Podcast: Industry Roundtable with Rodger Reiswig (Episode 1)


Smoke Control Design

Typically found in high-rise buildings, atria, and covered malls, a smoke control system is a mechanical system that helps control the movement of smoke. But within this generalization are a number of factors that determine the complexity of the system, types of components, zone placement, and more.

In the very first episode of our new podcast series, Industry Roundtable with Rodger Reiswig, Rodger delves into the intricacies of smoke control with James A. Milke, P.E., professor and chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland. Some of the topics to be covered include:

  • The differing roles that fire protection engineers and mechanical engineers play in the design of smoke controls systems
  • Code requirements to consider when designing a smoke control system, including NFPA 92, NFPA 3, and NFPA 4
  • The use of fire modeling to predict smoke conditions and how “tenability” criteria is incorporated into system design 


James A. Milke, P.E., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland.  He received his PhD in aerospace engineering, MS degree in mechanical engineering, and BS degree in fire protection engineering from the University of Maryland. In addition, he has a BS degree in physics from Ursinus College. Dr. Milke has served as the fire protection engineer for Fairfax County, Virginia, and as a research fire prevention engineer at NIST. He is a fellow and past president of SFPE, a past member of the NFPA Standards Council, and the co-author of “Handbook of Smoke Control Engineering”. Dr. Milke has served on the NFPA Technical Committee on Smoke Management Systems since its inception, and served as its chair for 10 years. He has received awards for teaching, communications and service from the University of Maryland, NFPA, and SFPE. In 2016, he received the Arthur B. Guise Medal. ​​