Next Cycle Applications Due: March 10, 2023
The SFPE Foundation supports a number of initiatives designed to further its mission to enhance the scientific understanding of fire and its interaction with the natural and built environment. An important part of this mission is developing the next generation of fire protection engineers. The foundation encourages this through an emphasis on student involvement in the Research Roadmap program as well as through the Student Research Grant Program.
Goal: Realize the SFPE Foundation vision through providing educational and research opportunities for the next generation of fire protection engineers.
Purpose: To support innovative baccalaureate and graduate-level student research projects in fire safety science or fire protection engineering and to showcase the contributions of students to the advancement of fire protection engineering.
Read about our Past Recipients.
Funding: A $5,000 stipend will be provided to the student recipient(s) of the grant. Travel support to the SFPE annual conference, or equivalent may also be provided.
Grantees may have the opportunity to participate in SFPE Foundation and SFPE-affiliated events and communications to publicize the results of their research, such as the SFPE Annual Conference, SFPE Foundation website and social media outlets, and SFPE Chapter presentations, among others.
This program is intended for undergraduate and graduate students conducting research with a fire safety science or fire engineering focus.
Application Guidelines and Award
The grant proposal must be submitted by the student through this form and must include the student's faculty advisor's recommendation.
Submissions should not exceed 5 pages single-spaced (not including the cover page, recommendation letter, and Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form) and should include a description of the innovative objective of the research project, describe the tasks that will be undertaken to achieve it, and state the proposed timeline for completion. Successful applicants will situate their proposed research project with respect to addressing the knowledge gaps identified in the SFPE Research Roadmap. Additionally, if this is supplemental funding, it should be made clear how the additional funds will be used, the source of additional funding, and if any potential conflicts or restrictions exist that would impact the presentation and publication of the research.
Final decisions rest with the Foundation's Board of Governors, upon recommendation from the Technical Committee.
Proposal Recommended Format
While a standard format is not required for the submission of a proposal, it is recommended to follow the basic layout and contents as specified below.
Cover Page: Title of the project; name, email address, and affiliation of the student; name and email address of academic supervisor/sponsor; and description of any prior financial support.
- Specific Aims (Objectives)
- Background and Significance
- Methods and Procedures
- Budget and Justification
- Timing and Deliverables
- Conflicts of Interest or Restrictions on Publication (complete the COI Form available here)
- Biographical Sketch of Principal Investigator, key staff, and/or students who will be involved in the proposed project
- References/Letter of Support from Academic Supervisor/Sponsor
Submissions will be accepted at any time throughout the year; however, submissions are reviewed and grants are awarded twice per year (assuming qualified submissions). Submissions must be received by March 10 to be awarded in June, or by October 2 to be awarded in November.
Submit complete applications to the SFPE Foundation through this form.
Please contact the SFPE Foundation's Director at email@example.com with any questions.
It is expected that the results of the research will result in the publication of a peer-reviewed research paper and that the results will be presented at an appropriate forum. The paper will additionally be hosted on the SFPE Foundation website for archival purposes.
Rocio Cortez (Master student, Texas State University, US) was awarded a student research grant for her project “Integrating Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation into Disaster Loss Reduction Planning.” This project will further empirical and practical understandings of the dynamics that explain wildlife rehabilitation and rescue’s (WRR) capacity to help minimize the consequences of wildfires. It will analyze the conditions and factors that affect WRR’s ability to readily and effectively partake in wildfire response, and assess the nature of information exchange’s influence in wildfire response preparedness via cross-agency communication, coordination, and information exchange.
Marika du Plessis (MEng/PhD student, Stellenbosch University, South Africa) was awarded a student research grant for her project “Experimental and Numerical Testing of Mass Timber Connections Considering Gap Size and Passive Protection.” This project aims to understand if the fire behavior of mass timber connections can be predicted reliably and improved by using passive fire protection intumescent mastics.
Andrea Franchini (PhD student, Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering, University College London, UK) was awarded a student research grant for his project “A Novel Risk-Based Fire Design Method for Sustainable Structures.” This project is focused on developing an extension to the Maximum Allowable Damage approach using machine learning techniques and on implementing the approach into safe and sustainable structural optimization. Furthermore, the project will apply the proposed computational risk-based design framework to bridge structures.
Zilong Wang (PhD student, Research Centre for Fire Safety Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong/China) received a student research grant for his project “Smart Fire Calorimetry Driven by Image Analysis and Artificial Intelligence.” This project aims to develop a smart fire calorimetry system using fire scene images and artificial intelligence. The outcome of this research will provide a simple and convenient way to measure the fire HRR, which shows great potential in future smart firefighting applications.
Juliette Franqueville (PhD student, UT Fire Research Group, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin) was awarded a student research grant for her project “Deep-Learning for Flame Characterization in Compartment Fires.” This project aims to develop a low-order model based on artificial neural networks (ANNs), which are machine learning algorithms inspired by biological neural networks, to characterize the effects of vent flows on pool fires in compartment fires. The ANNs training process will leverage transfer learning, which has the potential to make the training of the ANN faster and to produce more accurate flame position predictions.
Yohannes Shewalul (PhD student, Fire Engineering Research Unit, Stellenbosch University, South Africa) was awarded a student research grant for his project “Fire Behavior of Construction Systems Incorporating Waste Materials.” The project will identify commonly used waste materials in construction systems for which fire ratings have not been obtained and conduct experimental fire testing on construction systems incorporating such waste materials. The results of this study hold the potential to inform strategies of the fire service when responding to incidents where large quantities of oil-based recycled materials are encapsulated in walls.
Cheryl A. Marek, P.E. (PhD Candidate in Civil Engineering, University of Maryland) was awarded a student research grant for her project “Causal Factors in the Escalation of Fire Incidents During Naval Ship Maintenance Availabilities.” The project aims to improve industrial fire safety during naval ship maintenance availabilities by assessing why some incipient fire incidents escalate to major fires in order to recommend standardized data reporting inputs and inform program, technical and contractual requirements.
David Morrisset (PhD student, University of Edinburgh Fire Research Centre, UK) was awarded a student research grant for his project “Quantifying the Statistical Uncertainty of Furniture-Scale Fire Testing.” The project investigates the statistical variation in furniture calorimeter testing and will thereby improve the tools available to FPEs and provide a large dataset for a variety of key experimental results, including the heat release rate. Initial results from the project have been published in the July 2022 issue of FPE eXTRA.
Iffah Umairah Zulmajdi (pursuing a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Putra, Malaysia) was awarded a student research grant for her project “A Comparison of Zone and Field Model for the Probabilistic Simulation of NIST Kitchen Fire.” The project assesses whether probabilistic simulation of kitchen fire spread using field models (CFD) can produce better representation of the fire phenomena as compared to using zone models. Drawing on this assessment, the project will determine whether it is useful to invest in probabilistic simulations using a field model, which uses very high resources, or whether it is sufficient to use zone models.
Shaorun Lin from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University was awarded 5K to provide support for his project
, which aims to advance and enrich the wildfire-fighting strategy for suppressing smouldering underground wildfires.