Go to content

Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

Fire Protection Engineering (ENFP)

A. James Clark School of Engineering
3106 JM Patterson Building, 301-405-3992
Chair: J. Milke
Professors: H. Baum (Res Prof), K. Isman (Clin Prof), A.C. Trouve, M. di Marzo
Associate Professors: A.W. Marshall, S.I. Stoliarov, P.B. Sunderland
Assistant Professors: M. Gollner
Lecturers: A. Kohout (Lecturer), N. Ryder
Affiliate Professors: E. Oran (Prof, Affiliate Prof), R. Roby, J. Torero
Professors Emeriti: V. Brannigan, F. Mowrer (Assoc Prof Emeritus), J.G. Quintiere, S. Spivak

The Major

Fire Protection Engineering is concerned with the applications of scientific and technical principles to the dynamics, mitigation, and suppression of fire. This includes the effects of fire on people, on structures, on commodities, and on operations. The identification of fire hazards and their risk, relative to the cost of protection, is an important aspect of fire safety design.

The fire protection engineering student receives a fundamental engineering education involving the subjects of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. The program builds on other core engineering subjects of materials, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer with emphasis on principles and phenomena related to fire. Fluid mechanics includes applications to sprinkler design, suppression systems, and smoke movement. Heat transfer introduces the student to principles of evaporation for liquid fuels. The subject of combustion is introduced involving premixed and diffusion flames, ignition and flame spread, and burning processes. Laboratory experience is gained by being exposed to standard fire tests and measurements. Design procedures are emphasized for systems involving suppression, detection, alarm, and building safety requirements. The background and application of codes and standards are studied to prepare the student for practice in the field. System concepts of fire safety and methods of analysis are presented. A senior design or research project is required which gives the student an opportunity to explore issues beyond the normal classroom environment.

The Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org , 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, telephone: (410) 347-7700.

Program Objectives

The educational objectives of the undergraduate program in Fire Protection Engineering are to produce graduates who:

1.   Practice fire protection engineering regionally, nationally and internationally in a broad range of modern professional settings;

2.   Pursue advanced studies in fire protection engineering or related fields;

3.   Actively participate in the development of engineering decisions on societal, environmental, economic and safety issues at the local or global levels;

4.   Achieve professional certification and licensure; and

5.   Maintain continual professional competency and practice ethically.

The practice of fire protection engineering has developed from the implementation and interpretation of codes and standards directed at fire safety. These safety codes contain technical information and prescriptions derived from experience and research. Research has also led to quantitative methods to assess aspects of fire and fire safety. Thus, fire protection engineers need to be versed in the current technical requirements for fire safety and in the scientific principles that underlie fire and its interactions.

Program Learning Outcomes

1.  Demonstrated ability to apply knowledge of math, engineering and science in addressing fire protection engineering issues making use of modern techniques, skills and engineering tools available in the professional practice.

2.  Demonstrated ability to design experimental apparatus, experimental procedures and data analysis generating novel information and knowledge in fire science and engineering.

3.  Demonstrated ability to design systems, processes and components relevant to the fire protection engineering practice or enhancing the performance and safety of the fire service personnel.

4.  Demonstrated ability to perform in multi-disciplinary or multi-tasking teams.

5.  Demonstrated ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems representative of those commonly encountered in the fire protection engineering practice.

6.  Demonstrated understanding of the professional and ethical responsibilities associated with the practice of fire protection engineering.

7.  Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively through written reports and technical presentations with fire protection engineers and with other relevant professional constituencies (AHJ, architectural firms, etc.).

8.  Demonstrated knowledge of contemporary issues relevant to the fire engineering profession and broad understanding of the relevant societal issues impacted by the engineering solutions.

9.  Demonstrated recognition of the need to engage in life-long learning and ability to maintain state of the art fire protection engineering knowledge and skills.

Academic Programs and Departmental Facilities

Our laboratories provide hands-on experience with standardized ASTM test procedures, more fundamental experiments, and large scale burn tests. Our computer laboratory has workstations enabled with the latest software for modeling fires, structures, and human behavior. Our student lounge is frequently used for student meetings and study sessions.

Admission to the Major

Admission requirements are identical to those set by the A. James Clark School of Engineering. (See A. James Clark School of Engineering section under the Colleges and Schools section of this site).


Requirements for the Major

In general, the curriculum is designed to give the student a grounding in the science and practice of fire safety. The field touches on many disciplines and its scientific basis is expanding. It is an engineering discipline that is still growing, and offers a variety of excellent career opportunities. These cover a wide spectrum involving safety assessment reviews, hazards analysis and research, loss prevention and regulatory issues.

    Credits Credits
 Freshman Year First Sem Second Sem
Gen EdGeneral Education Requirements   6
ENGL101English Composition 3  
CHEM135General Chemistry for Engineers 3  
MATH140/141Calculus I / Calculus II 4 4
ENES100Introduction to Engineering Design 3  
ENES102Mechanics I   3
PHYS161General Physics I: Mechanics and Particle Dynamics   3
ENFP101 Hot Topics in Fire (optional)  (1)  
 Total 14 16
   Credits Credits
 Sophomore Year First Sem Second Sem
Gen EdGeneral Education Requirements 3  
Gen EdOral Communication   3
MATH206Introduction to MATLAB 1  
MATH240Linear Algebra, or   4
  MATH241Calculus III    
MATH246Differential Equations 3  
PHYS260/261General Physics II 4  
ENES220Mechanics II   3
ENES221Dynamics 3  
ENES232Thermodynamics   3
ENFP250Introduction to Life Safety Analysis 3  
ENFP300Fire Protection Fluid Mechanics   3
 Total 17 16
   Credits Credits
 Junior Year First Sem Second Sem
Gen EdGeneral Education Requirements 3 3
ElectiveApproved Electives (STAT, ENFP, ENXX) 3 3
ElectiveGeneral Elective 3  
ENFP310Water Based Fire Protection Systems Design 3  
ENFP312Heat and Mass Transfer 3  
ENFP320Fire Assessment Methods and Laboratory   4
ENFP350Professional Development Seminar   1
ENFP440/627Smoke Management and Fire Alarm Systems   3
 Total 15 14
   Credits Credits
 Senior Year First Sem Second Sem
ElectiveApproved Electives (STAT, ENFP, ENXX)   6
ENGL393Technical Writing 3  
ENFP405/621Structural Fire Protection 3  
ENFP410/629LAdvanced Fire Suppression   3
ENFP411Risk-Informed Performance Based Design   3
ENFP413/613Advanced Life Safety Analysis 3  
ENFP415/651Fire Dynamics 3  
ENFP425Enclosure Fire Modeling 3  
ENFP426Computational Methods in Fire Protection   3
 Total 15 15
 Total Credit Hours  121

Approved electives must include the following:
    One MATH or STAT 300+
    One ENFP 400+, and two ENXX 300+
    Two ENXX 3xx+ courses


Advising is required for all undergraduate students each semester prior to registering for classes. Please refer to www.fpe.umd.edu/undergrad/advising for more information.

Undergraduate Research Experiences

Many FPE undergraduates perform original research under the direction of a faculty member. These include analytical, experimental, and computational studies. The topics are chosen in discussions between the student and a faculty member. Students can perform research as a volunteer, for pay, or for credit (e.g., ENFP429 or ENFP489).

Fieldwork Opportunities

Information about fieldwork and summer employment is available in the department office, or visit www.enfp.umd.edu/employment/jobs .


Information about internships is available in the department office, or visit www.enfp.umd.edu/employment/jobs .

Co-op Programs

Information about co-op employment is available in the department office, or visit www.enfp.umd.edu/employment/jobs .

Honors Program

Qualified students in the department are eligible for participation in the A. James Clark School of Engineering honors program and may be invited to the Salamander Honorary Society of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering.

Student Societies and Professional Organizations

The University of Maryland student chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers is an active professional society open to all interested FPE students. The department honor society, Salamander, is open to academically eligible juniors and seniors. Student membership in the National Fire Protection Association is also available. Information on these organizations may be obtained from the department office or at www.enfp.umd.edu/student-societies .

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

Numerous scholarships and grants are available to students in the department from organizational and corporate sponsors. Information is available on eligibility, financial terms, and retention criteria in the department office. The majority of the scholarships are for junior and senior students, but some scholarships are available for first- and second-year students. Additional information is available at www.enfp.umd.edu/undergrad/scholarships .

In addition, the Office of Student Financial Aid (OFSA) administers all types of federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs and, in cooperation with other University offices, participates in the awarding of scholarships to deserving students. For more information, visit: www.financialaid.umd.edu .

Awards and Recognition

Academic achievement awards are sponsored by the department and the student professional-honor societies. These awards are presented at the annual A. James Clark School of Engineering Honors and Awards ceremony. Eligibility criteria for these awards are available in the department office.

Return to top