2022 FSRI Fellows

FSRI Announces Three Fellows for 2022

July 6, 2022

Grayson Bellamy, Thomas DiPietro and Rebekah Schrader, Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) students at the University of Maryland (UMD) are the 2022 recipients of the Fire Safety Research Institute (FSRI), part of UL Research Institutes Fellowships. While pursuing their respective degrees at UMD, the trio will contribute to research that encompasses fire dynamics in contemporary environments to ensure victim and firefighter survival and safety.

Grayson Bellamy headshot

Bellamy is currently completing his master’s degree in fire protection engineering and will begin pursuing a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in the fall. He was the recipient of this award in 2020 and 2021 – and is the first doctoral student to be supported by the fellowship. His current research involves redesigning an apparatus for determining the thermal transport properties of polymers during thermal decomposition.

Bellamy received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Georgia in early 2020, but his first hands-on experience with fire protection research began at UL’s large-scale fire testing facility in Northbrook, IL. Through a previous internship, he traveled to the facility to assist in large-scale fire testing of commercial fire sprinkler system arrangements. At UMD, he contributed to experimentation that would make retail occupancies safer and allowed him to gain a glimpse into the fire protection world. Bellamy also conducted an internship at FSRI in 2019, which allowed him to work on several projects including developing display boards for the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) and assisting with the Coordinated Fire Attack Study of garden-style apartments.

man with dark hair smiling

DiPietro is completing his undergraduate studies in mechanical engineering, with a concentration in aerospace engineering, at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey and will start with UMB this summer. DiPietro is a member of the Bantivoglio Honors College as well as multiple organizations including the American Society for Mechanical Engineers. Since 2018, he has been a volunteer firefighter at the Monroe Township Volunteer Fire Company #1. During the summer of 2021, DiPietro conducted a research internship at FSRI in which he assisted in experimentation and data acquisition. His research project for the upcoming academic year is currently under development.

Bekah Shrader FSRI Intern

Schrader is a senior in fire protection engineering, minoring in global engineering leadership. Her long-time interest in the fire service, stemming from her father’s lifelong career as a firefighter, sparked a passion for fire safety research. At UMD, Schrader is an FPE Ambassador, a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), and a former FLEXUS Living and Learning Program participant. She is involved in the A. James Clark School of Engineering RISE Leadership Academy, through which she has conducted wildland-urban interface (WUI) research and co-founded a virtual summer camp for high school girls interested in engineering research. In addition, Schrader has participated in the FPE Sophomore Research Experience; is a community plant leader for Maryland Cru, a UMD campus ministry; and is certified as a Blue Card Incident Commander.

Schrader is currently a research intern at FSRI where she has worked on various literature reviews and assisted with bench and large-scale experiments. She has focused on WUI fire research, which she will continue to study as she pursues her master’s degree in fire protection engineering.