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Monday, September 28, 2009

Call for papers: Special Fire Technology issue on Wildland Fires

Fire Technology, the journal of the National Fire Protection Association published by Springer, is preparing an issue on wildland fires.

The purpose is to help bridge the gap between the fire safety and forest fire communities. Multidisciplinary contributions and international perspectives are encouraged. Topics include technology, research and case studies in fire behaviour, laboratory and field experiments, fire modelling, fire fighting, detection and suppression, human behaviour, risk and related subjects.

Submissions accepted until 20th Jan 2010 here. Choose article type “wildland fire”. Fire Technology is a peer review (double blind) journal. At least two reviewers, maybe three, will evaluate the paper before a publication decision is taken. Immediately after acceptance, papers are available online in "Online First". Later on, when all papers on the special issue have been accepted/published, a hard copy of the issue is printed and distributed.

Contact Guest Editor: Guillermo Rein, BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering, University of Edinburgh,

Download call for papers in pdf here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Visit by Fire Officer Trevor Johnson and seminar on the Scottish Wildfire Forum

Trevor Johnson, Assistant Chief Fire Officer at Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service, is visiting the fire group and will give a seminar on 1st of October at 1pm in the Alexander Graham Bell Bldg (Seminar room 3rd floor).

Trevor Johnson is a senior manager serving with Highlands and Islands Fire and Rescue Service with responsibility for risk management. He has been heavily involved with wildfire issues since 1996, having established wildfire groups and organised the first UK CFOA Wildfire Conference in 2001. He is currently the chair of the Scottish Wildfire Forum.

Seminar abstract:
*The Wildfire Issue: Towards a Wildfire Strategy for the UK*

(a copy of the presentation can be found here and a video here)

Throughout the UK a number of Fire Services and land managers have been working hard to progress issues relating to wildfire and in a number of areas significant progress has been made. Building on the direction of travel established by the Scottish Wildfire Forum, the chair Trevor Johnson, gives an overview of how the future strategic approach to wildfire could develop.

Summer intern from Texas worked on drilling oil experiments

Tommy Browder worked within the Fire Group at the University of Edinburgh for two and a half months this summer on the STAR project through the research exchange sponsored by Dr. Janet Ellzey at the University of Texas at Austin.

This is Tommy Browder account of his intern:

"Under the guidance of Dr. Christine Switzer and Dr Paolo Pironi, I conducted a number of bench-scale experiments exploring the robustness of the STAR technique, which utilizes a self-sustained forced smoldering combustion reaction to burn the contaminants, called NAPLs (non-aqueous phase liquids), contained in a wide range of contaminated soils. Specifically, I tested STAR’s ability to remediate drilling oil, and investigated possible means of waste heat utilization and exhaust after-burning. I identified and implemented some necessary adaptations to the experimental set-up which proved successful in remediating drilling oil and will hopefully spur further investigation. In addition, I assisted Dr. Switzer with some drum-scale experiments investigating the composition of the combustion exhaust products and the efficacy of compost in filtering various exhaust products.

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Edinburgh, and leave amused by colleagues saying that this was a “sunny” summer for Scotland on my way back to Texas, where average temperatures often exceed 35 °C, and the sun nearly always shines during the summer.

Tommy Browder, Mech Eng undergraduate, University of Texas at Austin

Thursday, September 10, 2009

List of 2009 conferences in Fire and Combustion sciences

This list is has been moved to the permanent link:

It will be updated there for the incoming years. Anyone can send to the details of fire-related and combustion-related conferences not listed.

  • *Events in 2010*

  • International Symposium on Tunnel Safety and Security ISTSS 2010, 17–19th March2010, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

  • Sixth International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Weetwood Hall, Leeds, UK, April 11th to 16th, 2010.

  • 10th International Conference on Combustion and Energy Utilization to be held in Turkey on the 4th – 8th May 2010.

  • International Conference Tunnel Safety and Ventilation - New Developments in Tunnel Safety, Graz, Austria, 3-5 May 2010.

  • 6th International Conference on Structures in Fire, SiF’10, June 2-4, 2010 at Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Michigan.

  • International fire prevention symposium, a two-day international symposium organized by vfdb as part of the INTERSCHUTZ (international trade fair for civil security) at the Congress Center Leipzig from 8 to 9 June 2010, Leipzig, Germany.

  • 8th International Conference on Performance-Based Codes and Fire Safety Design Methods, 16-18 June 2010, Lund University, Sweden.

  • Interflam, 12th international Conference on Fire Science and Engineering, 5-7 July 2010, University of Nottingham, UK.

  • 33rd International Symposium on Combustion, Tsinghua University, August 1-6, 2010, Beijing, China.

  • *Past Events*

  • Fire and Materials 2009 Conference, 26-28 January, San Francisco.

  • APICI (Spain) 5th International Congress on Fire Safety Engineering, 18-20 February, Madrid.

  • International Conference on Applications of Structural Fire Engineering, 19-20 February 2009, Prague

  • SUPDET 2009: Suppression and Detection Research and Applications, February 24-27, 2009 at the International Plaza Resort and Spa in Orlando, FL.

  • FIRES3, Forecasting and modelling wildfire risk for UK moorlands and heaths, 31 March-1 April 2009, Manchester.

  • 4th European Combustion Meeting (ECM 2009), 14 - 17 April 2009, Vienna.

  • 2nd INTERNATIONAL TUNNEL SAFETY FORUM FOR ROAD AND RAIL, 20 - 22 April 2009, Lyon, France, by Tunnel Management International.

  • European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2009. 19-24 April 2009 in Vienna. Session NH8.1/BG2.9 on "Spatial and temporal patterns of wildfires: models, theory, and reality".

  • FRT09: Fire Retardant Technologies 2009, 21 - 23 April 2009, Preston - UK. By the Speciality Chemicals and Applied Materials Chemistry Groups of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

  • 2009 Graduate Lecture, Institution of Fire Engineers - 24th April, Arup Campus, Solihull, UK.

  • Combustion Colloquia dedicated to Prof. D'Alessio, organized by the Italian Section of The Combustion Institute in Naples on April 26-28, 2009.

  • 2009 NIST Building and Fire Research Annual Fire Conference, April 28 - 30, 2009 at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD.

  • 13th International Symposium on Aerodynamics and Ventilation of Vehicle Tunnels (ISAVVT 13), New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, 13 - 15th May 2009

  • Symposium: Dust Explosion Hazard Recognition and Control: New Strategies, Baltimore, Maryland, May 13-14, 2009.

  • 20th Annual Recent Advances in Flame Retardancy of Polymeric Materials, June 1-3, 2009, Stamford, CT.

  • 2009 Rasbash Lecture, Institution of Fire Engineers - June 4, Defence Fire & Rescue Service Headquarters, Andover, UK.

  • 6th Mediterranean Combustion Symposium. June 7th to 11th 2009, in Ajaccio, Corsica. Note that a special session dedicated to forest fires is now included in the programme.

  • Scottish Fire Engineering Network Conference, "Fire Safety Engineering: Enabling Innovation", June 16th 2009, Hosted by Strathclyde Fire & Rescue, SFR HQ Bothwell Road, Hamilton, UK.

  • Wildfire 2009, 16th & 17th June 2009, Lyndhurst. This is the UK’s only national conference on wildfires.

  • "Combustion Theory and Modelling" Institute of Physics Spring meeting. London, The Royal College of Pathologists, 24th of June. The 2009 "Huw Edwards Prize for Services to Combustion Physics" will be awarded to Prof Graham Dixon-Lewis during a dinner on the 23rd of June.

  • 86th Annual General Meeting and Conference of The Institution of Fire Engineers, “Fire and Life Safety Engineering – the Impact on Global Communities”, 1 and 2 July, in Glasgow.

  • 4th International Symposia on Human Behaviour in Fire, 13-25 July, Cambridge.

  • 22nd International Colloquium on the Dynamics of Explosions and Reactive Systems, July 27-31, Minsk, Belarus.

  • 12th European Meeting on Fire Retardant Polymers FRPM, 31 August–3 September 2009, Poznan, Poland.

  • 14th International Conference on Automatic Fire Detection AUBE’09, 8–10 September 2009, Duisburg, Germany

  • The 4th European Summer School on Hydrogen Safety will be held 7-16 September 2009 in Corsica.

  • One day meeting on "Soots" by the British Section of the Combustion Institute, 16 Sept 2009 at Shell Thornton Research Centre, Chester, UK. See programmer here.

  • 2009 COCCFEA International Workshop on Combustion Simulation and Modelling, Imperial College, London on 17-18 September 2009

  • The IOP Combustion Physics Group is holding a one day meeting on Current Research in Combustion: A Forum for Research Students and Early Career Researchers on 22nd September 2009 at Loughborough University.

  • 9th International Water Mist Conference 2009, September 23 - 24 2009, London.

  • Eurofire 2009, Fire Protection Engineering Conference, A mature way forward to save life and property? 24 & 25 September 2009 in Bruges.

  • Advanced Research Workshop on Fire Protection and Life Safety in Buildings and Transportation Systems, 15-17 October 2009 in Santander, Spain.

  • SFPE The Annual Meeting and Professional Development Conference and Exposition in Scottsdale, Arizona, October 17-22, 2009.

  • Fire and Rescue in the 21st Century. How Science and Engineering Support the Fire Service, 3rd FireSeat, Wednesday 4th November 2009, Edinburgh.

  • National Telford Institute Technical Workshop: A Unified Framework for Performance-Based Structural Engineering under Exceptional Conditions, 16-17 November 2009, University of Edinburgh.
  • Workshop on Structural Engineering under Exceptional Conditions

    National Telford Institute Technical Workshop:

    A Unified Framework for Performance-Based Structural Engineering under Exceptional Conditions

    16-17 November 2009, University of Edinburgh

    The National Telford Institute is an alliance of Scottish universities, formed in 2007 to facilitate and promote research collaborations in Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering and to enhance the position of Scotland as a world class centre for engineering research.

    Visit by Dr Fleischmann and seminar on Design Fires

    Dr Charles Fleischmann, Associate Professor in Fire Engineering at University of Canterbury (New Zealand), is visiting the fire group and will give a seminar on Tues 15 Sept at 4pm in the Alexander Graham Bell Bldg. seminar room.

    Seminar Abstract:
    Design Fires: are they design variables or regulated parameters?

    As fire engineering continues to evolve and Performance Based Design
    becomes more and more popular we must ask ourselves who is responsible
    for the most important variable in the design process, i.e., the design
    fire. Since its inception, performance based design has relied on the
    fire engineer to chose and ultimately justify the design fire. Yet, if
    you give the same building to a number of fire engineers each one would
    come up with a unique design fire and ultimately differing levels of
    safety. One would hope that the designs would be similar; anecdotal
    evidence indicates that although many would be similar there would be
    more outliers than hoped. This presentation will expand on this
    discussion and present an alternative approach where the design fire and
    acceptance criteria is specified by the authority having jurisdiction
    and not left to the designer to develop and justify.

    Friday, September 04, 2009

    Congratulations to Dr Pironi for his PhD thesis defense

    Paolo Pironi successfully defended his PhD thesis on the 4th of Sept 2009.

    The external examiner was Prof. Bernie Kueper from Queen's University, Canada, and the internal was Dr Guillermo Rein. The PhD supervisors of Paolo are Prof Jason Gerhard and Prof. Jose Torero.

    The thesis title is "Smouldering Combustion of Organic Liquids in Porous Media for Remediating NAPL-contaminated Soils".

    Some of the paper based on his work are:
    * Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation: A Novel Technology for Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid
    , Environmental Science and Technology 43, pp. 5871-5877, 2009.
    * Small-Scale Forward Smouldering Experiments for Remediation of Coal Tar in Inert Media, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 32 (2009) 1957-1964.

    Wednesday, September 02, 2009

    Combustion technology for treatment of industrial soil pollution

    Researchers from the School of Engineering at The University of Edinburgh have developed an innovative technological solution for the remediation of a wide range of hazardous chemicals polluting the soil and water at industrial sites [*]. Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR) aims to effectively eliminate contamination from industrial liquids, including coal tars, solvents, oils and petrochemicals.

    STAR targets the destruction of the oily liquids that are the source of groundwater pollution by igniting them and controlling their slow burning within the soil. This new application takes advantage of the properties of smouldering combustion (slow, low-temperature, flameless form of combustion).

    STAR is self-tracking, self-sustaining and self-terminating. Once the contaminant has been ignited, the smouldering process proceeds only through the contaminated fraction of the soil by focusing itself directly on the pollutant. STAR supports itself during the process using the energy created by the smouldering. It then terminates once the contaminant fuel source has been exhausted or its oxygen source has been removed.

    The initial proof of concept was funded by Scottish Enterprise and, led by the two main inventors of the technology, Prof Jason Gerhard and Prof Jose Torero. The STAR technology has been proven multiple times at reactors of different sizes, ranging from 0.5 to 6 m in length.

    According to Dr Jason Gerhard, “STAR promises to be technically effective as it is able to overcome barriers to remediation success that hinder many current approaches. It also promises to be particularly cost effective by avoiding ongoing energy provision and treatment of produced water or contaminants.”

    Due to the increased costs for dumping hazardous wastes into landfill, the European market is estimated at £500M -£2 billion a year, whilst the North American market is easily five times more lucrative and growing.

    For more information, these research paper can be read:

    * Self-sustaining Smoldering Combustion for NAPL Remediation: Laboratory Evaluation of Process Sensitivity to Key Parameters, Environmental Science & Technology 45 (7), pp. 2980-2986, 2011.

    * Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation: A Novel Technology for Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid
    , Environmental Science and Technology 43, pp. 5871-5877, 2009.

    * Small-Scale Forward Smouldering Experiments for Remediation of Coal Tar in Inert Media, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 32, pp. 1957-1964, 2009.

    * Smouldering Combustion Phenomena in Science and Technology, International Review of Chemical Engineering 1 (1), pp. 3-18, 2009.

    [*] See page 10 of Infite magazine published by Edinburgh Research and Innovation.

    Smouldering combustion of liquids as a remediation concept is pending patent approval (UK Application 0525193.9, PCT Application PCT/GB2006/004591, and National Phase applications filed (e.g., USA 12/086323 and Europe 06820460.1; priority date 10th December 2005)).