Fire Protection Engineering Expert Available to Talk About 9/11 World Trade Center Building Collapse

9/11: 10 Years Later

Dr. James Milke
Chair and Professor
Fire Protection Engineering
A. James Clark School of Engineering
University of Maryland

College Park, Md. -- Following the terrorist attacks on September, 11, 2001, James Milke, professor and chair in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering, was called upon by the federal government to join a small team of engineers to study the performance of the buildings in lower Manhattan affected by the events of 9/11, including the four buildings that collapsed that day (most notably the World Trade Center North and South Towers). 

Deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Building Performance Study (BPS) team spent seven months visiting the WTC site and steel salvage yards; reviewing documents, video, photos, design plans and data; and meeting with emergency personnel and eyewitnesses. The purpose of the BPS study was to develop an understanding of the response of each affected building; examine the damage caused by both the plane’s impact and fire in the twin towers; identify the causes of observed behavior; and identify studies that needed to be performed.  

Dr. Milke can comment on:

  • Timeline and procedure followed by the BPS team
  • Conclusions of BPS regarding fire behavior in WTC buildings
  • Effect of fire on the WTC buildings

Contact information:

Ph: 301-405-3995


About Dr. James Milke

A member of the faculty and staff since 1977, Dr. Milke is professor and chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering. His principal areas of expertise involve smoke management, fire detection and analyzing the response of materials exposed to fire conditions. Milke is also director of the distance option for the Master of Engineering Program and serves as president-elect of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) for 2011.

In 1991, he received his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Aerospace Engineering. He received a Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland in Mechanical Engineering and is a 1976 graduate of the Fire Protection Engineering program. Dr. Milke also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Ursinus College.