Life-saving NYU-Poly research presented at FDNY symposium

Chief officers from the Fire Department of New York presented potentially life-saving research results at a March 19 – 20 symposium based on a study Polytechnic Institute of NYU mechanical engineers conducted through a $1 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency via the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Research Grant program.

The symposium, like the research study, focused on techniques to fight wind-driven high-rise fires, which are unpredictable, fast-moving, and can quickly exceed temperatures of 2,000 degrees.

Dr. Sunil Kumar, professor of mechanical engineering, led the research group who have analyzed data collected during a series of February 2008 test fires conducted on Governor’s Island in collaboration with FDNY and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) who are also part of the $1 million grant.

The research group’s primary focus has been the effectiveness of positive pressure ventilation (PPV), a suppression tactic that proved very successful during the experimental burns. The group has conducted several simulations using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and fire simulator software to better understand the physics governing the PPV tactic, which when deployed appropriately, can reduce the intensity of fire conditions and provide safer conditions inside a burning high-rise building.

The results from NYU-Poly’s study are being used to train members of FDNY — one of the top fire and rescue organizations worldwide. The symposium served as way to spread the FDNY’s extensive experience and knowledge of fighting high-rise fires to fire departments across the nation  — from Los Angeles to Chicago  — and the world  — from the United Kingdom to China — who attended the symposium.

NYU-Poly was the principal investigator in the study and aims to maintain its relationship with FDNY and NIST by continuing its fire research activities and providing relevant scientific data and information to firefighting communities.

Fire research at NYU-Poly enhances the research opportunities available at the Institute and contributes to its continued goal of being a place for innovative research and technology development that serves local, national, and international communities.

Polytechnic representatives at the symposium included members of the research team: Dr. Sunil Kumar; Vishal Prajapati, Prabodh Panindre, and Anisur Rahman of the mechanical engineering department; and Elton Kwok, a graduate student in the integrated digital media program.

Learn More

Poly-News: Poly teams up with FDNY to fight fire with engineering
Video, simulations, and an overview of the study