PhD positions in hydrogen safety at Ulster University

Three topics of doctoral studies in hydrogen safety are just published at Ulster University website:

The studies are funded via Vice-Chancellor Research Award (PhD fellowship is “not less than £14,553” per annum not subject to tax). The funding is competitive by submission of a research proposal within a topic followed by a phone interview in due course.

You are welcome to contact supervisors to discuss your proposal.

The application deadline is 19 February 2018.

If you hold the PhD degree we would be grateful if you pass this message to those who might be interested in hydrogen safety research at Ulster.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on Fire Modelling at National University of Singapore

The Computational Combustion and Energy (CCE) Group in Department of Mechanical Engineering, National University of Singapore (NUS) is seeking for a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow to conduct cutting-edge research in the area of turbulent combustion modelling.

The research will be supervised by Prof. Huangwei Zhang. The appointment runs for three years starting on April 1st, 2018. Salary ranges from S$60,000 – S$65,000 per annum.

The ideal candidate should meet the following requirements:


PhD in Applied Mathematics, Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering, completed within the last three years or soon to be completed.


Fluid mechanics, Combustion, Chemical kinetics, Computational fluid dynamics, Heat and mass transfer

Desired Skills:

– Experience in Fortran/C/C++ programming, HPC cluster usage, MPI-based parallel code development

– Experience in OpenFOAM or other open source or commercial CFD packages

– Experience in advanced turbulent combustion models

The general research topic for this position will be turbulent fire modelling. Large Eddy Simulation (LES) with Conditional Moment Closure (CMC) will be applied for predicting the turbulent flow fields and closing chemical source terms, respectively. This project is aimed at developing theoretical models and parallelized predictive solver for turbulent fire problems, based on high-fidelity Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) algorithms and advanced combustion models. With this, scientific problems related to fire (e.g. radiation, smoke dynamics and water spray for fire suppression) will be investigated numerically, based on the bench-marking experimental cases and also practical fire problems. The research will mainly rely on the parallel clusters from National Supercomputing Centre Singapore (NSCC).

To apply, email your request with detailed CV and also information of four references to Dr. Huangwei Zhang ([email protected]).

Call For Papers: 11th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology (11th AOSFST)

The 11th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology (11th AOSFST) will be held on October 21-25, 2018 in Taipei, Taiwan.

The AOSFST has been held periodically about 3-year interval at the midterm of the IAFSS international symposia. The two most recent Asia-Oceania symposia were held successfully in Hefei, China and Tsukuba, Japan in 2012 and 2015, respectively.

The 11th AOSFST will include presentations of peer-reviewed papers, keynote lectures by fire researchers invited from the world, poster sessions for a variety of topics, technical tour and some exciting events. In addition to the technical sessions, numerous social activities are planned, which will provide opportunities to informally meet with colleagues and friends. There will be a rich array of activities available in the companion program and there is much to see in TAIWAN. We heartily invite your participation, not only from Asia-Oceania region but also from any regions in the world.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically through EasyChair system. The submission due for full papers will be on December 31, 2017. And poster abstracts should be submitted to [email protected] until April 30, 2018.

For your convenience, the submission schedule (for oral presentations) is briefly given as follows:

October 1, 2017 Submission site open

Dec 31, 2017 Deadline for submission of paper manuscripts

April 1, 2018 Notification of review results to authors

May 31, 2018 Deadline for final version

June 30, 2018 Notification of final acceptance and symposium program

Oct 21-25, 2018 Symposium at Tsukuba

For more information see Call for Papers or visit the Symposium website where you can find Author instructions and paper template.


If you have any questions you are also welcome to contact us

11th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology

[email protected]

In Memoriam: Professor Margaret Law

Margaret Law, an international pioneer and a major influence in our professional world of fire science and fire safety engineering, has died peacefully at her home in London, on 27th August 2017.

Margaret was born in London and graduated in physics and mathematics from the University of London (BSc). She joined the Fire Research Station in the UK in 1952, and over 20 years established herself as one of the world’s leading fire scientists, carrying out research into many aspects of fire behaviour and its effects on building materials and structures.  She also became involved in the application of these research results in Building Regulations, Codes of Practice, and design guides.  Her particular research interests included ignition and fire dynamics, heat radiation from fires and requirements for building separation, as well as structural fire behaviour.

Margaret next spent a few years in the Directorate of Research Requirements at the Department of the Environment in the UK, assessing research priorities in the field of building and construction.

The application of research to solve practical problems was of particular interest to her and so in 1974 she joined the Ove Arup Partnership to act as an adviser on fire engineering for projects being designed within the firm.  She went on to create innovative fire safety solutions on major projects such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Lloyds Building and Stansted Airport Terminal Building in the UK and Kansai International Airport in Japan.  She was particularly renowned for her work on structural steelwork in fire, with codified methods still relied on today in the USA, UK and Europe.

Margaret was concerned with all aspects of fire safety, particularly in those buildings for which the standard rules and requirements of regulations were not directly applicable. She always published and explained her work, such that others could understand, interrogate, and implement it.  She was a visiting researcher at the Science University of Tokyo in 1987 and was made Visiting Professor at the University of Greenwich in 1997.  She was actively involved in National and International Committees concerned with fire safety throughout her career, getting fire safety engineering principles accepted within codes / standards and the regulatory framework.  She gave much time to the work of the professional institutions. In the UK, she was instrumental in developments that culminated in fire engineers achieving chartered status through the Institution of Fire Engineers.  She received a number of national and international awards, including an MBE in 1993 for her services to fire safety, and the Arthur B Guise Medal from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers in 1994.

At the end of 1990 Margaret Law retired and became a Consultant to the Ove Arup Partnership.  Her book of papers “Some selected papers by Margaret Law: engineering fire safety” was produced to honour her achievements when she finished this Consultant role in 2002.  The best and most influential 29 papers in the book are testament to Margaret’s high standards, commitment to fundamental scientific understanding, her technical rigour, and her ability to translate fundamental principles into practical building design solutions.

Margaret must have surely rejoiced in 1985 when her fire engineering fraternity colleagues such as Philip Thomas formed the International Association of Fire Safety Science (IAFSS). The aim was to stimulate research into fire science globally, and provide the proper fire scientific basis for fire engineering design.

Margaret gave one of her most significant presentations with a paper entitled “Translation of Research into Practice – Building Design” at the very first International Symposium on Fire Safety Science held at NIST in Gaithersburg in the USA in October 1985. This was at the heart of her message about the importance of bringing fire research into the everyday practice of the design fire engineer.

Margaret continued to attend IAFSS Symposia and, with her Arup colleague Paula Beever, they gave a wonderful presentation of their paper “Magic Numbers and Golden Rules” at the Fourth International Symposium of Fire Safety Science in Ottawa in 1994. In Melbourne at the Fifth International Symposium on Fire Safety Science in Melbourne in March 1997 she gave paper entitled “A review of the Formulae for t-equivalent”. All the while Margaret was driving at moving fire safety design away from prescriptive rules into a robust field of engineering.

Other significant papers in the book which showed her passion and approach to the fire engineering profession include “Using Science and Hunting Facts”, the title of her Arthur B. Guise Medal Lecture to the SFPE in London in 1994, and the “Origin of the 5MW Fire” give at a fire engineering conference in 1995.

It is difficult to communicate just how influential Margaret’s scientific work was, and continues to be; just as her fire safety engineering work during her time at Arup was and continues to be so influential.

She believed profoundly in what she termed measurement and as she herself said in her 1990 Paper – What is a Fire Engineer? “Measurement and quantification are fundamental to any proper engineering design.  It is sad so many people are reluctant to measure things: presumably that might cast doubts on what they know to be right”.

This belief drove her work which was always founded on quantified scientific criteria, and always rigorously derived.

Margaret expected fire safety engineers to be “tough enough to stand up to a good deal of questioning” and in turn “to be able to push other people in the same way: justify what you are saying if you expect to be taken seriously”.  For some therefore she was terrifying to justify a theory to – she had a fearsome reputation, and rightly so.  And this is also exactly why she was so deeply respected and so greatly admired.  She was a devoted, kind and patient teacher to those of us who were lucky enough to work with her, and all colleagues at Arup and others have greatly enjoyed sharing the stories and memories of Margaret through her great career.

There are two great monuments to Margaret’s lifetime achievement. The first is the body of her published work; the second is the worldwide consultancy practice of Arup Fire, now some 220 strong, and still growing. Margaret was a private and humble person.   We don’t know if she ever understood her influence, her global reputation, and the esteem with which she was held by so many.

Arup is looking to develop some lasting technical event, award, scholarship or other means to remember and celebrate the life of Margaret Law.



Peter Johnson,                                                 Barbara Lane

Arup Fellow, Melbourne                                Arup Fellow, London

Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science now Published

We are delighted to announce that the Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science (the 12th IAFSS Symposium, held at Lund University in Sweden from June 12–16, 2017) are now published online as a Special Issue of the Fire Safety Journal. This special issue of Fire Safety Journal – Fire Safety Science: Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium – can be accessed online at Note that members of IAFSS benefit from free access to Fire Safety Journal. The Proceedings of the 12th IAFSS Symposium contain a total of 119 peer-reviewed papers, including ten invited papers. The papers are organized into eight sections:  a first section for the ten invited papers followed by seven sections: Material Behavior in Fires (18 papers), Fire Dynamics (26 papers), Structures in Fire (10 papers), Fire Suppression (17 papers), Wildland Fires (17 papers), Evacuation and Human Behavior (9 papers), and papers addressing Additional Topics in Fire Safety (12 papers). In the near future, access to the papers of the Proceedings of the 12th IAFSS Symposium will also be available through the IAFSS digital archive (


Luke Bisby, Bart Merci, Arnaud Trouvé, Elizabeth Weckman

Congratulations Poster and Image Awardees from the 12th IAFSS Symposium!

A number of both established researchers and students were recognized for their fire science  posters and images at the 12th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science. The awardees are listed below, congratulations!

Judges Choice Outstanding Image

  • Longhua Hu, “Blooming Fire”
  • Laurens van Gelderen, Hamed Farmahini Farahani, Ali Rangwala and Grunde Jomaas, Boilover of a crude oil burning in an ice cavity

Judges Choice Outstanding Student Poster

  • Sriram Bharath Hariharan, Huahua Xiao, Evan Sluder, Michael Gollner and Elaine Oran, The Structure of the Blue Whirl: A Soot-free Vortex Phenomenon
  • Park Seong-Geun, Shin Kyung-Jae, Lee Yu-Hyeon and Min Gi-Yo, Mechanical Properties of Structural Steels at High Temperature

Judges Choice Outstanding Poster

  • Andy Rodriguez, Xinyan Huang, Shmuel Link, Sandra Olson, Paul Ferkul and Carlos Fernandez-Pello, Piloted Ignition of Cylindrical PMMA and Wood
  • Torben Grumstrup, Jason Forthofer and Mark Finney, Wildfire Flame and Plume Attachment on Slopes
  • Masayuki Mizuno, Kosuke Fujii, Hiroyuki Kadokura, Fuqiu Wang, Tomonori Sano and Ai Sekizawa, Development of Mathematical Model of Evacuation Flow in a Staircase Based on a Survey Result of a Real Evacuation Drill in a High-Rise Office Building

Delegates Choice Outstanding Image

  • Sriram Bharath Hariharan, Michael Gollner and Elaine Oran, The Blue Whirl in Transition

Delegates Choice Outstanding Poster

  • Yuqi Hu, Nieves Fernandez Anez and Guillermo Rein, Review of Emissions of Regional Haze Episodes from Smouldering Peat Fire

Honorable Mentions

  • Carmen Gorska Putynska, Juan P. Hidalgo and Jose Torero, Self-extinguishment of Exposed Cross Laminated Timber Walls in Compartment Fires
  • Yoshinari Kobayashi, Yusuke Konno, Xinyan Huang, Shinji Nakaya, Mitsuhiro Tsue, Nozomu Hashimoto, Osamu Fujita and Carlos Fernandez-Pello, Dripping Behaviors of Melted Insulation in Wire Fire under Opposed Flow

Thank you to all the judges and organizers, who were led by Prof. Naian Liu, USTC.

International Forum of Fire Research Directors Awards

The International FORUM of Fire Research Directors selected the recipients for the 2015 – 2016 Sjölin and mid-career researcher awards.


The FORUM Sjölin Award recognizes an outstanding contribution to the science of fire safety or an advance in the state of the art in fire safety engineering practice of extraordinary significance. It is presented to the individual or group whose efforts are primarily responsible for or traceable to the specified advance. The prize consists of a plaque and an honorarium. Recipients of the award are selected annually and the awards are delivered at the triennial symposia of the International Association for Fire Safety Science, IAFSS.

The FORUM selected Prof. Arnaud Trouvé, University of Maryland, as the recipient of the 2017 Sjölin Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to fire science and engineering through research in combustion science for over 25 years. Prof. Trouvé has produced numerous improvements of combustion models working with fire modelling including Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), zone modelling, direct numerical simulation (DNS) and large eddy simulation (LES) of turbulent reacting flows. His work also includes high-performance (parallel) scientific computing, cyber-infrastructure and application of data assimilation to fire and combustion. Prof. Trouvé’s interest in the physical modeling of fire-related phenomena has spanned the following areas: buoyancy-generated turbulence; turbulent combustion; soot formation and oxidation; combustion-generated toxic products; radiation heat transfer; wall surface heat transfer; water-based fire suppression systems; pyrolysis, material flammability and flame spread; flash fires, fireballs, and explosions; and wildfires propagation.

The FORUM selected Dr. Esko Mikkola as the recipient of the 2016 Sjölin Award. With this award the FORUM is recognizing more than three decades of outstanding contributions to fire safety engineering practice, in particular as it pertains to evaluating the fire performance of materials, products and structures, the comprehensive fire risk assessment of challenging construction projects such as multi-story timber frame buildings and underground structures, and the development and interpretation of fire safety regulations. One aspect of Dr. Mikkola’s work that was highlighted is the development in the late 1980s of thermal ignition models for combustible materials, which are widely referenced in the literature until today. Over the years, Dr. Mikkola has conducted cutting-edge research on reaction-to-fire performance and charring of wood-based materials, the effect of fire retardants on the fire performance of materials and products, the analysis of toxic smoke gases, the evaluation of the fire performance of façades and timber structures through large-scale experiments, wildland-urban interface fires, and the application of performance-based fire safety approach to demonstrate compliance with fire safety requirements.

The FORUM selected Dr. William Parker as the recipient of the 2015 Sjölin Award. The FORUM selected Dr. Parker in recognition of his outstanding contribution to fire science and engineering through the creation of innovative methods for accurately measuring heat release rate in fire experiments; initially by developing an isothermal heat release rate calorimeter, for which Dr. Parker was awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce bronze medal in 1976; and more recently by deriving and implementing the equations for measuring heat release rate based on the oxygen consumption technique, which is now used in fire research and testing laboratories throughout the world. Other aspects of Dr. Parker’s work that were highlighted are the development of a comprehensive computer model to predict the heat release rate of wood, which accounts for the effects of contraction of and fissures developing in the char; extensive research on the flammability of upholstered furniture, the results of which are described in numerous publications, including a book co-authored with Dr. Vytenis Babrauskas and Dr. John Krasny; and his role in the development the “Phi Meter,” an instrument for monitoring combustion equivalence ratio in room fires independent of the fuel.


The FORUM Mid-Career Researcher Award recognizes exceptional achievement and demonstrated leadership in the fields of fire safety science or fire protection engineering made by those in mid-career. It is intended to honor an individual, who is between the ages of 35 and 50 at the time of nomination. The prize consists of a plaque and an honorarium. Recipients of the award are selected annually and the awards are delivered at the triennial symposia of the IAFSS.

The FORUM selected Dr. Randall McDermott, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, as the recipient of the 2017 Mid-Career Researcher Award. With this award, the FORUM is recognizing McDermott’s outstanding contributions over the last decade as a lead technical developer of the Fire Dynamic Simulator (FDS) software and the architect of the latest versions of FDS. He has led technical efforts on the hydrodynamics and combustion solvers as well as the Verification Guide. FDS is most important in terms of use by practicing engineers, education, fire investigations, design of fire protection systems, etc. all over the world.

McDermott’s specific contributions are numerous and have led to dramatic improvements in FDS’s performance. Specific improvements include eliminating spurious vorticity at mesh boundaries and dispersion error in species transport, implementing the Deardorff turbulence model, near-wall stress models, the Turbulent Batch Reactor model, and developing the infrastructure for users to utilize detailed chemical kinetic mechanisms.

In summary, his work has been critical to the technical rigor and sophistication manifest in recent FDS developments, which are having a big impact on international fire safety.

The FORUM selected Professor Stanislav Stoliarov, University of Maryland, as the recipient of the 2016 Mid-Career Researcher Award. With this award, the FORUM is recognizing Dr. Stoliarov’s outstanding contributions to improving our understanding of the complex physical and chemical phenomena involved in the heat transfer through and thermal decomposition of materials and products exposed in a fire, and to establishing quantitative connections between standard fire test results and the fundamental thermo-physical properties and structure of the material. More specifically, the FORUM is recognizing Dr. Stoliarov’s contributions to the creation of the Microscale Combustion Calorimeter described in ASTM D7309; his development of one of the first generalized comprehensive pyrolysis models, ThermaKin; his efforts to develop a systematic methodology for pyrolysis model parametrization, which relies on a combination of new experimental methods and inverse modeling; and the design of a new experimental method, Microscale Flame Calorimetry, for quantitative assessment of relative activity of gas-phase flame retardants using mg-sized solid samples.

The FORUM selected Professor Kazunori Harada, Kyoto University, as the recipient of the 2015 Mid-Career Researcher Award. With this award, the FORUM is recognizing Dr. Harada’s outstanding contributions in the areas of fundamental fire research, development of practical fire design methods, and university education in fire engineering. More specifically, the FORUM is recognizing Dr. Harada’s contributions to computer modeling of heat and mass transfer in concrete elements during fire in relation to spalling; the development of a glass breaking model; the development of a set of simplified calculation methods of temperature response of structural elements, which have been adopted in the performance verification methods for fire resistance in the Building Standards Law of Japan and are being used for practical design calculations; experimental evaluation and modeling of the burning behavior of combustible items in realistic conditions, e.g., accounting for the thermal feedback in an enclosure and location effects for an object near a wall or in a corner; and the development of engineering tools for performance based fire safety engineering, e.g., methods to calculate the flow rate of fire smoke through a horizontal opening and the charring rate of structural timbers during all phases of a fire, including cool-down.

Marc L. Janssens, Ph.D., FSFPE

Chair of the FORUM Award Committee (2016)

Björn Sundström, adj. prof., Ph.D.

Chair of the International FORUM for Fire Research Directors (2017)

2017 Best Thesis Awards Announced

The IAFSS Awards Committee received 13 excellent applications from 10 different countries for the 2017 Best Thesis Award “Excellence in Research”. After a thorough review comprising three independent evaluations of all submission, it is with great pleasure that we announce the three winners for this year. Despite the excellent quality of the submissions and very close runner-ups, the panel chose the winners in unanimity.  Each winner will have the opportunity to present his thesis work in Lund.

Asia/Pacific: Zihe Gao – USTC, China in collaboration with Ghent University (Belgium)

Studies on Characteristics of Confined Fire Plumes and Mechanism of Natural Smoke Exhaust by Shaft in Tunnel Fires


 thesis1 This thesis addresses a very relevant problem, tunnel smoke management, and uses a very broad range of tools (model scale experiments, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and dimensional analysis) in a rigorous and meaningful way. The results provide relevant information of practical use including new criteria for design. The work has been extensively published and the range of methods used have the potential to deliver high fidelity performance engineering tools. The comprehensive nature of this work and the rigour of the use of the different tools set this work aside from other submissions.


Europe/Africa: Cristian Maluk – University of Edinburgh, UK

Development and Application of a Novel Test Method for Studying the Fire Behaviour of CFRP Prestressed Concrete Structural Elements

This thesis includes the invention of a novel fire testing methodology/equipment (H-TRIS), which is important for fire engineering, especially for the research of fire spalling. H-TRIS provided very well controlled heating regime, which significantly reduces the ‘randomness’ of spalling tests, which is a known issue of conventional testing approach. In addition, the thesis presents timely research on the fire performance of modern, optimized concrete structural elements on both material and structural levels and presents improved understanding of the explosive spalling of concrete in fire. The work reported in the thesis has been published in peer reviewed journals and the results of the thesis are novel, accurate, useful and add to our present knowledge of the mechanisms and prevention measure of fire spalling, which is an important yet resolved issue of concrete construction. The new test method can potentially benefit all researchers in the fire-spalling research field. H-TRIS has already been adopted widely. The demonstrated to-date impact of this work set it apart from all other submissions.

Americas: Ali Tohidi – Clemson University, USA

Experimental and Numerical Modeling of Wildfire Spread via Fire Spotting

 thesis3 This thesis makes several significant contributions to wildland fire science by improving the current understanding of firebrand transport during wildland fires. It focuses on developing a better understanding of the mechanics of spot fire formation through experimental investigations and computational modelling of ember lofting and transport. The dissertation demonstrates that firebrand transport models should account for atmospheric boundary layer velocity gradients, an important conclusion given that most implementations of firebrands spotting in operational models do not currently do this. The novelty of the approach and the rigour with which the thesis builds its arguments on the basis of exhaustive surveys of the literature sets this work apart from other submissions.


About the IAFSS Best Thesis Award “Excellence in Research” and its Privileges

The IAFSS Best Thesis Award “Excellence in Research” recognizes the best research thesis at PhD and Masters levels, in all the fields related to fire safety science and engineering. There are three such Awards for the three IAFSS regions, Europe and Africa, Americas, as well as Asia and Oceania.

To be eligible for nomination, the nominee’s thesis must have been officially submitted to the university granting the degree for examination between January 1st, 2014 and November 31st, 2016 and nominated for the Award by the nominee’s supervisor, as described below.

Each recipient must deliver, at the 12th Symposium, a paper drawn from his/her thesis. The recipient will be asked to prepare a paper, as per submission guidelines of the 12th Symposium, based on the material included in the thesis and not published in the Symposium or other peer reviewed archival publication.

The Award consists of a plaque, a grant of US$2,000 to cover travel and sustenance related to the recipient’s attendance at the 12th Symposium in Lund, Sweden, and free registration for the Symposium.

The Award consists of a plaque, a grant to cover travel and subsistence related to the recipient’s attendance and a free registration at the Symposium.