FPE Welcomes New Class of Ph.D. Students

The Department of Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) welcomes a new class of Ph.D. students to join a team of educators in the field of fire safety research. 

Adetola Koiki (left)

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Koiki holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Auburn University (AU). During her undergraduate studies, Koiki worked at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics as part of the F35 program, and began her research career with the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering Applied Fluids Research Group at AU.

A current Clark Doctoral Fellow, Koiki wants to utilize her background in fluids, in combination with her growing expertise in fire safety science to help address on-going wildfire issues that have exacerbated the effects of global warming. 

Currently advised by Assistant Professor Fernando Raffan-Montoya, her research interests include fire imaging, wildfire detection and non-intrusive experimental methods for Wildland-Urban-Interface (WUI) fire behavior. 


Thomas Roche (right)

A Maryland local from Urbana, Roche received both his bachelor’s and master’s degree in FPE from the University of Maryland. He’s also an Eagle Scout of Troop 1023, who enjoys hiking and playing Magic the Gathering in his spare time. 

His goal is to become a researcher with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, focusing on material flammability, WUI issues and other fire safety science topics. 

Currently advised by Dr. Raffan-Montoya, Roche is interested in the research areas of combustion, heat transfer and material flammability. 


Hazem Al-Bulqini (left)

An international student from El-Mahalla El-Kubra, Egypt, Al-Bulqini holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical power engineering from Mansoura University, where he conducted research in computational fluid dynamics as an undergraduate student. Following graduation, Al-Bulqini worked as a research and teaching assistant for his alma mater, where he also began his research in turbulent combustion in collaboration with investigators from the American University in Cairo. 

He plans to combine physics and computational methods to understand fire phenomena in hopes to develop solutions that could protect communities from the devastation of fire disasters. 

Currently advised by Chair Arnaud Trouvé, Al-Bulqini is interested in conducting research in the areas of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Large Eddy Simulation (LES) of turbulent reacting flows, physical modeling of fire-related phenomena and high-performance (parallel) scientific computing.


Zilin Zhang (right) 

Zhang, 25, is a student from China who holds a bachelor’s degree in safety engineering from Southwest Jiaotong University, and a bachelor’s and master’s degree in fire protection engineering from Oklahoma State University and the University of Maryland respectively.

She’s interested in conducting research in human behavior in fire, evacuation and protection systems, and is advised by Professor Emeritus James Milke.   

Zishan Hussain (left) 

Hussain, 34, is originally from Kolkata, India. He holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Aligarh Muslim University in India, and holds a master’s of science in fire protection engineering from the University of Maryland.  

After seven years of working on fire protection projects for the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited in India, Hussain was motivated to pursue an advanced degree in this field. He is passionate about computational fluid dynamics modeling, which was the focus of his master’s thesis. At the doctoral level, his work involves the computational study of the impact of fire on cross-laminated timber structures, and is advised by Trouvé and Assistant Professor Shuna Ni.







Published September 29, 2023