Postdoctoral Fellowship – Fire Engineering – Stellenbosch University

Closing date: 4 February

Applicaiton website

After completing this form please email your CV, university transcripts and any supporting documents to [email protected].

We are looking for a talented researcher to focus on fire safety for sustainable construction products and for wildfire fire safety. This postdoctoral fellowship is for a person to be based in the Fire Engineering Research Unit at Stellenbosch University. The successful candidate will split their time between two projects, as discussed below:

1.  Fire Testing of Resilient and Sustainable Building Materials – SFPE Sponsored Project

This project will investigate (a) what emerging sustainable and emerging building materials are being used in practice, (b) what test methods are available and what data we have on such systems, and (c) how their response to fire may necessitate the use of new or modified test methods. In addition, the work will be extended to (d) discuss how existing test methods are applied to systems such as photovoltaic (PV) systems. The result of the project will be the production of White Paper on the topic, in collaboration with fellow team members. 

2. Fire safe African homes on the wildland urban interface (AfriWUIFire)

The successful candidate will collaborate on a project based between South Africa, Botswana and Japan. The aim of this research project is to improve fire resilience of homes and structures in communities located in wildland urban interface (WUI) areas in Southern Africa. This will be done by focusing on the impact of firebrands in property loss. To achieve this goal the objectives of this research are to: (1) Characterize typical structures in South Africa and Botswana, including construction materials, and construction typologies. (2) Identify typical vegetation in South Africa and Botswana. (3) Develop fire experiments to understand the impact of firebrands on different construction features. Experiments will be conducted in Japan and South Africa. An extensive database of full-scale fire experiments from Japan will be used as a basis. (4) Provide scientifically based inputs to develop guidelines for improving fire resilience in communities located in WUI areas. 

The successful candidate will also be involved in co-supervising students (especially those carrying out research to the project), assisting fire engineering postgraduate courses, and generally supporting the work of the fire engineering team. 

– PhD in engineering, preferably in fire engineering. Associated fields may be considered. 
– Research track record.
– Preferred that it is less than 6 years since you obtained your PhD. 
– Good communication and writing skills. 
– Ability to move to South Africa for duration of fellowship. 
– Good academic track record. 
– Good interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a team. 

The details of the fellowship are:
– Dates: 1 March 2024 (or as soon as possible thereafter) until 31 October 2025 (with a possibility of extension depending on funding availability)
– Fellowship value: R33,000 per month (tax free)