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Meeting Community Needs: Safety And Fire Engineering Technology Program

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Innovative Curriculum in ET

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.906.1 - 9.906.12



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Paper Authors

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Edward Sheinberg

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Alberto Gomez-Rivas

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George Pincus

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3449

Meeting Community Needs: Safety and Fire Engineering Technology Program

Edward R. Sheinberg, Alberto Gomez-Rivas, and George Pincus Assistant Professor/Professor and Chair/Professor and Dean Department of Engineering Technology, College of Sciences and Technology, University of Houston-Downtown


The Safety and Fire Engineering Technology program at the University of Houston- Downtown developed in response to community needs and request for technical training in safety and fire science by area fire departments. The four years Bachelor of Engineering Technology is designed to prepare professionals to asses and reduce the loss potential in industrial settings with respect to fire, floods, tornadoes, explosion, and hazardous material accidents. The program provides the graduate skills and knowledge of current trends in industrial safety, fire science, equipment operation in practice, and computer simulations.

The curriculum provides a solid foundation in basic and technical sciences and includes applied courses in facilities and catastrophe management. Courses offered by natural Sciences, Mathematics, Management, and Criminal Justice departments are also included in the curriculum. Courses in other areas support the program, such as Human Factors in Psychology. Other technology courses also complement the program. Computer usage is an essential component in the Safety and Fire program, thus, simulation program are used to train students in fire propagation studies and also in management methodologies for safety. Fire codes evolving from prescription of specifications to specifications of performance are included.

Implementation of a program that fits the schedule of firefighters requires creative scheduling in delivery of course materials. Firemen work in alternating shifts that do not allow for participation in standard college courses. Most students joining the program will have preliminary college courses from two-year community colleges leading to associate degrees. Articulation agreements with these institutions have been established.

The paper describes development of the Safety and Fire Engineering Technology program, institutional response to community needs, curriculum, facilities including laboratories and simulation programs, student background, and depicts program growth. Finally, conclusions describe reasons for success of the program and future plans for continued development.


This paper describes the Safety and Fire Protection Engineering Technology program at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). The historical development of the program is described to emphasize how UHD meets the needs of the community. The objectives of the program were initially developed to satisfy community needs and the mission of the Engineering Technology Department of the University of Houston-Downtown. One Proceeding of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Sheinberg, E., & Gomez-Rivas, A., & Pincus, G. (2004, June), Meeting Community Needs: Safety And Fire Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13744

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015