Fire Safety Program

Flexible study options | Course structure | Remote Learning option

Fire Safety Program

Advance your education and career in fire safety in the most flexible format

The University of Waterloo Fire Safety Program is designed for engineering graduates as well as experienced architects, designers, engineers, building consultants and regulatory officials who wish to upgrade and enhance their knowledge of fire safety engineering.

Flexible study options to fit your professional life and educational goals:

  • Four program options available: Certificate in Fire Safety, MEng Graduate Diploma in Fire Safety, MASc and PhD  
  • Choose a full-time, 12 to 16-month program or part-time studies  
  • Begin your program in January, May or September
  • Courses delivered in an intensive, week-long course format with ample time to complete  coursework afterwards
  • Coursework and projects tailored to the needs of your industry with current issues and challenges continually addressed

Flexible course structure

  • All core and elective Fire Safety courses are delivered in an intense, week-long (36-40 hours) lecture/laboratory format, with lab exercises and hands on demonstrations during the week. In many courses, Friday is set aside as a one-day Symposium with guest speakers. Talks are tailored to professional development in that particular course area. External industry professionals are invited to enrich the networking experience for students.   
  • Ample time for course work after lecture week: For credit-based students (those seeking a Certificate in Fire Safety or a Graduate Diploma), the lectures are offered in one University of Waterloo term (winter, spring or fall). The majority of coursework (comprised of case studies, projects, assignments and a research topic)  is electronically submitted in the following term (spring, fall or winter, respectively), usually over a 4-6 month period following the week of lectures. This gives each student ample time to fit in course work while balancing a professional career.
  • Certificate of Attendance is available for those participating in all the lectures but not submitting course work. Full fees apply. There is NO auditing permitted in these courses. 
  • Extreme flexibility: Course slides, handouts, assignments, projects, etc are available through the UW LEARN system or via Dropbox for each course.  Assignments test students on key concepts in a course; projects and case studies focus on applications and are individually tailored to the interests/needs of each student’s industry.
  • Remote learning available. For participants unable to attend the week long campus based lectures, we offer attendance at the courses via a state-of-the-art interactive instruction facility called the Live-Link. This remote learning environment is enabled through the use of smart boards and multi-point interactive video conferencing.The Live-Link technology provides an immersive, real-time experience where students seamlessly participate with the instructor and others in the class as if they were in the same location. (See technical requirements
  • If you miss a class, you will have the opportunity to watch the recorded session of the class and email any questions to the instructor.
  • There are no exams, so students are able to take the entire program in class or interactively online, or can take courses using only the recorded lectures (available but not recommended). Any mix of these learning methods is permitted.
  • We offer the courses individually or as requirements for MEng, MASc/PhD or the 4 course certificate programs.
  • Lectures are held in the comfortable classrooms of Engineering 5, with its state-of-the-art interactive online capabilities for remote learning.
  • Networking: With a small class size, comprised of industry professionals and graduate students, participants will learn in a vibrant, interactive atmosphere. This diversity exposes students to vital networking opportunities and to make significant industry connections. 

Not living in Waterloo? You can study and learn online with our real-time remote learning portal   

Currently, there are 20 on-line, interactive seats available per course for students who cannot make it to the UW campus to take the lectures. These are offered through the UW E5-LIVE system – with a PC, webcam and microphone, a student uses software supplied by UW to sit in lectures in real-time and interactively participate. They can ask questions and provide experience just as if they are in the classroom at UW. All lectures are taped and made available to registered students through a dedicated ‘show and share’ site. In this way, each student can review any missed lectures or re-view the lectures while doing their coursework. 

  • Technical requirements for remote learning include a Mac or Windows based PC with webcam and microphone. The software is compatible with any H323 or SIP standard system (not Skype).

You can also earn your Masters of Engineering degree with a Graduate Diploma in Fire Safety

The University of Waterloo Masters of Engineering degree with a Graduate Diploma in Fire Safety is a graduate studies program offered through Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering that requires successful completion of: three (3) core courses; three (3) specialty elective courses in Fire Safety, two other Engineering graduate courses and a communication credit.

  • For students who are not in the Mechanical Engineering MEng Graduate program, successful completion of four (4) fire safety courses can be applied towards a Departmental Certificate in Fire Safety.

NOTE: To apply to the Fire Safety Program, students must register to the Fire Safety courses by completing the online course registration form

Fire Safety Graduate Courses

Fire Safety Course Brochure [PDF]

Contact us

2024  Course Schedule  ***NEW DATES***

Fire Safety Course Brochure [PDF]

January 22 - 26, 2024

Core Course

ME 671 - Fire Dynamics

Course Outline

Instructor: Professor E. Weckman, University of Waterloo

May  6 - 10, 2024               

ME 770 - Fire Testing

Course Outline

Instructor: Professor D. Torvi, Saskatchewan 

June 24 -28, 2024

ME 770 - Fire Risk

Course Outline

Instructors: Professor G. Jomaas, Slovenia; Professor Kazuyoshi Nishijima, Kyoto

August 12 - 16, 2024

ME 720 - Fire Resistance 

Course Outline

Instructor: Professor V. Kodur, Michigan

September 9 -13, 2024

ME 765 - Advanced Fire Investigation

Course Outline

Instructor: various

September 23 - 27, 2024

Core Course

ME 673 - Fire Modelling

Course Outline

Instructor: Professor E. Weckman, University of Waterloo

October 21-25, 2024

ME 765 - Human Behaviour in Fire

Course Outline

Instructor: Professor J.Gales, York University


Core Course

ME 672 - Advanced Enclosure Fires

Course Outline

Instructor: N. Ryder, Adjunct Professor

For information on Fire Safety Group courses, registration, and admissions:

Fire Safety Program
Dept. of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering
University of Waterloo
Engineering 7, Room 3318
200 University Avenue
Waterloo, ON, Canada
N2L 3G1


Read more about the 4 different educational options in Fire Safety


The Certificate in Fire Safety Engineering is a departmental certificate obtained after the successful completion of any four courses selected from amongst the three Fire Safety core courses and available Fire Safety technical electives.

Masters of Engineering (MEng): Graduate Diploma in Fire Safety

The general MEng (Mechanical Engineering) degree is a course based graduate program. The Graduate Diploma in Fire Safety is a  specialization available with the MEng degree.  It requires satisfactory completion of eight (8) graduate level courses, which include: three (3) fire safety core courses, three (3) from the list of fire safety technical electives, two other engineering graduate courses and a (1) credit in communication. Only those enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering MEng graduate program can obtain a Graduate Diploma in Fire Safety. 

Graduate Diploma in Fire Safety:

Mandatory courses:

Course Instructors
ME 671 Fundamental Fire Dynamics E. J. Weckman
ME 672 Advanced Fire Dynamics N. L. Ryder
ME 673 Fire Modeling E. J. Weckman

Specific courses (3 from the following list):

Course Instructors
CIVE 601 Risk Analysis M. Pandey
ME 720 Special Topics in Solid Mechanics:  Fire Resistance V. Kodur
ME 765 Special Topics in Fluid Mechanics:  Advanced
Concepts in Design for Fire Safety 1 & 2
E. J. Weckman

ME 765 Special Topics in Fluid Mechanics: Human Behaviour in Fire

J.A. Gales
ME 770 Special Topics in Numerical Methods, Fluid Flow
and Heat Transfer:  Fire Testing

D. Torvi​
E. Weckman

ME 770 Special Topics in Numerical Methods, Fluid Flow
and Heat Transfer:  Fire Risk Analysis
G. Jomaas
K. Nishijima
ME 765 Special Topics in Fluid Mechanics: Advanced Fire Investigation P. Senez
Various instructors
*New offering 2020 (as enrolment merits)  

Communications Course:

Choose one of the following communication courses:

  • EMLS 601R Professional Spoken English
  • EMLS 602R Scholarly Writing in English


  • Four (4) Mechanical/Mechatronics Engineering seminars

Two other engineering graduate level courses.
Course availability per term can be found by exploring the graduate course listing guide.

Masters of Applied Science (MASc)

The MASc degree requires satisfactory completion of any four graduate level courses, a seminar and a substantial research thesis on a topic related to Fire Safety. For the thesis, the student is expected to carry out independent study under the general supervision of a professor, who is the supervisor. The topic of the research can be tailored to the interests of your industry but must also fall within the areas of expertise of the professors affiliated with the Fire Research Group.


The PhD degree requires satisfactory completion of three graduate level courses as well as a substantial research thesis on a topic at the leading edge of research in Fire Safety. For the thesis, the student is expected to carry out independent study under the general supervision of a professor, who is the supervisor. The topic of the research can be tailored to the interests of industry but must also fall within the areas of expertise of the professors affiliated with the Fire Research Group.