Stoliarov’s Research Recognized at Premier International Fire Science Symposium

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Department of Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) Professor Stanislav Stoliarov was a plenary speaker at the 14th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science, a recognition that sets the department as a trailblazer in fire behavior research. 

The professor was invited to address one of the main challenges in fire science at the International Association for Fire Safety Science’s (IAFSS) triennial meeting in Tsukuba, Japan. A process that would explain how solids produce fueling gasses when exposed to heat, known as pyrolysis, is central to understanding how fires spread. In his lecture, Stoliarov presented ways to lead scientific efforts that could unveil the mechanisms driving pyrolysis. 

The study of fire behavior and growth has been the focus of Stoliarov’s research. The invitation to speak at the premiere meeting for fire scientists demonstrates a career of dedication to the field. 

“It’s an honor to have been chosen as a plenary speaker for the IAFSS Symposium,” said Stoliarov.” “This type of recognition shows that you have spent enough time in the field contributing something important.” 

A joint study between Stoliarov and Jacques De Beer, Ph.D. ’23 was also presented at the conference alongside Emily Dietz '21, M.S. ’22 and Affiliate Associate Professor Michael Gollner. The contribution was De Beer’s doctoral thesis on structural materials’ reactions to firebrands, advised by Stoliarov.  

The leftovers of wildfires, firebrands are small portions of burnt vegetation that travel through the wind in the form of orange streaks, capable of reaching kilometers of distance in some instances. De Beer’s research focused on how these orange streaks can be seen in the sky as a wildfire spreads out, and when they land on structures, a reaction between the firebrands and the materials could cause a building to ignite.  

The department also received the Best Thesis Award for a consecutive year. Underwriters Laboratories Postdoctoral Researcher Parham Dehghani, Ph.D. ’22, a graduate of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, won the accolade for his work alongside Professor Peter Sunderland and Professor Emeritus James Quintiere

His thesis, titled “Burning Emulations of Condensed Phase Fuels Aboard the International Space Station,” explored fire behavior in international space stations and other microgravity environments in extra-terrestrial locations. The study sought to understand how materials can ignite under these conditions and impact the safety of spacecrafts. 

Two years ago, Joshua D. Swann, Ph.D. ’19 won the Best Thesis Award for the development of novel pyrolysis modeling techniques for five commonly-used charring and intumescent polymers. His doctoral thesis was also advised by Stoliarov. 

Other members of the department were present at the symposium, including Chair and Director of Graduate Studies Arnaud Trouvé, who gave a lecture titled, “Evaluation of Angular Resolution Requirements in the Finite-Volume-Method-Solution of the Radiative Transfer Equation,” alongside Yu Jeong Kim, a postdoctoral research associate at San Jose State University. 

Throughout the past decades, FPE has dedicated itself to build a reputation as a research department by attracting top faculty and doctoral students. The department’s recognition at the IAFSS symposium demonstrates the long-standing commitment to produce high-impact research.  

“Our legacy is to play a leadership role in teaching fire protection engineering,” said Trouvé. “Now we are also being recognized as a leader in fire science." 

The 14th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science was held on October 22–27 at the Epochal Tsukuba International Congress Center. The department is actively involved with the IAFSS, where Trouvé holds a position as trustee and vice-chair of the Executive Committee, and Assistant Professor Shuna Ni serves as a member for the Membership Advisory Council.

Published November 21, 2023