Fire Science and Engineering // Degree and Curriculum


Degree Options

The Fire Science and Engineering master’s degree track comprises 27 credit hours, which may be all coursework or include an MS thesis (9 credit hours) or a project (3 to 6 credit hours). Students can choose to receive a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in Fire Science and Engineering; or a Master of Science in Macromolecular Science and Engineering with a specialization in Fire Science and Engineering.
All students will take six core fire protection engineering courses. Other courses can be chosen from the elective track for mechanical engineering or macromolecular science and engineering. The mechanical track follows a traditional mechanical engineering/combustion approach to fire protection and suppression, but with specialization classes in polymers. The materials track focuses on polymer chemistry and materials, and the chemistry of flammability and fire suppression.

The track can be finished in one year or in multiple years. Students have the option of completing a thesis or research project at their employers' laboaratories with Case Western Reserve faculty members as co-advisors.

Academic Calendar

This fire protection engineering degree is offered over three semesters: 12 credits in the fall semester; 12 credits in the spring semester; and 3 credits in the summer. See the university’s academic calendar.

Fire Science and Engineering Track Core Course Requirements (18 Credits):

EMAE/EMAC+ 461 The Chemistry of Polymer Flammability (3 credits)
This course introduces the most important concepts in polymer flammability. Topics include: the mechanism, kinetics and products of polymer flammability; methods for evaluating polymer flammability and the ramifications of different test results; modes of action and use of flame retardant agents. 
EMAE/EMAC+ 462 Flammability Laboratory (3 credits)
This course introduces details of polymer flammability testing, and provides hands-on experimental experience in methods including cone calorimetry, LOI, TGA and smoke generation. Students will evaluate commercial products, with and without added flame retardants.
EMAE/EMAC+ 463 Fire Dynamics (3 credits) 
This course introduces compartment fires and burning behavior of materials. Topics include: buoyant driven flow, fire plume, ceiling jet, vent flow, flashover and smoke movement as well as steady burning of liquids and solids; ignition, extinction and flame spread over solids.
EMAE/EMAC+ 464 Fire Protection Engineering (3 credits) 
This course introduces essentials of fire protection in industry and houses. Topics include: hazard identification (release of flammable gases and their dispersion), fire and explosion hazards, prevention and risk mitigation, fire detection systems, mechanisms of fire extinguishment, evaluation of fire extinguishing agents and systems, 
EMAE 457 Combustion (3 credits)
Chemical kinetics and thermodynamics; governing conservation equations for chemically reacting flows; laminar premixed and diffusion flames; turbulent flames; ignition; extinction and flame stabilization; detonation; liquid droplet and solid particle combustion; flame spread, combustion-generated air pollution
EMAC 404 Polymer Engineering (3 credits)
Engineering and technology of polymeric materials. Topics include additives, blends and composites, natural polymers and fibers, thermoplastics, elastomers, and thermosets, polymer degradation and stability, polymers in the environment, polymer rheology and polymer processing, and polymers for advanced technologies (membrane science, biomedical engineering, applications in electronics, photonics polymers). A lecture portion is integrated with a laboratory component, in which experiments will be conducted that is directly connected to the class work.

Choose one of the following two elective tracks:

Elective Track I: Mechanical Engineering (9 credits)

EMAE 453 Advanced Fluid Dynamics I (3 credits)
Derivation and discussion of the general equations for conservation of mass, momentum, and energy using tensors. Several exact solutions of the incompressible Newtonian viscous equations. Kinematics and dynamics of inviscid, incompressible flow including free streamline theory developed using vector, complex variable, and numerical techniques.
EMAE 459 Advanced Heat Transfer (3 credits)
Analysis of engineering heat transfer from first principles including conduction, convection, radiation, and combined heat and mass transfer. Examples of significance and role of analytic solutions, approximate methods (including integral methods) and numerical methods in the solution of heat transfer problems. Prerequisite: EMAE 453
EMAE 558 Conduction and Radiation (3 credits)
Fundamental laws, initial and boundary conditions, basic equations for isotropic and anisotropic media, related physical problems, steady and transient temperature distributions in solid structures. Analytical, graphical, numerical, and experimental methods for constant and variable material properties.
ECIV 424 Structural Dynamics (3 credits)
Modeling of structures as single and multi-degree of freedom dynamic systems. Deterministic models of dynamic loads. Analytical methods: modal, response spectrum, time history, and frequency domain analyses.
Elective Track II: Macromolecular Science and Engineering (9 credits)
EMAC 401 (ITN)* Polymer Synthesis (3 credits)
Synthesis and organic chemistry of macromolecules: This course introduces the most important polymerization reactions, focusing on their reaction mechanisms and kinetic aspects. Topics include free radical and ionic chain polymerization, condensation (step-growth) polymerization, ring-opening, insertion and controlled addition polymerization. A lecture portion is integrated with a laboratory component, in which experiments are directly connected to the class work.
EMAC 402 (ITN)* Polymer Physical Chemistry (3 credits)
Physical chemistry of polymers in solution: Topics include polymer statistics (i.e., microstructure, chain configuration, and chain dimensions), thermodynamics and transport properties of polymers in solution, methods for molecular weight determination, physical chemistry of water-soluble polymers, and characterization of polymer microstructure (IR and NMR). A lecture portion is integrated with a laboratory component, in which experiments are directly connected to the class work.
EMAC 403 (ITN)* Polymer Physics (3 credits)
Physics of polymers in the bulk amorphous and crystalline states: Topics include structural and morphological analysis using X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, characterization of thermal transitions, viscoelastic behavior and rubber elasticity, and dynamic mechanical analysis. A lecture portion is integrated with a laboratory component, in which experiments are directly connected to the class work.
EMAC 405 Polymer Structure and Characterization (3 credits)
Application of microscopy techniques to the analysis of the microstructure of polymeric materials. Specifically, atomic force microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and optical microscopy. Practical aspects of these techniques will be applied to a variety of polymer systems.

Learn more about the faculty who teach these courses.