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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize goes to Fire Technology

Congratulations to Dr Francesco Colella for winning the Lloyd’s Science of Risk Prize in the Technology Category.

The prize was for his research paper "A Novel Multiscale Methodology for Simulating Tunnel Ventilation Flows During Fires" (published in Fire Technology). He led this work as a Research Associate at The School of Engineering from 2007 to 2010.

Dr Richard Ward, CEO of Lloyds told Francesco "The judging panel, comprising experts from academia and insurance felt your paper illustrated how novel computational methods can be used to reduce fire risk in the future. The panel were particularly impressed with how you reduced model run-time by concentrating on what is critical and by coupling fast and slower models".

This is Lloyd’s research prize for academics and aims at keeping the world’s leading specialist insurance market with the pace of academic knowledge and cutting edge thinking.

On top of this winning paper, The University of Edinburgh had three more papers short-listed as the top of each category (two of them from the fire group as well):

* Mr Craig Poland, short-listed in Technology Risk (best runner up), from the School of Medicine for his paper "Carbon nanotubes introduced into the abdominal cavity of mice show asbestos-like pathogenicity (published in Nature Nanotechnology).

* Dr Wolfran Jahn, short-listed in Technology Risk, from the School of Engineering for his paper "Forecasting Fire Growth using an Inverse Zone Modelling Approach" (published in Fire Safety Journal).

* Dr Claire Belcher, short-listed in Climate Change Risk, from the School of Geosciences for her paper "Increased fire activity at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary in Greenland due to climate-driven floral change" (published in Nature Geoscience).

See related article Hot talent in risk research in the Staff Bulletin of the University of Edinburgh.
See press release by Springer.


Guillermo Rein said...

Irony of life. Almost at the same time that Lloyd's gave us this prestigious award for our work on tunnel fire modelling, the ISAVT 14 conference thinks our work is 'insufficient'.

I wonder what does the ISAVT Committee think of Lloyd's criteria in tunnels risks.

NOTE: ISAVT 14 is the 14th International Symposium on Aerodynamics and Ventilation of Tunnels.

Their email from ISAVT 14 reads:

>Dear Authors
> Thank you for submitting you abstract titled 'Overview on Multiscale
> Modelling of Fires in Long Tunnels' for the 14th International Symposium
> on Aerodynamics and Ventilation of Tunnels. Dundee, Scotland 11 - 13th May
> 2011.
> Because of time restrictions at the Conference, the Committee can only
> accept a limited number of abstracts. The Committee felt that on this
> occasion your paper was insufficient to warrant the inclusion of your
> abstract in the programme. Therefore I regret to inform you that we must
> decline your offer of a paper on this occasion.
> I do hope that you will still be able to attend the Conference. I am sure
> that you will find it interesting, and your contributions to the
> discussion periods would be most welcome.
> Kindest regards

Guillermo Rein said...

ISAVT14 has published the programme of accepted papers. See here:

There are two accepted papers reporting on multiscale modelling of tunnels fires (they prefer to call it "1D-3D coupling").

We still do not know what prompt the committee to reject our multiscale paper, but at least we know now that it is not because they are not interested in multiscale modelling. We attempted to present our latest work simulating full transient simulations and the impact on detection and ventilation activation times...

Of the two ISAVT14 accepted papers, the paper from Korea applies multiscale to a real tunnel. Our 2010 TUST and 2009 BAE papers also applied it to a real tunnel (for TUST see
10.1016/j.tust.2010.02.007, open access version at, and for BAE see
10.1016/j.buildenv.2009.03.020 respectively, open access

The other paper, from Switzerland, compares multiscale to full CFD. Our recent FT paper also did this (see

More details can be found in the 2010 PhD thesis of Colella (see

fleurblack said...

the real reason tunnel fires burn so hot and deadly is the fire tube effect.
this was what caused such a balst of heat and force in the Kings Cross Tube Fire.
Further reading is here.
Read WHOOSH! Online at CompletelyNovel