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Dr. Ronald Quinlan (right) and a student working in the chemistry lab

Chemistry Students to Join in Important Fire Protection Research

Dr. Ronald Quinlan awarded industry funding to study vital building safety materials.

Above: Dr. Ronald Quinlan (right) and a student researcher at work.

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Chemistry Professor Dr. Ronald Quinlan has been awarded funding for a multi-year research project on intumescents, materials used for fire protection in construction.

CNU undergraduates will play a major role in the project, including as full-time, paid researchers as part of CNU's Summer Scholars program.

Intumescents are used commercially in a wide array of both steel and wood construction projects. They are typically sprayed onto structural elements, and when fire breaks out, they swell and seal gaps to slow the spread of flames.

Quinlan says the global regulation of intumescents means that scientists must carefully study them to develop a deep understanding of the materials in use in order to deploy them safely and effectively.

"This is an excellent opportunity for our students and will expose them to the fast pace of industry research and product development," he said.

Quinlan specializes in the fundamental chemistry of electrochemical power sources and thin film materials. He teaches analytical chemistry courses and holds a PhD from the College of William & Mary.


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