About the UT Fire Research Group
Program Objective: Educate and train students to be experts and leaders in fire characterization using experimental, analytical, and computational techniques.

While it is often said that fire is one of man's oldest technologies, wild or feral fire continues to be one of society's enduring enemies. Man's relationship with fire is complex. We heat our homes, cook our food, and power our vehicles with controlled combustion devices. At any point, these controlled combustion devices can become an ignition site for unwanted fire. Even when there are no obvious combustion sources, the possibility for ignition may exist.

As an example, with increasing use of electronic devices in homes, our power usage and the power density in homes increases. Electrical fires in residences represent one of the largest sources of fire ignition within homes. An entire fire industry exists to mitigate the impact of fire. This fire ecosystem in the built environment includes companies producing basic materials, companies manufacturing finished products, organizations testing and rating the fire resistant performance of products, researchers and companies advancing fire detection and suppression technologies, architects and builders developing secure buildings with layers of life safety protection systems, the fire service, insurance organizations, etc.

There are many ways for research to contribute to controlling the impacts of unwanted fire. Our research work at the University of Texas touches on many of the interconnected parts of the fire ecosystem. Our student researchers work on problems that range from small scale characterization of solid degradation and pyrolysis to impact of degradation on flame spread to compartment fire dynamics to assessment of fire losses on the community scale. Details of current projects can be found in the Projects area.

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Prof. of Mechanical Engineering
UT Fire Research Lab Director

Research Engineer