the Combustion Institute

The Combustion Institute (CI) is an international, non-profit, educational, and scientific society. Founded in 1954, CI promotes and disseminates research activities in all areas of combustion science and technology for the advancement of many diverse communities around the world.

About the Burgers Program

The Burgers Program was named after Johannes (Jan) Burgers, who moved to the U.S. in 1955 – after a distinguished scientific career at the Technical University Delft in the Netherlands – to begin a second career as a research professor at UMD's Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics (IFDAM). At IFDAM, Burgers found a new stimulating environment and continued to be professionally active. He established a laboratory, began work on plasma dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics, continued his interest in philosophy and science, and further explored the implications of the non-linear equation named for him: the Burgers equation. The Burgers Program was inaugurated on November 18, 2004, with the first of its annual Burgers Symposia. Follow this link to learn more about the Symposia.  

For additional information, please reach out to Dr. Trouvé, or visit the summer school’s website

Published July 5, 2023