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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Congratulations to the IMFSE Class of 2014!

Monday the 26 June marked the graduation of the 3rd cohort of students from our International Master in Fire Safety Engineering which we run with the Universities of Ghent and Lund.

There were three parts to an action packed day hosted by the University of Ghent in what must be one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Ghent - surely one of the most beautiful cities in the world
In the morning the students presented their thesis work. The topics ranged from egress modelling to structures in fire and advanced CFD to performance based design. The students excelled at this and the 7 minutes allotted to each speaker flew by. It was great to also hear to personal stories and reflection from the students of their IMFSE experience.

The middle of the day was the official proclamation and the world gained 18 new fire engineers!

The IMFSE class of 2014!
Finally the day ended with an evening of entertainment. Dinner took the form of a walking tour with each course being served in a different venue. The food was excellent and it was great to hear more about the history of the city en route between venues.

Some more of Ghent including Graffiti Alley and an impressive building!
We finally ended in a bar (this is Belgium after all) and were entertained by Elise Meerburg (the IMFSE Erasmus Mundus Administrator) and her band. The music was excellent and I even spotted one or two professors dancing! This was a fantastic way to round of a truly excellent day - many thanks to all for a great time in Ghent.

The band (dancing professors omitted for decency)
We wish the graduates all the best with their future careers as fire engineers!

Staff Spotlight: Prof. Drysdale

Prof. Drysdale at Everest base camp. Another of his many achievements!
Prof. Drysdale is featured in this month's Edinburgh Alumni Staff Spotlight. Click here to read the full article. The article was prepared following our 40th Anniversary Celebrations earlier this year and charts Dougal's career from his beginnings as a combustion chemist to the publication of the 3rd edition of Introduction to Fire Dynamics.

What's next, Dougal?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A couple of recently published journal articles

Some recent research from Edinburgh staff and students have found their way into academic journals.

Title: An application of the PEER performance based earthquake engineering framework to structures in fire

Journal: Engineering Structures [01/2014; Vol. 66: pgs100–115].

Authors: David Lange (SP, Sweden), Shaun Devaney, Asif Usmani (both University of Edinburgh)
Keywords: Structures in fire; Performance based design; PEER; Fire engineering; Probabilistic analysis.

Abstract:  The Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center’s Performance Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE) framework is well documented. The framework is a linear methodology which is based upon obtaining in turn output from each of the following analyses: hazard analysis; structural analysis; loss analysis, and finally decision making based on variables of interest, such as downtime or cost to repair.
                 The strength of the framework is in its linearity, its clear flexibility and in the consideration of uncertainty at every stage of the analysis. The framework has potential applications to other forms of extreme loading; however in order for this to be achieved the ‘mapping’ of the framework to the analysis of structures for other loading situations must be successful.
                 This paper illustrates one such ‘mapping’ of the framework for Performance Based Fire Engineering (PBFE) of structures. Using a combination of simple analytical techniques and codified methods as well as random sampling techniques to develop a range of response records, the PEER framework is followed to illustrate its application to structural fire engineering. The end result is a successful application of the earthquake framework to fire which highlights both the assumptions which are inherent in the performance based design framework as well as subjects of future research which will allow more confidence in the design of structures for fire using performance based techniques.
                 This article describes the PEER framework applied to structural earthquake design then follows the framework from start to completion applying suitable alternative tools to perform each stage of the analysis for structures in fire.

Title: Design of intumescent fire protection for concrete filled structural hollow sections

Journal: Fire Safety Journal [Vol.67; (2014); pgs 13–23]

Authors: David Rush, Luke Bisby (both Univeristy of Edinburgh) Martin Gillie (University of Manchester), Allan Jowsey (International Paint Ltd.), Barbara Lane (Arup)
Keywords: Composite columns; Intumescent fire protection; Forensic analysis; Section factor; Limiting temperature; Design.

Abstract:  Design of intumescent protection systems for concrete filled structural steel hollow (CFS) sections in the UK typically requires three input parameters in practice: (1) a required fire resistance rating; (2) and ‘effective’ section factor; and (3) a limiting steel temperature for the hollow structural section.  While the first of these inputs is generally prescribed in building codes, the latter two require greater engineering knowledge and judgement.  This paper examines results from standard furnace tests on 26 CFS sections, 14 of which were protected with intumescent coatings by application of current UK design guidance. The protected sections demonstrate highly conservative fire protection under standard fire exposure, a conservatism not typically observed for protected unfilled steel hollow sections. The possible causes of the observed conservatism are discussed, and it is demonstrated that the method currently used to calculate the effective section factor for protected CFS columns is based on a false presumption that both unprotected and protected CFS columns can be treated in the same manner. A conservative method for determination of the steel limiting temperature for CFS columns is proposed; this can be applied by designers to more efficiently specify intumescent fire protection for CFS members.