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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Felix Wiesner wins the 2015 Ove Arup Foundation Prize in Fire Safety Engineering

Fire test to study the heat transfer to
an unprotected I-section steel column
from a localised bin fire

Many congratulations to Felix Wiesner, a 2015 MEng Graduate in Structural and Fire Safety Engineering from the University of Edinburgh, who has been awarded the 2015 Ove Arup Foundation Prize in Fire Safety Engineering. The award is made to the top student graduating on the Structural and Fire Safety Engineering degree at Edinburgh.

Thesis Project

Felix's MEng Thesis, entitled "Structural Steel Temperatures under Localised Fire Exposures," was supervised by Professor Luke Bisby and Dr Rory Hadden, in association with Dr Graeme Flint in Arup's Edinburgh Office. In this outstanding work, Felix investigated the heat transfer to, and development in, I-section steel columns subjected to localised fires, with a focus on bin fires such as might occur in sports stadia and other large, open public spaces.

His work concluded that a lumped mass assumption for heat transfer calculations is highly inaccurate, and that current design recommendations for localised fires are inadequate and in many cases overly conservative. Along with his thesis partner, Grant Peters, Felix developed a computational analysis tool that can be used to rationally estimate steel temperatures resulting from localised fires in certain configurations.

Felix has recently signed up to undertake an PhD at the University of Edinburgh from autumn 2015 supervised by Professor Luke Bisby and Dr Rory Hadden, changing his focus slightly to study the fire performance of mass timber buildings. We're looking forward to welcoming him back to the team!


After growing up in Stuttgart, Felix served on the Frigate L├╝beck as part of his national service. Before commencing his studies he took a year to travel Australia where he worked in a variety of jobs. During his time at Edinburgh he worked as a class representative and contributed to the student radio and student newspaper.  During the summer breaks Felix worked as an intern for Arup, the University of Edinburgh, and An-Najah University in Nablus. 

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