Fire Banner

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Yavor Panev earns the 2016 Ove Arup Foundation Prize in Fire Safety Engineering

Many congratulations to Yavor Panev, a 2016 MEng Graduate in Structural and Fire Safety Engineering from the University of Edinburgh, who has been awarded the 2016 Ove Arup Foundation Prize in Fire Safety Engineering. This annual award is made to the top student graduating on the Structural and Fire Safety Engineering degree at the University of Edinburgh.

Outstanding Thesis Project

Yavor's MEng Thesis, entitled "Thermomechanical Performance of Asymmetrically Heated Steel Columns," was supervised by Arup Professor Luke Bisby and Dr Rory Hadden, with additional guidance from Dr Graeme Flint in Arup's Edinburgh Office, BRE Centre PhD student Jamie Maclean, and last year's Ove Arup Foundation Prize winner Felix Wiesner (also a PhD student at Edinburgh).

Yavor's outstanding MEng thesis investigates the thermomechanical response of steel columns subjected to asymmetric heating from localised fires. A series of steel columns were loaded, both concentrically and eccentrically, with static loads representative of those expected at the fire limit state. The columns were then subjected to central asymmetric heating using radiant panels with an average incident heat flux of 50 KW/m^2.

Local buckling failure of a steel I-section column under
sustained compressive loading and localised heating:
Experiment versus finite element modelling
Highly non-uniform temperature distributions were observed in both the vertical and horizontal directions. The measured maximum temperatures were well below 550 °C, yet all columns failed by local yielding due to increased axial forces resulting from partially restrained thermal expansion.

Finite element models were developed to study the columns' thermomechanical response, and these were verified by comparison against the experimental data. It was shown that failure of steel columns subjected to local asymmetric heating is particularly sensitive to degradation of the proportional limit for steel, which triggers the development of compressive plastic strains in the heated region leading to premature failure. The effects of eccentricity and end rotational restraints were further studied using finite element analyses.

Finally, the scientific validity, scope of application, and limitations of current design guidelines for assessing the fire resistance of steel columns subjected to asymmetric heating were discussed in light of the numerical and experimental findings, and recommendations for further work were made.

Other Accolades

In addition to the Ove Arup Foundation Prize, Yavor is also winner or co-winner of the following:

  • Charles Innes Prize - Awarded to the foremost student in the Honours course, based upon the results of class work and degree examinations in the final year.
  • Lindsay Prize - Awarded to the student who has consistently shown the most aptitude for practical work throughout the honours course.
  • Institution of Civil Engineers Prize - Awarded to the undergraduate who is judged the best in performance.

The Future?

Yavor will join Arup's Fire Engineering Team in Edinburgh, as a graduate fire engineer, from September 2016. We're very pleased that he'll be staying in Edinburgh, and that we might continue to see him at King's Buildings occasionally in the years ahead...

Yavor's Background

Originally from Bulgaria, Yavor started his studies in the University of Edinburgh in 2011 as an undergraduate in Structural Engineering with Architecture. He transferred to the Structural and Fire Safety Engineering degree programme in his fourth year of studies, after securing a summer research internship within BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering. He also participated in an industrial placement with Arup's Fire Engineering practice in the Edinburgh and Glasgow offices during the summer of 2015. During his time at Edinburgh University he also participated in the Edinburgh University Young Scientntific Researchers Association (EUYSRA), and was treasurer and vice president of the Edinburgh University Tango Society!

Many thanks to The Ove Arup Foundation for making this award possible!