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The College of Engineering‘s Department Electrical Engineering and Computer Science graduate certificate program in fire protection engineering has gained some important students.

Consolidated Nuclear Security, which manages and operates the Pantex plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge on behalf of the National Nuclear Security Administration, has sent twenty-five of its employees to take the courses, which started Monday and runs through August 14.

Fire Protection Engineering Grad
David Icove, UT’s Underwriters Laboratories Professor of Practice, right, teaches a course on fire protection engineering Monday.

The two sites serve as core elements of a sustainable and robust national nuclear deterrent and other critical national security missions.

Debbie Reed of Y-12 said they are “thrilled UT is able to offer this program for our employees to develop critical skills in fire protection engineering.”

Fire protection engineering protects people, property, and the environment from fire using the fundamental principles of advanced science and engineering.

Fire protection engineers (FPEs) perform many different and important duties, including fire hazards analyses, facility evaluations, process hazards control, accident scenario analysis, wildland fire control, and forensic fire investigations.

Fire protection engineering is a growing and challenging field with opportunities for employment and advancement. There is a short supply and a very high demand for highly qualified FPEs.

In response to this demand, UT began to offer the FPE graduate certificate in the fall of 2014.

The certificate courses are normally offered during the school year, but they are now being offered together as a summer pilot program.

No other university in the Southeast offers accredited undergraduate or graduate education options in this field.

Sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories, the 12-credit-hour certificate is earned by completing four 3-hour courses.

UT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Professor David Icove coordinates the certificate program.

Icove, the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Professor of Practice at UT, is an internationally recognized forensic engineering expert with more than forty years of experience in the field. He is the co-author of several forensic engineering textbooks and has served ten years on UL’s Fire Advisory Council.

“This FPE graduate certificate program can be an on-ramp to graduate school,” said Icove. “We hope to encourage students to consider graduate degrees in the different disciplines of the College of Engineering upon completion of the certificate program.”

Icove holds BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering and a PhD in engineering science and mechanics from UT. He also holds a BS degree in fire protection engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a registered professional engineer in numerous states and a fellow in the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.


Kevin Bogle (865-974-9149 or