Student Research Grant
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 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.
1. Award Incentive
Nominally $25,000 in grants will be awarded annually to support the following:
Funding: A $5000 stipend will be provided to the student recipient of the grant. Travel support to the SFPE annual conference, or equivalent will also be provided.
Student Innovation Showcase: Grantees will have the opportunity to participate in the SFPE Foundation Student Innovation Showcase which includes the SFPE annual conference, SFPE website, and magazine exposure.
This program is intended solely for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in programs with a fire safety science or fire protection engineering focus.
3. Application Guidelines and Award
The request must be submitted by the student and must include the student's faculty advisor recommendation. These should be sent to the SFPE Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions should not exceed 5 pages 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. 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
Final decisions rest with the Foundation's Board of Governors, upon recommendation from the Technical Committee.
4. 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 and affiliation of the student; Name of academic supervisor/sponsor; 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
- Biographical Sketch of Principal Investigator, key staff and students
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 November 1st to be awarded in January or by
May 1st to be awarded in July.
6. Project Deliverables
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.
- Frantz Richter from Imperial College London awarded 5K to provide partial support for the Computational Investigation of the Timber Response to Fire, which is a study that focuses on the creation
of a toolkit to more accurately predict the charring rate of timber, thereby helping fire engineers and regulators assess the safety of proposed building designs.
- Dr. Michael Gollner from University of Maryland awarded 5K to provide partial support for the graduate student program instructor and lecture and laboratory materials for An Introduction to Math and Physics through Fire Dynamics, which
is an unique, semester-long, on-campus high school bridge program designed to introduce students to advanced concepts in chemistry, physics, and mathematics through the lens of fire dynamics, so as to increase their exposure to, and
understanding of, the value of these concepts, which are typically taught independently as separate areas of study.
- Dr. Brian Meacham from Worcester Polytechnic Institute awarded 5K to provide partial support for development of a textbook entitled Fire Performance Analysis for Buildings, which will be published by John
Wiley & Sons. The textbook will provide a framework for evaluating the performance of buildings against fire scenarios which link the fire, active and passive fire defenses, people, building architecture, and site conditions. The
award will help support the participation of students and others to assist in the completion of fire performance analysis examples, supporting graphics and the final technical review.
- Dr. Brian Meacham from Worcester Polytechnic Institute awarded 5K to provide partial support for the research project Post-Earthquake Fire Performance of a Light-Gauge Cold-Formed Steel Framed Building. The
funds from this grant will support room-scale fire tests in order to assess the fire performance of structural and non-structural systems, including exit system components (corridors, stairs, doors), fire- and smoke-rated compartmentation
(walls and ceilings), exterior system performance (walls, windows), and if time and resources permit, active fire protection systems. The research is slated to begin in May 2016 and findings will be summarized and disseminated via
multiple formats, including conference papers, journal articles and technical reports.
- Egle Rackauskaite from Imperial College London awarded 15K to provide partial support for the research project Response of Steel and Concrete Structures to Travelling Fires. The funds will go towards
creating a collaboration between the Imperial College London and the University of Michigan to investigate and compare the structural response of steel frames and concrete frames to travelling fires. The research will capture the fire
heterogeneity effect on the structural response and quantify it in a probabilistic framework. This will identify the critical fires that could lead to the most severe conditions for the structures.
- Isaac Leventon from The University of Maryland awarded $11,607 to provide partial support to provide a new high school bridge course: An Introduction to Math and Physics through Fire Dynamics. The funds
will go towards creating a semester long program that is designed to introduce students to advanced concepts in chemistry, physics, and mathematics, through the lens of fire dynamics to increase their exposure to, and understanding
of, the value of these concepts, which are typically taught independently as separate areas of study. By studying the content of this course as it applies to a series of real world applications, student awareness of the responsibilities
and career opportunities of a fire protection engineer is also developed. Watch a story on The University of Maryland funded course Sparking a Love for Science by Studying How Christmas Trees Burn.
- Dr. Jose Torero from The University of Queensland awarded 5K to provide partial support to the creation of a fire safety engineering program and The University of Queensland SFPE Student Chapter (UQ-SFPE).
The UQ-SFPE has been active since October 2014. You can find all the great things UQ-SFPE is doing here.