FSEG LOGO FIRE SAFETY ENGINEERING GROUP The Queen's Anniversary Prize 2002 The British Computer Society IT Awards 2001 The European IST Prize Winner 2003 The Guardian University Awards Winner 2014
The Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
UNIVERSITY of GREENWICH


NEWS ARCHIVE

 

These pages contain an archive of NEWS concerning FSEG activities.  As in the NEWS section, information is arranged under two headings, RESEARCH NEWS and SOFTWARE NEWS.

 

(A) Software News
(B) Research News


(A) Software News: back

This section lists all news concerning FSEG software products.

[26/09/2014] buildingEXODUS v6.1 IS NOW AVAILABLE!

The release of buildingEXODUS V6.1 incorporates several new modelling features associated with the use of lifts and a number of improvements to the user interface.

VERSION 6.1 MODIFICATIONS

Substantial additions to the software include:

  • New Lift/Elevator Model Features:
    • Shuttle Floor Return option: This allows the specification of whether or not evacuation lifts assigned Shuttle Floor procedures will return to pick-up floors after they have previously been cleared.
    • Sky Lobby Up Floors option: This allows the specification of the number of floors an agent is prepared to travel in the up-direction to reach a sky lobby lift.
    • Agents Waiting For Lifts: The method by which agents wait for lifts has been updated. Now upon arriving at a lift bank catchment area each agent is randomly assigned to wait in front of (i.e. within the catchment area of) one of the active lifts within the lift bank.
  • User interface:
    • Display of Lift Shafts within the 3D View Window: The 3D View window enables the user to both turn on/off the display of Lifts Shafts or alternatively display the Lift Shafts in a transparent manner.
    • Hardware Graphics Acceleration Option for the 3D View Window: The 3D View window provides an option that determines whether or not the objects to be drawn within the 3D View window are copied into the memory of the graphics card. If enabled the graphics card merely needs to access its own memory in order to obtain the location and type of each object and then draw it within the 3D View. This process is typically very fast.
    • Transparent Floor Polygons within the 3D View Window: The 3D View window enable the user to display the polygons defining each floor in a transparent manner.
    • Updated Speed Control Functionality: This allows the user to more accurately control the speed at which the simulation will run relative to real time. In addition, the speed at which the simulation is currently running relative to real time is now output to the toolbar during run time.
    • Improved Frame Rate of the User Interface: The code has been updated to ensure redundant frames are no longer drawn within the user interface, thereby enabling simulations to run faster.
  • Output:
    • Lift/Elevator Related: buildingEXODUS now automatically outputs within the simulation output file (*.SIM) the total number of lift journeys each agent took during the simulation.

 

[11/11/2013] buildingEXODUS v6.0 IS NOW AVAILABLE!

The release of buildingEXODUS V6.0 incorporates significant new modelling features allowing for the first time the simulation of evacuation and circulation in buildings using lifts/elevators.

VERSION 6.0 MODIFICATIONS

Substantial additions to the software include:

  • Lift/Elevator Model: A lift/elevator model has been added to buildingEXODUS to enable lifts within structures to be accurately represented for both evacuation and circulation scenarios. The model requires a set of lift attributes (i.e. dimensions, capacity, kinematics, etc.) to be specified and human behaviour characteristics and lift dispatch commands that are both dependent on whether an evacuation or circulation scenario is being simulated.
    • For Evacuation Scenarios: Three types of lift floor sequences are available enabling the user to specify virtually any type of lift evacuation strategy; Floor Sequence, Shuttle Floor Sequence and Sky Lobby Sequence. There is also a range of human behaviour attributes to specify such as the percentage of the population likely to use the lift, probability distribution for lift wait times and probability distribution for acceptable population lift wait area population density. Default values based on an FSEG international lift evacuation study are specified for these attributes.
    • For Circulation Scenarios: A lift dispatch algorithm based on the Estimated Time To Destination, utilising the Closs rules is implemented which determines the optimal lift to dispatch to a floor call. Agents wait for the lift until it arrives. 
  • Lift Itineraries: Two new itineraries have been created (i.e. Lift Bank and Lift Wait) to enable agents to interact with lifts. These itineraries enable not only the use of lifts but also control the behaviour of agents when waiting for a lift or their desire to redirect from the lift due to either excessive wait times or congestion within the lift waiting area.
  • Integrated OpenGL 3D View (Levels B and C only): Enables a rudimentary three dimensional representation of the geometry to be viewed directly from within buildingEXODUS during runtime.
  • Multithreaded: buildingEXODUS is now multithreaded, reducing run times for large jobs.
  • User Interface: The interface now has a tabbed menu bar allowing the user to more rapidly switch between operation modes. There are also a range of new menus and dialogue boxes associated with the use of lifts.
  • Output: A range of new output variables have been defined to measure the performance of agents using lifts such as the number of agents to use lifts, number of lift journeys, distance travelled using lifts, etc. askEXODUS has been expanded to accommodate lift data and the buildingEXODUS to vrEXODUS has been modified to enable agent movement between floors to be represented.

[01/08/2013]
buildingEXODUS v5.1 and vrEXODUS v5.1.3 ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

The release of buildingEXODUS V5.1 incorporated several new and enhanced features, a new price structure and incorporated an all new askEXODUS software tool.

VERSION 5.1 MODIFICATIONS

Substantial additions to the software include:

  • Enhanced Itineraries: Three powerful new itineraries have been included in the itinerary capability; Collect Person, Drop Off Person and Coordinated Delay.
    • The Collect Person functionality allows an agent (or group of agents) to collect another agent at a pre-defined location and then move off as a group.
    • The Drop Off Person functionality conversely allows an agent (or group of agents) to drop off a previously collected agent at a given location.
    • The Coordinated Delay functionality allows a group of people to experience a simultaneous delay at a pre-defined location. This can be used to represent the time taken by staff to undertake collaborative actions such as preparing a vulnerable/mobility impaired individual for evacuation.
  • Extended Metered Gate Model: By default buildingEXODUS now enables the modelling of both ticket gates and turnstiles. In each case, the movement of agents through the metered gate can now be modelled either via a flow rate applied to the device or by the imposing of time delays both to enter and traverse the device. The enhancement of the metered gate model enables a wider variety of devices to be modelled. A set of movement data for metered gates is also provided.
  • CHM Help Facility: buildingEXODUS now has an interactive help facility making it easier to use the software.
  • askEXODUS v5.0.0: The askEXODUS data analysis tool has been completely rewritten and provides enhanced functionality and an improved and more intuitive user interface. This includes the ability to browse the specific data within each of the selected simulation files, and also to extract user defined attributes which can then either be saved or copied and pasted directly into third party spreadsheets for further analysis or the generation of graphs.
  • vr Floor Tiles: It is now possible to define/manipulate the floor tile defining floor area of each floor within vrEXODUS. Using this approach the floor tile of each floor can be defined by the outline of each floor thus greatly enhancing the appearance of the model, rather than simply being represented via a rectangle as was the case in previous versions.
  • vr Floor Tile Edit: Within Geometry Mode of buildingEXODUS, it is now possible to delete areas from within the floor tiles, thereby creating holes within the floor tiles to enable the representation of stairwells or areas where balconies overlook lower floors, thereby greatly enhancing the model appearance within vrEXODUS.
  • vrEXODUS v5.1.3: An updated version of the vrEXODUS is available allowing the manipulation of the new floor tiles and the graphical depiction of metered gates.
  • New 3 level price structure: A flexible three level price structure has been introduced giving the user greater flexibility in the choice of features they have access to.

[01/07/2013] SMARTFIRE v4.2 IS NOW AVAILABLE!

The release of SMARTFIRE V4.2 incorporated a number of additions and alterations that are designed to make the software more user-friendly, more efficient and more applicable.

VERSION 4.2 MODIFICATIONS

Major new developments include:
  • Scenario Designer: Now has the ability of exporting a compatible buildingEXODUS geometry. The tool also offers enhanced handling of hazard volume creation which greatly simplifies the process of defining CFD to Evacuation hazard data export.
  • Parallel SMARTFIRE: The parallel implementation has been updated with a new x64 bit version and various efficiency, memory handling and reliability fixes to improve processing and IO performance.
  • Case Specification Environment: Now supports grouped objects, which can greatly assist in the construction of complex geometries that contain repeated objects.
  • DataView Tool: Now allows multiple cut-planes of vectors and contours, as well as adding surface visualisation of scalar data and burning surfaces. DataView has also been extended to x64 bit so that larger data sets can be visualised. The tool also now saves animations in AVI format.
  • SMARTFIRE CFD Engine: Supports the prediction of HCN. This is computed, using the LER concept, from the combustion parameters. The CFD Engine also now has an x64 bit version to be able to handle larger cell budgets.
  • Interactive Meshing System: Now provides optimisation of the mesh at mesh generation time. This means that optimised meshes can easily be used in Parallel simulations.
  • Improved features:

    • Scenario Designer: Now has construction lines to assist with room and object alignment and a new capability to allow “align to grid”.
    • Case Specification Environment: Now supports INLET objects with a Pressure against Velocity formulation. This allows inlets to stall under high back-pressure situations.
    • Interactive Meshing System: Allows the user to specify the maximum mesh budget prior to meshing.
    • SMARTFIRE CFD Engine: Supports CSV output for formerly space delimited results files and tables. These are more easily imported into spreadsheet applications.
    • FILE FORMAT: The large results file format VTK files have now been changed to the faster loading and smaller VTU files (about 1/3rd of the original size). SMARTFIRE still saves VTK files at present but these are then converted to VTU.
    • MONITOR POINTS: Added FED calculation to monitoring probes so the survivability estimates can be made directly from the fire simulation.


    [01/06/2013]maritimeEXODUS v5.0 IS NOW AVAILABLE!

    The release of maritimeEXODUS V5.0 incorporated a large number of additions and alterations that are designed to make the software more user-friendly, more efficient and more applicable.

    VERSION 5.0 MODIFICATIONS

    Substantial additions to the software include:
    •  Defining Evacuation Routes From Assembly Stations to LSAs: The assembly procedure has been expanded to enable the definition of specific routes from assembly station to designated LSA.
    • Assembly Station Zones: Now possible to define the area represented by assembly stations as a user defined region.
    • SAFEGUARD Heel and Trim Model: The existing heel and trim models expanded to include the proposed IMO heel and trim mobility reduction factors developed as part of the EU FP7 SAFEGUARD project.
    • Integrated IMO Populations: The IMO MSC 1238 night and day passenger and crew populations have been directly integrated into the maritimeEXODUS population editor.
    • Continue with Abandonment: This function allows the abandonment phase to commence once the assembly phase has been completed.
    • Stair Transit Node: Stairs can now be defined using transit nodes.
    • Enhanced Itineraries: A number of new tasks have been introduced to expand the flexibility of the itinerary system.
    • Enhanced Signage: Agent’s understanding of the routes available can now be influenced by the signs available within the geometry.
    • EXODUS Script File: Enable the user to manage the use of maritimeEXODUS via command line functionality.
    • 64 Bit Implementation: Both 32 and 64 bit implementations are available enabling very large simulations to be run using the 64 bit implementation.

      A list of these new features and modifications found in version 5.0 is provided below:

    Functionality

    •  Stair Transit Nodes
      • Stairs can now be defined using transit nodes. This allows the user to manage the use and representation of the components locally, and also manage the manner in which these components are selected by arriving agents.
    • Enhanced Itineraries
      • A number of new tasks have been introduced to expand the flexibility of the itinerary system, including: waiting, enhanced delay, agent removal, signage interaction, etc.
    • Enhanced Signage
      • Agent’s understanding of the routes available can now be influenced by signage. Agent interaction with the signs is simulated to represent whether the agent sees the sign and then whether they use the information available. Recovery behaviours are also provided, should agents fail to find the next sign in the chain to the target.
    • Defining Evacuation Routes From Assembly Stations to LSAs
      • Now possible to define specific routes from assembly station to designated LSA.
    • Assembly Station Zones
      • The assembly procedure has been expanded to enable the definition of the area represented by assembly stations. This enables greater control over the definition of assembly stations.
    • SAFEGUARD Heel and Trim Model
      • The existing heel and trim models (i.e. SHEBA and TNO) have been expanded to further include the proposed IMO heel and trim mobility reduction factors developed as part of the EU FP7 SAFEGUARD project.
    • Integrated IMO Populations
      • The IMO MSC 1238 night and day passenger and crew populations have been directly integrated into the maritimeEXODUS population editor.
    • Continue with Abandonment
      • The simulation can continue after the assembly phase has been completed. This enables these the abandonment phase to modelled separately from the assembly phase. The enables the time to complete each phase to be determined.

    Data and Statistics Collection

    •  Census Lines
      Allow the number of agents moving between user defined regions in a given direction to be output throughout the simulation.

    User Interface

    •  Tabbed dialogue boxes
      • Simplify presentation of certain dialogue boxes and simplify user access; e.g. Behavioural Options.
    • EXODUS Script File
      • Enables the user to manage the use of maritimeEXODUS via command line functionality.
    • Potential Assignment
      • Allows the potential values of both internal exits and LSAs to be modified from a single dialogue box, enabling potentials to be more easily managed.
    • Expansion of Analysis Control functionality
      • Now allows different conditions to be represented, including the interaction between agents and signage.
    • Auto Find Compartments
      • Enables Compartment Zones to be automatically generated for data collection.

    Output

    • Signage related
      • Enables the impact of the signage system to be assessed. Provides information relating to sign usage including the number of agents that used a particular sign, the signs that an agent used, the evacuation performance of those who saw and those who used the signs, etc.
    • Transit Nodes
      • Allows the dimensions and performance of transit node devices used during the simulation to be output.
    • maritimeEXODUS Output to vrEXODUS
      • Ability to view sign catchment areas in vrEXODUS.

    maritimeEXODUS software architecture

    • 64 bit implementation
      • Both 32 and 64 bit implementations are available enabling very large simulations to be run using the 64 bit implementation.
    [19/12/2011] buildingEXODUS v5.0 and vrEXODUS v5.1 ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

    The release of buildingEXODUS V5.0 incorporated a large number of additions and alterations that are designed to make the software more user-friendly, more efficient and more applicable.

    VERSION 5.0 MODIFICATIONS

    Substantial additions to the software include:
    • Escalators/Travelator: New device types that can be specified within a buildingEXODUS simulation.
    • Metered Gate: New device allowing turnstiles to be modelled more accurately.
    • Transit Nodes: This new node type enables stair/escalator/travelator/corridor/metered_gate components to be represented as single nodes. This allows the user to manage the use and representation of the components locally, and also manage the manner in which these components are selected by arriving agents.
    • Occupant Queues: Enables the specification of service time delays associated with specific queues. Also allows the shape of the queue to be specified and allows other agents to pass through queues.
    • Enhanced Itineraries: A number of new tasks have been introduced to expand the flexibility of the itinerary system, including: group formation/disbanding, waiting, enhanced delay, agent removal, signage interaction, etc. This enables the user to develop more complex emergency and circulation procedures.
    • Social Movement: Group communication and interaction has been expanded to allow itineraries to be exchanged in the communication process, along with the ability for group members to adapt their speeds to maintain proximity.
    • Enhanced Signage: Agent’s understanding of the routes available can now be influenced by the signs available within the geometry and the information provided by them. This can occur on a planned or emergent basis. Agent interaction with the signs is simulated to represent whether the agent sees the sign and then uses the information available. Recovery behaviours are also provided, should agents fail to find the desired sign.
    • EXODUS Script File: Enable the user to manage the use of buildingEXODUS via command line functionality.
    • Response Time Distribution Curves: Allows the specification of a user defined probability distribution for response times or other agent attributes.
    • Obstacle Zones: Enables the grouping together of sets of nodes into zones in order to dynamically alter the Obstacle values of their connecting arcs.
    • 64 Bit Implementation: Both 32 and 64 bit implementations are available enabling very large simulations to be run using the 64 bit implementation.
    A list of these new features and modifications found in version 5.0 is provided below:

    Functionality
    • Escalators/Travelators
      • New device types using the new transit node functionality that can be specified within a buildingEXODUS simulation.
        Example Application: Representation of escalator in a rail station or shopping centre.
    • Metered Gate
      • New device that uses the new transit node functionality, allowing turnstiles to be modelled more accurately.
        Example Application: Representation of turnstile in a rail station or library.
    • Transit Nodes
      • This new node type enables stair / escalator / travelator / corridor / metered gate components to be represented as single nodes. This allows the user to manage the use and representation of the components locally, and also manage the manner in which these components are selected by arriving agents.
        Example Application: Representation of movement between floors of a shopping mall, where shoppers can choose between escalators and stairs. Also the representation of people negotiating ticket gates within a train station concourse.
    • Occupant Queues
      • Enables the specification of service time delays associated with specific queues. Also allows the shape of the queue to be specified and allows other agents to pass through queues.
        Example Application: Shoppers moving between checkout lines, collecting tickets at an airport, etc.
    • Enhanced Itineraries
      • A number of new tasks have been introduced to expand the flexibility of the itinerary system, including: group formation/disbanding, waiting, enhanced delay, agent removal, signage interaction, etc. This enables the user to develop more complex emergency and circulation procedures.
        Example Application: Circulatory movement around an exhibition; emergency phased procedure including warden activities.
    • Social Movement
      • Group communication and interaction has been expanded to allow itineraries to be exchanged in the communication process, along with the ability for group members to adapt their speeds to maintain proximity.
        Example Application: Families arriving at a sporting event as part of a larger crowd.
    • Enhanced Signage
      • Agent’s understanding of the routes available can now be influenced by the signs available within the geometry and the information provided by them. This can occur on a planned or emergent basis. Agent interaction with the signs is simulated to represent whether the agent sees the sign and then uses the information available. Recovery behaviours are also provided, should agents fail to find the desired sign.
        Example Application: Interaction between visitors to an exhibition and the guidance provided by the organisers. Assessment of the coverage of a space given location of signs.
    • Response Time Distribution Curves
      • Allows the specification of a user defined probability distribution for response times or other agent attributes.
        Example Application: Inclusion of data-sets collected from trial evacuations within the assessment of structural changes to the building.
    • Obstacle Zones
      • Enables the grouping together of sets of nodes into zones in order to dynamically alter the Obstacle values of their connecting arcs.
        Example Application: Representation of the appearance of debris, part way through an evacuation, upon performance.
    • Randomise on Seats/Swap Locations on Seats
      • Randomise on Seats/ Swap Locations on Seats randomises the starting locations of individuals initially on seat nodes, or swaps the location of those on seat nodes.
        Example Application: Examining the evacuation of a theatre assuming that the audience is seated, but that the exact distribution of the audience is not known.
    Data and Statistics Collection
    • Trace Control
      • Allows the evolving experiences of one or more agents to be output throughout the simulation.
    User Interface
    • Tabbed dialogue boxes
      • Simplify presentation of certain dialogue boxes and simplify user access; e.g. Behavioural Options.
    • EXODUS Script File
      • Enables the user to manage the use of buildingEXODUS via command line functionality.
    • Potential Assignment
      • Allows exit attributes to be modified from a single dialogue box, enabling exit potentials to be more easily managed.
    • Expansion of Analysis Control functionality
      • Now allows different conditions to be represented, including the interaction between agents and signage.
    • View Navigator
      • Allows the user to easily move about within the currently selected geometry window.
    • Locate Person / Time
      • Enables the members of the population who managed to evacuate before a given time to be identified.
    • Auto Find Compartments
      • Enables Compartment Zones to be auto generated for data collection.
    Output
    • Signage related
      • Enables the user to assess the impact of the signage system. Provides information relating to sign usage including the number of people that used a particular sign, the signs that a person used, the evacuation performance of those who saw and those who used the signs, etc.
    • Itinerary Summary
      • Enables the complete list of tasks performed by the population as part of their itineraries to be displayed within the Data Window Output tab.
    • Transit Nodes
      • Allows the dimensions and performance of transit node devices used during the simulation to be output.
    buildingEXODUS output to vrEXODUS
    • Transit nodes
      • Enables the new transit nodes types of Escalators and Travelators to be depicted within the 3D virtual environment (i.e. vrEXODUS).
    • Ability to view the catchment area of signs
      • Enables the signs and their corresponding Visibility Catchment Areas (VCA’s) to be depicted within the 3D virtual environment (i.e. vrEXODUS)
    • Ability to define the floor heights
      • Enables the height of each floor as defined within buildingEXODUS to be accurately depicted within the 3D virtual environment (i.e. vrEXODUS)
    buildingEXODUS software architecture
    • 64 Bit Implementation:
      • Both 32 and 64 bit implementations are available enabling very large simulations to be run using the 64 bit implementation.

    [24/02/2011] vrEXODUS VERSION 5.0 IS NOW AVAILABLE!

    The release of version 5.0.5 of vrEXODUS involved a complete rewrite of the original vrEXODUS v4.0 taking advantage of dedicated graphics hardware and processing power available with modern PCs. While earlier versions of vrEXODUS incorporated the Superscape software development kit and the Viscape plug in, the new version has been completely rewritten using C++ and making use of DirectX 9.0 libraries. As a result the new software is faster than the older version, making use of both software and hardware features and can handle much larger data sets.

    The new vrEXODUS software incorporates all of the features and capabilities of the previous version and has a range of new and improved functionality, including:

    New Features and Capabilities
    • Fully integrated screen capture and video output using the wmv file format.
    • Support for multi-core CPUs.
    • vrEXODUS is now dongle locked to the EXODUS dongle.
    Improved Features and Capabilities
    • Ability to import, display and animate very large data sets involving very large geometries and hundreds of thousands of agents.
    • Faster loading times for simulations with the ability to drag and drop files into the software.
    • Advanced display controls allowing the visibility of various graphic representations to be toggled on or off.
    • Split screen control, allowing multiple views simultaneously.
    • Improved navigation and playback performance with support for the family of 3D Navigation Devices from 3Dconnexions (http://www.3dconnexion.com/).

    [01/06/2008] SMARTFIRE VERSION 4.1 IS NOW AVAILABLE.
    SMARTFIRE V4.1is a major new release of the SMARTFIRE software incorporating a numner of new and improved features.

    The major new developments include:

    • Update to SMARTFIRE Scenario Designer including support for monochrome Bitmaps as an alternative to the CAD .dxf files, improved search algorithms for rooms and doors, and automated zone creation for "room block" export of data to EXODUS.
    • Update to SMARTFIRE Parallel CFD Engine including improved access to solution controls in the parallel MPI version of SMARTFIRE and an improved parallel CFD launch utility.
    • Update to the SMARTFIRE Case Specification Environment, including support for delayed triggering of events, critical change handling to provide managed time step size control through potentially unstable events, improved control of solution results output, and support for user defined materials. The software also now has a TOXICITY model to control the production and dispersal of the toxic combustion products (e.g. CO, CO2) and other toxic species. The software also has a new HCL release and absorption model.
    • Improved SMARTFIRE Automated Meshing System has user access to fine tune the meshing rules before meshing commences with new support for iterative mesh refinement based on mesh quality metrics for the aspect ratio of cells and the ratio of lengths of adjacent cells.
    • The SMARTFIRE suite of tools has a new research tool for Mesh Morphing. This allows users to manipulate the mesh nodes to create some body fitted mesh morphs. This tool features node selection using logical points range, simple configuration of pitched roofs, sub-region mesh smoothing, and a “Move Object” functionality, which allows a chosen object (e.g. a fire) to be “moved” to a new location – although the exact size and position will depend on the mesh in the target area.
    • Improvements to the SMARTFIRE CFD Engine include new models for Toxicity (CO and CO2) and HCL. A new sprinkler / water mist model allows some of the effects of sprinkler systems to be modelled. Combustion modelling has been improved so that it is much less sensitive to mesh quality. A new 2D slice visualization shows an interactive ray traced visibility distance (through smoke) from a chosen view point. The software also now supports radiation monitor points which allow accurate computation of the thermal radiation flux summation at selected points.
    • Improvements to the SMARTFIRE Data Viewer include the addition of an interactive scalar probe point to report the current value of the scalar field. The software also has a newly developed prototype walk-through/exploration mode to allow movement within a data set/geometry. Support for CSV data export of scalar probes and monitor graphs, has also been added.

    There are also a number of minor SMARTFIRE improvements and additions, including:

    • The flow handling algorithm has been improved to give better solution stability.
    • Residual calculation has a normalized version which reduces the detrimental effect of having large numbers of cells.
    • Default settings for solver configuration have been improved to give more balanced (and hence more effective) processing performance.
    • CFD Engine now uses total simulated time (instead of numbers of time steps) to configure the duration of a simulation.
    • Inlets can now support time dependent boundary condition data files.
    • A special form of Inlets can now be placed internally.
    • Improved and clearer interface for wall selection, wall properties and 2D object definition.
      Improved workflow with better tool integration with options for launching most of the other tools of the SMARTFIRE suite, launching data/script file editors and also launching a file browser (Windows Explorer) showing the appropriate working case directory.
    • New objects added to give greater flexibility when creating scenarios: FIXED PRESSURE SURFACE - provides a constant over-pressure, SIMPLE FAN - provides a simple fixed speed fan-like behaviour and a NOZZLE – which supplies droplets of water to the sprinkler model.
    • New logic for monitors and controlled changes so that multiple discrete monitors can combine to give a single triggered event and to allow controlled events to re-occur so that on/off repetitions can occur (currently activated only in script commands).
    • Greater tool integration (e.g. Windows Explorer and SMARTFIRE Data Viewer) under the File menu.
    • New higher order differencing schemes reduce false diffusion.
    • The CFD Engine of SMARTFIRE now supports the output of surface data such as temperatures and radiative fluxes which can be loaded into DataView.
    • Added a clip box to DataView allow visualization within a selected rectangular sub-region.
    • Added a parallel (i.e."cabinet projection") view mode to DataView.
    • Added 3D viewing mode for red/green glasses in DataView.

    [01/09/2004] SMARTFIRE VERSION 4.0 IS NOW AVAILABLE. SMARTFIRE V4.0 is a major new release of the SMARTFIRE software incorporating many new and improved features.

    The major new developments include:

    • New Scenario Designer tool provides a semi-automated graphical environment for the import of CAD (DXF) drawings for the creation of SMARTFIRE modelling scenarios from building floor plans.
    • A Parallel Computing capability has been introduced into SMARTFIRE (using MPI) that makes use of networked PC workstation clusters with domain decomposition to speed up the solution process.
    • A semi-automatic Link to the EXODUS evacuation modelling software enabling coupling of fire field model data with evacuation analysis has been developed.
    • An Interactive Visualizer has been added to the SMARTFIRE CFD Engine. This tool allows a 2D visualisation plane to be viewed within the context of the geometry and the whole scene can be rotated, zoomed or shifted under mouse control.
    • A new Post Processing Visualisation and Animation Package (named SMARTFIRE “DataView”) has been developed and is included with SMARTFIRE.
    • New Data Output Formats supported for third part post processing packages. MayaVi (freeware) supported for "snapshot" saves AND incremental saves. TecPlot (commercial) supported for "snapshot" saves. Ensight-6 and -Gold (commercial) supported for "snapshot" saves.
    • Porosity Objects (for faces and volumes) have been added to enable more realistic handling of partial blockages.

    Improved SMARTFIRE features include:

    • Gaseous combustion model now has partial oxygen sensitivity added. Formerly the Gaseous combustion model did not use the oxygen concentration to limit the rate of combustion. The model is not yet capable of handling fire extinction but this feature and other enhancements are currently being researched.
    • The multiple ray radiation model has been optimised so that it performs faster when there are only very minor changes in temperature.
    • The automated meshing system has been enhanced with more powerful quality assessment and adjustment routines. The user can now choose to check the quality and the system will much more selectively choose to add cells only where they are actually needed (and be beneficial) rather than the former approach of a brute force increase of the directional cell budget to try and fix the problematic cells.
    • Multiple planar-visualisation windows are now fully supported by the SMARTFIRE CFD Engine, including image saves.
    • Three solution optimisation strategies have been included in the SMARTFIRE CFD Engine.
    • Monitor points now have enhanced handling so that multiple monitor points can be defined.
    • Many of the objects available in the Case Specification Environment now have temporal or solution controlled activation/de-activation. This means that, for example, a thin plate object (representing a closed door or window) can be removed from a simulation at a particular time OR if a particular solution condition is detected. This is a very powerful feature that enables such research as secondary ignition of fire sources, opening and closing of vents, baffles, doors and windows, and the activation or deactivation of fans or inlets.



    [10/03/2004] buildingEXODUS V4.0 and vrEXODUS V4.0 ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

    The release of version 4.0 of buildingEXODUS incorporates a large number of additions and alterations that are designed to make the software more user friendly, more efficient and more useful.

    Substantial additions to the software include:
    • New features designed to extend the capabilities of the software in the area of non-emergency circulation applications.     
    • New features to determine the Visibility Catchment Area associated with signage.     
    • New behavioural features to include congestion avoidance and exit selection.     
    • A link to the SMARTFIRE CFD fire simulation software.     
    • Extending the toxicity models within EXODUS to include the impact of irritant fire gases.     
    • Numerous improvements to the user interface e.g. editable toolbars.
    New features and improved functionality has been added to all buildingEXODUS modes. A list of modifications found in version 4.0 is provided below.

    User Interface
    -        Navigation window
    -        Data output and status window
    -        Improved and editable toolbar
    -        Right mouse click menu

    Geometry Mode
    -        Minimising boundary lines
    -        Target points

    Population Mode
    -        Population selection box
    -        Itinerary selection control
    -        Naming of itineraries
    -        Assignation of populations to source nodes
    -        Range substitute for attributes relating to the current population

    Scenario Mode
    -        Data file link to the SMARTFIRE CFD fire simulation software
    -        Updated link to CFAST V5.0.

    Behaviour and Simulation
    -        Source nodes, enabling the user to dynamically generate individuals during the simulation
    -        Redirection nodes, enabling the user to influence the route adopted by an individual
    -        Direction nodes, restricting the access of evacuees
    -        Compartment zones, enabling the control of the response of whole areas of the geometry
    -        Irritant model, representing the impact of irritant products upon the population
    -        Metered internal door flow, allowing one person at a time to use an access point
    -        New gate unit flow rate
    -        Signage and visibility catchment areas, allowing information to be relayed to the evacuees through the provision of signs
    -        Local familiarity with all main exits
    -        Avoid congestion during general movement, causing the population to distribute themselves more naturally during movement
    -        Maximum simulation time, allowing the simulation to be ended at a pre-determined point
    -        Avoidance of exit congestion, enabling evacuees to determine exit selection according to the levels of congestion evident at particular exits
    -        Maintenance the angle of movement, minimising erratic movement of the evacuating population.

    Data and Statistics Collection
    -        Census lines, enabling a variety of data to be collected in a more flexible manner
    -        Additional run time statistics for census regions
    -        Additional information on internal doors
    -        Optimum exit statistic

    buildingEXODUS output to vrEXODUS
    -        Ability to select regions for output to vrEXODUS

     

    [25/08/2003] maritimeEXODUS VERSION 4.0 and vrEXODUS VERSION 3.8 ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

    With the release of maritimeEXODUS V4.0, maritimeEXODUS maintains its full compliance with the IMO requirements as set out in MSC circular 1033 and in addition, maritimeEXODUS incorporates several new  features. 

    NEW FEATURES:

    New Behavioural and Geometrical Features:
    The release of version 4.0 of maritimeEXODUS incorporates a number of significant fundamental new capabilities.  These concern the representation of:
    -    Water Tight Doors,
    -    Hatches,
    -    60 Degree Stairs and
    -    Vertical Ladders. 

    These additions not only allow the geometrical representation of these features but also include performance and behavioural additions associated with “trained” crew and “naďve” passengers under conditions of heel and trim. Associated with these new capabilities are data-sets derived from experimental trials commissioned by the UK MoD specifically for the development of these features.  These new capabilities allow maritimeEXODUS to more accurately address scenarios associated with naval vessels and off-shore facilities.   Finally, the vrEXODUS software has also been enhanced to better represent these new capabilities.

    [27/06/2003] FSEG WINS EUROPE'S TOP IT AWARD FOR EXODUS SOFTWARE

    It was announced today that FSEGs EXODUS development group have won Europe’s most distinguished IT prize for their work in developing the EXODUS suite of computer software.  The EU Commission-sponsored European IST (Information Society Technologies) Prize is awarded by the European Council of Applied Sciences, Technology and Engineering (Euro-CASE) to entrepreneurial teams that excel in generating novel ideas and converting them into marketable products.  The EXODUS development team is among twenty prize winners selected from among 420 entries from 28 countries. The winners will exhibit their products at an awards ceremony during the IST 2003 event in Milan, Italy on 2-4 October 2003, where three Grand Prize Winners will be selected, each receiving € 200,000 in prize money (www.ist-prize.org).

    CLICK HERE FOR FULL PRESS RELEASE



    [19/02/2003] FSEG RECEIVES QUEEN'S ANNIVERSARY PRIZE FOR EVACUATION RESEARCH AT CEREMONY AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE.


    19 Feb 2003 Prof Galea and Vice Chancellor Prof Trainer accept award from HRH and Prince Phillip

    19 Feb 2003 Prof Galea introducing Princess Anne to the FSEG team

    19 Feb 2003 FSEG team at Buckingham Palace

    19 Feb 2003 Prof Galea introducing HRH to Jason, one of the EXODUS team
     


    [14/11/2002] FSEG WINS QUEEN'S ANNIVERSARY PRIZE FOR EVACUATION RESEARCH

    It was announced today at St.James Palace in London that the EXODUS research group of FSEG was awarded a Queen's Anniversary Prize. The prize was in acknowledgement for the development of the EXODUS suite of software, the fundamental research into human behaviour and evacuation and the role the group play in disseminating these tools and knowledge all around the world. The Award Citation reads:

    "The University is a recognized world leader in the area of evacuation model development.  Use of its software technology by businesses and public authorities greatly enhances public safety and its specialized training offers vital expertise to the user community world-wide."

    The biennial Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Further and Higher Education recognise and reward the outstanding contribution that universities and colleges in the United Kingdom make to the intellectual, economic, cultural and social life of the nation.   It is the most distinguished award that can be made to a UK institution for higher or further education.  The Queen will present a Gold Medal and an illuminated Prize Certificate to the EXODUS team at an honours ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February 2003.

    Click here for full press release



    [20/08/2002] maritimeEXODUS VERSION 3.0 and vrEXODUS VERSION 1.11 ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

    With the release of maritimeEXODUS V3.0, maritimeEXODUS  is fully compliant with the new IMO requirements as set out in MSC circular 1033.  In addition, maritimeEXODUS incorporates several important changes and a number of additional features. These are:

    NEW FEATURES:

    New Behavioural Features:

    -        The Radiative Flux Feature concerns the introduction of a radiative component into the FED model. The Radiative Flux model has now been developed so that it can reflect several options relating to the time to achieve threshold limits such as pain, incapacitation or a user specified limit. In addition the response of the occupants can now be overridden by values of the radiative flux exceeding a user specified limit.

    -        The mustering procedures implemented on board the simulated craft can now be represented. Four types of procedure (RO-RO, High Speed Craft, Cruise Ship and Undefined) can now be represented, including the location of the individual’s vest, muster stations and associated LSA. This is achieved through the use of automated itineraries, so that the user now no longer has to perform this task manually.

    -        The impact of the inclination of the vessel (e.g. Trim and Heel) can be represented within the model. This is derived from experimental data (TNO and SHEBA) and will have an impact on the travel speeds of the evacuees.

    -        The model now includes a dedicated method to represent the Life Saving Appliances on board. These include dedicated attributes designed to represent the evacuee’s interaction with the LSA and increased flexibility in their usage, so that LSA chains can be formed to represent complex evacuation systems.

    -        Dedicated population panels have been created to meet the IMO requirements for the cases designed to meet regulatory compliance

    -        A Communication feature has been included, whereby evacuees sharing a social gene can share information related to their response times, and their understanding of the craft.

    -        Ability to import and export itineraries. This reduces the time required to create itineraries and greatly increases the flexibility of the technique.

    -        More intuitive methods to connect multi-deck geometries allowing the location and connectivity between decks to appear on-screen. This is particularly useful in large geometries where numerous connections may exist between decks.

    -        The inclusion of the Range substitution, so that boundaries may be specified for a number of attributes within which the substituted value will fall.

    -        Function to calculate the number of people in a specified area

    -        Function to calculate the area selected

    -        Response zones may be generated which locally override the evacuees attributes response times

    -        Instead of randomising an individual’s location, it can instead be swapped with another member of the population using the Swap Location function. This is particularly useful if the occupancy levels need to be maintained within an area.

    -        Instead of the instant response flag, the Specified Response flag has been included, allowing the user to force the evacuees to respond before a specified time.

    -        The navigation of the evacuees now can take into consideration their Angle of movement, the density of the population around them and their proximity to the boundary of the geometry.

    -        Evacuees can now be defined as passengers or as crew members. This can influence the effect that their presence can have on the activity of LSAs.

    -        Each evacuee can collect a vest during the simulation, which is recorded by a dedicated attribute, as well as by their appearance.

    -        The Footfall contour has been introduced to visually describe the usage of specific locations within the geometry.

    -        The Potential Route map has been introduced to describe both the spread of the potential map throughout the geometry and the direction of its spread.

    -        Expansion of itinerary tasks. Itineraries can now be formed from several different tasks, including collecting a vest, evacuating to a specific location and delaying.

    -        Deck potential map. The potential map for each deck can now be controlled instead of the movement being dependent purely upon the potential of the eventual exit point.

    -        Instead of the evacuees being static prior to evacuating, the user now has the option of allowing them to ‘mill’ around randomly.

    Usability Enhancements:

    -        The ability of the user to incorporate Lines, Text and Polygons into the WorkSpace area, allowing them to modify the appearance of the workspace for presentations

    -        The user is now able to select irregular areas of the geometry using Polygon select tool

    -        Standard Copy, Cut, Paste and Undo features have now been introduced

    -        Appearance of an on-screen ruler, allowing approximate measurements to be made

    -        User can now determine which buttons appear on the toolbar and the number of buttons available has been increased

    -        When the user moves the pointer across an on-screen object, the option is available to display small amounts of information using the Node tips tool

    -        A Selection control dialogue box has been developed, allowing the visibility and selectability of on-screen objects to be determined.

    -        The rate of the graphical output can now be controlled by the user using the Speed Control feature.

    -        The appearance of the model has now been updated so that it now has a more standard window appearance.

    -        Zone Contours have been introduced to improve on the quality of the Contour system previously used. 

    MODIFIED FEATURES:

    -        Stair behaviour: the behaviour of the evacuees on staircases has been altered slightly to remove a number of potential anomalous events that may previously have developed. Previously, the evacuees treat each component node of each step equally (i.e. they find them equally attractive). This prevents the unnatural bunching of evacuees around certain nodes on dog-leg staircases. The exception to this is when evacuees are relatively close to the edge of a stair case (within five nodes) then the individuals will attempt to move towards the edge of the staircase, simulating their preference for using the handrails. If they are further than that from the edge of the staircase then they will attempt to utilise the space available to them as per the other rules governing staircase movement.

    -        Improved flow rate performance for capped Internal Exits: Several users had brought to our attention that when they capped the flow rate capability of an Internal Exit, the flow rate achieved was lower than expected.  When capping the flow rate capability of an Internal Exit, maritimeEXODUS ensures that the instantaneous flow rate never exceeds the capped value, so the average flow rate will always be smaller than the capped value.  The new version of maritimeEXODUS ensures that when capped exits are used, the average flow rate achieved is closer to the capped value.  Thus, higher flow rates through Internal Exits should be achieved when capped internal exits are used (e.g. HMSO).



    [10/08/2002] SMARTFIRE VERSION 3.0 IS NOW AVAILABLE.

       SMARTFIRE V3.0 has a host of new features.  The major new developments include:

    •  Gaseous combustion models and associated control parameters have been incorporated within SMARTFIRE and can be fully activated via the user interface.
    •  A smoke model is available for use with the gaseous combustion model and the standard heat release rate model. In the standard heat release rate model the smoke is specified as a mass release rate. When the gaseous combustion model is used, smoke is concentration is determined by assessing the mass of smoke produced by burning 1 unit of fuel.
    •  A multi-ray radiation model has been included. This model is analogous to the discrete transfer radiation model but is fully compatible with unstructured meshes. It has the benefit of using the same computational mesh as the other models. 
    • The ability to specify forced ventilation systems such as fans. 
    • Horizontal vents are now available via the user interface with suitably sized extended regions that are automatically created in the vertical direction. 
    • The automated meshing tool has been significantly improved and generates improved quality meshes with smaller mesh budgets than in earlier versions of SMARTFIRE.  The automatic meshing tool has object awareness for improved meshing of complex geometries. This enables the use of meshing rules that specify the minimum number of cells that MUST be used within an object. E.g. a vent must have at least 3 cells in both the “height” and “width” directions in order to provide for both inflow and outflow simultaneously. 
    • A manual mesh specification tool has been included that allows the user to modify the mesh through the addition of cells and the specification of cell distributions. This tool allows experts to fine tune meshes generated by the automated mesh generator. 
    • Additional ‘objects’ have been specified in object libraries allowing the user to create simulation cases with greater complexity. 
    • 2D objects such as Thin Plates and Inlets can be specified anywhere in the flow domain (previously, 2D objects were limited to the surfaces of the geometry region). 
    • Smart data entry menus and case specification checking now provide easier and more reliable fire modelling.


    [01/08/2002] buildingEXODUS VERSION 3.01 and vrEXODUS VERSION 1.11 ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

    The release of version 3.01 of buildingEXODUS incorporates several important changes to the software and an additional feature.

    NEW FEATURES:

    New Behavioural Features:
    -        Radiative Flux Feature: The new features concern the use of the radiative component of the FED model. The Radiative Flux model has now been developed so that it can reflect several options relating to the time to achieve threshold limits such as pain, incapacitation or a user specified limit. In addition the response of the occupants can now be overridden by values of the radiative flux exceeding a user specified limit.

     

    MODIFIED FEATURES:
    -        Stair occupant behaviour on stairs: the behaviour of the evacuees on staircases has been altered slightly to remove a number of potential anomalous events that may previously have developed. In version 3.01, the evacuees treat each component node of each step equally (i.e. they find them equally attractive). This prevents the unnatural bunching of evacuees around certain nodes on dog-leg staircases. The exception to this is when evacuees are relatively close to the edge of a stair case (within five nodes) then the individuals will attempt to move towards the edge of the staircase, simulating their preference for using the handrails. If they are further than that from the edge of the staircase then they will attempt to utilise the space available to them as per the other rules governing staircase movement.

     -        Improved flow rate performance for capped Internal Exits: Several users had brought to our attention that when they capped the flow rate capability of an Internal Exit, the flow rate achieved was lower than expected.  When capping the flow rate capability of an Internal Exit, buildingEXODUS ensures that the instantaneous flow rate never exceeds the capped value, so the average flow rate will always be smaller than the capped value.  The new version of buildingEXODUS ensures that when capped exits are used, the average flow rate achieved is closer to the capped value.  Thus, higher flow rates through Internal Exits should be achieved when capped internal exits are used (e.g. HMSO).



    [01/03/2002] maritimeEXODUS won the RINA/LR (Royal Institution of Naval Architecture/Lloyds Register) Award for ship safety for 2001.

    [01/12/2001] maritimeEXODUS won the CITIS (Communications & IT in Shipping) Award for Innovation in IT for Ship Operation for 2001.

    [01/11/2001] The EXODUS suite of evacuation software won the top award from the British Computer Society. EXODUS was among seven finalists short-listed for the top award.  The award scheme, now in its 29th year, recognises innovation and originality in the IT industry.  Previous winners include Marlboro McLaren F-1 Racing, SuperJanet and the Digital Audio Broadcast System.

    “The winners not only demonstrate technical innovation, but also show how technology can be used to benefit society at large,” added Judith Scott, Chief Executive of The BCS.

    Click here for full press release

    bcs_awards_stand_1.jpg (83563 bytes)
    EXODUS stand at BCS Awards 7 Nov 2001
    bcs_awards_2.jpg (69101 bytes)
    EXODUS team at BCS awards dinner 7 Nov 2001
    ed_galea_prize_group.jpg (308054 bytes)
    EXODUS team celebrating winning BCS Award 8 Nov 2001


    [15/01/2001] VERSION 3.0 of SMARTFIRE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING FEATURES:

    • NEW CFD MODEL CAPABILITY:
    • Combustion model added using either eddy mixing controlled or diffusion controlled simple gaseous combustion. Specified by stoichiometric equation for the combustion, mass fractions of fuel and oxygen in the inlets, molecular weights of fuel and the dilutant, and heat of combustion, combustion efficiency and the eddy break up constant (- for eddy mixing controlled combustion).
    • Smoke model added (concentration release rate for heat release model OR a rate determined from rate of combustion when using the combustion model).
    • Fan objects added specified as 3D objects in the setup GUI (these are specified by pressure-difference vs velocity, fan area and blowing direction).
    • Multi-stage fire added for 3 stage growth, mid-period and decay for a fire.
    • NEW MESHING CAPABILITIES:
    • Manual mesh specification tool added to allow the KBS generated mesh to be modified on a slice by slice basis (a slice is a section of the domain between actual object geometry points). The meshing tool uses easy point and click operation to select the slice and gives visual feedback of the current mesh and easy access to change the mesh within each slice.
    • IMPROVED FUNCTIONALITY:
    • Added outlet patch to setup GUI with prescribed surface pressure.
    • Added inlet patch to setup GUI with prescribed physical properties including velocity, temperature, etc.
    • Walls can now have unique thicknesses and (if applicable) emmisivities to over-ride the default behaviour.
    • Improved handling of heat transfer through walls and obstacles so that behaviour is consistent and that heat transfer to other compartments is consistent with expectations.
    • Improved heat transfer handling for objects and walls when using radiation and turbulence.
    • USER INTERFACE:
    • Regrouped GUI features for problem setup to be in menus of related items e.g. radiation settings are grouped separately from the combustion settings.


    [01/10/2000] buildingEXODUS VERSION 3.0 and vrEXODUS VERSION 1.11 ARE NOW AVAILABLE!

      VERSION 3.0 MODIFICATIONS.
      The release of version 3.0 of buildingEXODUS incorporates a large number of additions and alterations that are designed to make the software more user friendly, more efficient and more useful.  More specifically, the alterations address the user interface and the speed of performance of the code.  The new features address the process by which fire hazards are incorporated within the model, the inclusion of a set of post processing data tools and a Virtual Reality (VR) post processing interface, the inclusion of additional scenario specific features and most importantly, the behavioural capabilities.  Concerning the latter, several new behavioural capabilities have been developed to increase the sophistication of the behavioural model and therefore further advance the modelling of occupant behaviour.

      V3.0 NEW MODEL FEATURES:
      New Software Components:
      - The introduction of a VR post-processor interface, allowing the three dimensional representation of buildingEXODUS simulations.
      - The introduction of a set of tools – known as askEXODUS – to aid in the analysis of multiple buildingEXODUS simulations.
      - The introduction of an interface to CFAST V4.01 history files allowing direct import of results produced by a recognised zone model into the buildingEXODUS Hazard model.

      New Behavioural Features:
      - An Occupant Itinerary List function has been added allowing occupants to perform simple tasks prior to exiting. This can either be specified for individuals or groups of occupants.
      - The ability to credit occupants with a localised understanding of the exits available (using the Local Familiarity system). The occupant has an internal list of known exits (referred to as the Occupant Exit Knowledge) which then form potential egress route. This can be attributed manually or automatically.
      - Exits can be categorised according to their usage (either being emergency exits or in constant use). This is particularly important in the use of localised exit familiarity.
      - Exits have a new attribute known as the Attractiveness. This can be used to determine the likelihood of occupants being aware of specific exits, whilst using the Local Familiarity system.
      - Occupants moving through a smoke-filled environment may now exhibit inefficient movement caused by the reduced visibility levels. This will include occupant staggering and subsequently attempting to follow the walls of the geometry to aid in navigation.
      - Occupants faced with a consistent barrier of smoke have the option to redirect away towards other available exits. The likelihood of this happening is dependent upon the selection of a data-set or the provision of new data. A Smoke Redirection option is situated on the OCCUPANT CONTROL dialogue box.

      New Tools:
      - An Analysis feature is provided to aid the user in understanding the occupant behaviour. This allows the simulated occupant to change colour according to their circumstances or their behaviour.
      - Introduction of Census Regions, enabling the automatic recording of information concerning specific areas of the geometry.

      Improved Capabilities:
      - The ability to represent Internal exits is now consistent with External exits and are able to produce similar levels of output data.
      - The user is now able to represent the Potential Map, the Population Density, the Smoke level and the Temperature level conditions as a Contour map.
      - An additional environmental variable, namely Radiative Flux (kW/m2) has been included.  The effect of this on the occupant – FIHr – is modelled according to functions derived by Purser.
      - Several of the Purser functions representing the impact of the environment upon an occupant have been updated according to more recent research.
      - Stair behaviour has been updated so that the constituent nodes that form risers are seen as being equally attractive allowing more realistic overtaking manoeuvres.
      - The function used to model the reduction in occupant mobility in relation to the extinction coefficient of the smoke within the environment has been updated so as to more accurately reflect the original Jin data.
      - To reduce the user workload, the model can now automatically generate boundary nodes according to the connectivity and configuration of the nodal mesh.
      - The avoidance of locations with fatalities. Occupants will attempt to avoid nodes that have single or multiple fatalities situated on them.
      - Alteration in the development of occupant speed in relation to the obstacle value of arcs.

      V3.0 SOFTWARE ENHANCEMENTS:
      Performance Enhancements:
      - The interactive graphics algorithms have been improved making the software faster in graphics mode.
      - The loading of DXF files/ boundary files is quicker as EXODUS now generates its own internal version of the file.

      User Interface Enhancements:
      - The menu lists and dialogue boxes have been entirely restructured. The new interface is presented in a more logical and consistent format.
      - An “Impatient” RuleBase switch has been added to the Occupant Control dialogue box, forcing occupants to respond instantly.
      - An “All Main Exits” switch has been added to the Occupant Control dialogue box, guaranteeing occupant familiarity with exits that are in constant use, whilst using the Local Familiarity system.

      Feature Enhancements:
      - Node lock/ move/ copy have been improved
      - Fast node has been improved, replicating the functionality of Normal mode
      - The user is able to manipulate components of the DXF file and of the Boundary produced for geometries created within buildingEXODUS.
      - On the DOOR dialogue box, a graph option is now available that enables graphs to be switched on and off for particular exits.
      - Magnification has been simplified so that it now includes the ability to double-click on the magnification buttons. This produces a 10% increase or decrease in the size of the geometry in the current window.
      - Due to the increase in behavioural and simulation options, the user now has ability to export option settings to an option library, enabling re-use.
      - The Batch Mode controls have been simplified and their functionality has been increased.
      - Door titles are now automatically generated.
      - Fast nodes can now be applied to all windows automatically.
      - Nodal locations can be identified by using the search facility.
      - The ability to relocate occupants by dragging them between locations.
      - The ability to determine the floor area within a specified section of the geometry.
      - The provision of a more detailed contour key.
      - The ability to label .EXO and .MTA with a specification of the nature of the scenario.
      - The ability to control whether certain nodes types (e.g. SEAT, INTERNAL EXITS, etc.) are visible during the simulation.


    [October 1999] NEWS CONCERNING THE v2.0 RELEASE OF buildingEXODUS
    • Version 2.03 of buildingEXODUS shipped on October 1999.  [October '99]
    • Version 2.0 of buildingEXODUS shipped in February 1999.  [February '99]

    Version 2.0 of buildingEXODUS include the following enhancements:

        New Features

      • Vast Improvement in execution times (new 32-bit architecture)
      • Percent Done is displayed in Batch Mode.
      • Ability to prescribe flow rates on internal exits.
      • An Instant Response Rulebase switch has been added to Simulation mode.
      • Flow Time and No Flow Time parameters now available for exits.
      • A summary of input parameters can now be selected for inclusion in output files.
      • The potential map can be displayed using a coloured contour map.
      • Population density can be viewed as a coloured contour map.
      • The approximate area of a selected region can now be viewed.
      • A distance map around a selected point for a specified region can be viewed.

        Usability Enhancements

      • New hardware key (dongle) protection
      • Fire Hazard Definition dialog boxes have been standardised to work in the same way.
      • Auto Connect can now connect arcs in all directions.
      • Staircase dialog box has been simplified.
      • A connect option is available when adding nodes in regions.
      • The default potential for an exit is now 100.
      • Arcs can now be deleted according to their direction, i.e. horizontal, vertical and diagonal.
      • Arcs and Nodes in a region can be viewed using the same method.
      • The Local Potential option has been added to Scenario Mode (prev. Simulation Mode)
    • As of July 1998, buildingEXODUS was being used in 13 countries. Users may be found in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK. (July ‘98)

    [19/09/1997] NEWS CONCERNING THE v1.1 RELEASE OF buildingEXODUS
    • Version 1.1 of buildingEXODUS began shipping on 19 September 1997.
    • Licenced users of buildingEXODUS include, fire safety consultants, unversities, research laboratories, regulatory authorities, fire brigades, defence establishments (August 1997).
    • New or improved features of buildingEXODUS v1.1 include:
    • Interface
      • The toolbars now have all the common mode buttons in the same locations.
      • The DXF file reader now accepts the Autocad version 13 DXF standard.
      • The size of data files have been reduced, .MTA, .EXO, .RUX, .RUN.
      • A playback file (.RUX, .RUN) can now be recorded in Simulation Mode (previously only available in Batch Mode).
      • The method of defining fire scenarios has been completely restructured.
      • Batch Mode now allows a simulation to be viewed as if in Simulation Mode
      • Output files now have a different naming convention.
      • The floodfill algorithm has been speeded up
      • The undo function now only works for the first 2000 objects
      • Movie file player - a new piece of software is included that replays movie files. This software is not licenced to a single machine and may be freely distributed by users. The player will play simulation at normal speed, or a factor thereof, e.g. 2, 3, 4 etc.
      • Simulation Mode allows MOVIE files (.EMX) files to be saved - these allow an exact simulation to be played through.
      • A summary of the input parameters is available as an output option.
      • The process of connecting staircases has been simplified.
      • An option to over-ride response times has been included in simulation mode.
    • Rulebase
      • Movement over arcs with obstacle values > 1 is now conducted at walk speed.
      • Occupants can now be assigned to external exits.
      • Contraflow rules have been added to allow opposing crowds flow.

    (B) Research News: back

    This section lists all news concerning FSEG staff and their research activities.


    [01/01/2009] FSEG RATED ‘WORLD LEADING’ BY PEERS IN RAE 2008

    The results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE2008) confirm that the Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG) of the University of Greenwich is one of the top research groups in the UK in the area of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering (UoA 28).   FSEG was part of the Centre for Numerical Modelling and Process Analysis (CNMPA) submission to UoA 28.  RAE2008 rated 70% of the submission in the highest two research quality categories, with 30% rated as ‘world leading’ and 40% rated as ‘internationally excellent’.

    In the most respected RAE 2008 league table compiled by the Times Higher Education (18th December 2008), the CNMPA submission produced a grade point average of 2.95, placing CNMPA 4th out of the 33 submissions from 32 institutions.  Its 4th place meant that the group was placed higher than 12 of the research intensive Russell Group Universities.   With 30% of its submission rated at the highest quality rating of ‘world leading’, the quality of the CNMPA work was equal to that of Imperial and Sheffield, the top two rated universities.  The average volume of work classified as ‘world leading’ for the area of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering by the assessment panel was only 17%.

    CNMPA SCORE PROFILE:
    The work of CNMPA was judged as:

    Category 4* - World Leading – 30%
    Category 3* - Internationally Excellent – 40%
    Category 2* - Recognised Internationally – 25%
    Category 1* - Recognised Nationally – 5%
    Unclassified – Quality that falls short of National Recognised – 0%

    See Press Release for further details.

    [14/10/2008] FSEG STAFF AWARDED SFPE BONO AWARD FOR 2008

    Hui Xie, Lazaros Filippidis, Dr Steven Gwynne, Prof Ed Galea, Darren Blackshields and Dr Peter Lawrence from FSEG  have won the 2008 Jack Bono Engineering Communication Award from the US based Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE). The award was made for their recent research paper entitled:

    "Signage Legibility Distances as a Function of Observation Angle"

    The paper was published in the SFPE Journal of Fire Protection Engineering in 2007 (Vol 17, No.1, pages 41-64). See SFPE Press Release and the FSEG Press Release for further details.

     

    From left to right, Mr Dave Evans SFPE Executive Director, Prof Ed Galea and Dr Steve Gwynne, two of the Bono award winners following the award paper presentation by Prof Ed Galea at the SFPE annual meeting Charlotte NC, 14 October 2008.

    [01/12/2000] FSEG secures funding for the "VERRES" project as part of an consortium in EU FRAMEWORK V. FSEGs role in the consortium is to undertake evacuation modelling analysis for very large aircraft and to suggest guidelines for future use of models in aircraft certification.

    [19/10/2000] buildingEXODUS V3.0 is released.

    [01/03/2000] FSEG secures funding for the "SAFETY FIRST" project as part of an consortium in EU FRAMEWORK V. FSEGs role in the consortium is to undertake fire field modelliing of ship board fire scenarios.

    [01/02/2000] A major new research project funded under Framework V of the EU is due to commence in March 2000. The project is concerned with fire safety on passenger ships. FSEG will be involved with the simulation of ship fires.

    [01/02/2000] A major new release of buildingEXODUS is scheduled for the first half of 2000.  Keep an eye on the Exodus web pages for more details.

    [01/02/2000] A major new research project funded by the UK CAA commenced in January 2000. The project is concerned with the analysis of aircraft evacuation data and with field trials of the airEXODUS evacuation model.

    [01/02/2000] A new research project funded by DaimlerChrysler commenced in December 1999. The project is concerned with incorporating the airEXODUS aircraft evacuation model in the aircraft design environment.

    [01/02/2000] A new research project funded by the UK Home Office commenced in November 1999.  This project is concerned with assessing the capabilities of a range of commercially available fire field models.  The project is intended to establish and demonstrate the viability of a suite of benchmarks for CFD based fire models.  Look up our Projects web pages for the latest details.

    [01/02/2000] FSEG has completed a project with LPC involving the SMARTFIRE fire field model. The software was successfully used to simulate a series of fire experiments undertaken by LPC to investigate the external spread of fire in multi-storey buildings.

    [01/02/2000] A major new release of the SMARTFIRE fire field model is scheduled for the first half of 2000. Keep an eye on the SMARTFIRE web pages for more details.

    [01/10/2000] Mr Peter Friedrich of Airbus Industrie Hamburg takes up a 12 month secondment with the EXODUS group.

    [01/09/2000] Mr Nathan Hurst joined FSEG in September 2000. He will be undertaking doctoral research in the field of CFD numerical schemes and fire field modelling.

    [25/08/2000] Mr Nigel Mawhnney is married on the 25 August 2000.

    [04/07/2000] Mr John Ewer successfully defended his PhD, entitled “An investigation into the feasibility, problems and benefits of re-engineering a legacy procedural CFD code into an event driven, Object Oriented system that allows dynamic user interaction” in July 2000. Dr Ewer is continuing his work as principal software engineer within the SMARTFIRE development team.

    [01/02/2000] In September 1999, Prof Galea was invited to become a member of the Human Behaviour Task Group of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (USA).

    [01/02/2000] Following the Paddington railway disaster, Prof Galea appeared on the Channel 4 Television programme DISPATCHES (first broadcast 17th November 1999). The programme considered the evacuation capability of British trains. As part of the programme, an evacuation experiment from an upturned carriage subjected to smoke conducted by FSEG was broadcast. The week after this programme, FSEG was again on television as part of the BBC 1 Tomorrows World Survival Special. On this programme, the buildingEXODUS programme was featured.

    [01/02/2000] Mr Simon Blake joined FSEG in January 2000. He will be undertaking doctoral research in the field of human behaviour and evacuation simulation.

    [01/02/2000] Mr Daren Blackshields joined FSEG in October 1999. Mr Blackshields was appointed as a research assistant working with the EXODUS development team of FSEG.

    [01/02/2000] Mr Steve Gwynne successfully defended his PhD, entitled “The introduction of adaptive social decision-making in the mathematical modelling of egress behaviour” in January 2000.  Dr Gwynne is now working as a Post Doctoral Fellow with the EXODUS development team of FSEG. Picture of the Steve Graduating and shortly afterwards.

    [01/02/2000] Mr Fuchen Jia successfully defended his PhD, entitled “The simulation of fire growth and spread within enclosures using an integrated CFD fire spread model” in September 1999.  Dr Jia is now working as a Post Doctoral Fellow with the SMARTFIRE development team of FSEG.  Picture of the Fuchen Graduating and shortly afterwards.

    [01/02/2000] Mr Steve Gwynne delivered a paper at the 6th IAFSS conference in Pointers France in July 1999 entitled, “Adaptive Decision-Making in buildingEXODUS”.

    [01/02/2000] Mr Fuchen Jia delivered a paper at the 6th IAFSS conference in Pointers France in July 1999 entitled, “The Numerical Simulation of Noncharring Thermal Degradation and its Application to the Prediction of Compartment Fire”.

    [01/02/2000] Mr John Ewer delivered a paper at INTERFLAM 99 at the Edinburgh Conference Centre during June/July 1999. The paper was entitled “The development and application of group solvers in the SMARTFIRE fire field model.”

    [01/02/2000] Prof Ed Galea delivered a paper at the 3rd Int Conf on Fire Research and Engineering (Chicago) in September 1999 entitled, “Extending the Capabilities of the buildingEXODUS evacuation model to cater for hospital Evacuations.”

    [27/05/1999] Prof Galea delivered an invited paper at the London Fire Brigade organised conference Fire Investigation Beyond the Cause on 27th May 1999 entitled, “The need for data in fire and evacuation modelling”.

    [10/05/1999] Prof Galea delivered an invited paper at Cabin Safety Conference held at Cranfield University during May 1999. The paper was entitled “The application of computer modelling to aviation safety.”

    [01/02/1999] Congratulations to Mrs Kate Finney, who Gained Her PhD in November 1998.

    [01/02/1999] Dr David Purser of the Fire Research Station has been appointed to the position of visiting professor with FSEG.

    [30/11/1998] Mr Wang Zhaozhi from Beijing China has joined FSEG and will be undertaking doctoral research in combustion modelling.

    [30/11/1998] Mr Piotri Rymarczyk a recent graduate from Poland has joined FSEG and is working on the SMARTFIRE project.

    [30/11/1998] Dr David Purser of the Fire Research Station has been appointed to the position of visiting professor with FSEG.

    [30/11/1998] A Virtual Reality post-processor for the FSEG developed evacuation model buildingEXODUS is under development. The post-processor enables buildingEXODUS generated evacuation simulations to be replayed in three-dimensional virtual reality. The visualisation includes a CAD representation of the building. A demonstration of the post-processor may be found on the EXODUS web pages found under the FSEG home pages.

    [30/11/1998] FSEG have now made available the first general release version of the SMARTFIRE fire field model. The software is currently being used by the Loss Prevention Council, Essex Fire Brigade, Ove Arup Fire, Home Office FRDG and Christchurch University. Details concerning SMARTFIRE may be found on the SMARTFIRE web pages listed under the FSEG home pages.

    [30/11/1998] Prof Galea chaired the three day Cabin Safety Workshop which was part of the Very Large Transport Aeroplane Conference held in Noordwijkerhout The Netherlands October 1998.

    [30/11/1998] Prof Galea delivered the 1998 Howard Emmons Lecture at WPI in the USA on 11th November 1998, his lecture was entitled, “The Use of Mathematical Modelling in Fire Safety Engineering”. A version of the presentation may be found on the FSEG web pages.

    [30/11/1998] Mr Matt Owen, Mr Stephen Gwynne, Prof Ed Galea and Mrs Kate Finney attended the Human Behaviour in Fire Conference held in Belfast in September 1998. The group presented four papers concerned with the airEXODUS aircraft evacuation model, the AASK aircraft accident survivor database, the buildingEXODUS evacuation model and a general paper on the modelling of human behaviour (see recent publications).

    [30/11/1998] Prof Galea attended the FAA/JAA organised Aircraft Fire Safety conference held in Atlantic City USA from the 16th to 20th November 1998 and delivered three papers, on the airEXODUS aircraft evacuation model, the AASK aircraft accident survivors database and the FIREDASS water mist model. Copies of these papers and all the other papers may be found on the FAA web site at http://fire.tc.faa.gov

    [01/07/1998] Mrs Kate Finney MSc joined the group in July 1998. Kate will be working on the AASK database and evacuation modelling.

    [01/07/1998] The development of the prototype vrEXODUS is almost complete. vrEXODUS will post process EXODUS generated evacuation files and replay them in Virtual Reality graphics. Not only will you be able to better visualise the evacuation, but you will also be able to better see the structure as the DXF is also ported into the animation. For a glimpse of vrEXODUS see the demo on the protected pages.

    [28/09/1998] Mr Matt Owen, Mr Stephen Gwynne, Prof Ed Galea and Mrs Kate Finney attended the Human Behaviour in Fire Conference held in Belfast in September 1998. The group presented four papers concerned with the airEXODUS aircraft evacuation model, the AASK aircraft accident survivor database, the buildingEXODUS evacuation model and a general paper on the modelling of human behaviour (see recent publications).

    [14/05/1998] Prof Galea gave a presentation to the Institute of Building Control Eastern District AGM entitled, "Burning Questions Model Answers" on the 28th April 1998 at Southend in Essex.

    [13/05/1998] Prof Galea gave a presentation entitled, "The Computer Modelling of Evacuation" at the FIREX’98 conference in Birmingham on 13th May 1998.

    [01/05/1998] The EXODUS development group completed a project for NHS Estates in which some new features were developed. The new features included the ability for nominated individuals to assist non-ambulant patients and move them to a place of relative safety prior to moving them to the designated place of safety. As this facility requires further development, it has not been made available yet in the general release version of buildingEXODUS however, it can be used by the developers for consultancy applications.

    [12/03/1998] Prof Galea gave a presentation entitled, "The use of mathematical modelling in fire safety engineering" at the Eurofire Conference in Brussels on 12th March 1998.

    [25/02/1998] In Feb 1998, the beta version of buildingEXODUS V2.0 was used on the 5 day short course Principles and Practice of Evacuation Modelling. The software was used intensively by approximately 20 fire professionals from all over the world. Both the software and the course were highly praised by the delegates. For more information see Course News.

    [01/02/1998] Mr David Cooney has joined FSEG and is working on the application of Virtual Reality to evacuation simulation.

    [05/11/1997] Mr Daniel Berhane has left the group to take a position with the BMA.

    [05/10/1997] Mr Dominik Janes from Poland has joined the group to work on SMARTFIRE.

    [28/06/1997] Matt Owen's Wedding 28th June 1997.

    [30/06/1997] In June 1997, the beta version buildingEXODUS V1.1 was used on the 5 day short course Principles and Practice of Evacuation Modelling. The software was used intensively by approximately 25 fire professionals from all over the world. The verdict - both the course and software received top marks from all the delegates. For more information see Course News.

    [20/06/1997] Prof Margret Law delivered her inaugural professorial lecture at the University of Greenwich on 3rd June 1997. The lecture was entitled Developments in the Discipline of Fire Safety Engineering. Prof Law is the Visiting Professor of Fire Safety Engineering.

    [19/06/1997] Prof Galea chaired and made two presentations at a one-day seminar entitled "Raising Standards, Saving Lives" organised by BICC Construction Cables in London on 19th June 1997.

    [03/06/1997] Prof Margret Law delivered her inaugural professorial lecture at the University of Greenwich on 3rd June 1997. The lecture was entitled Developments in the Discipline of Fire Safety Engineering. Prof Law is the Visiting Professor of Fire Safety Engineering.

    [01/06/1997] FSEG has been awarded a contract to investigate the evacuation efficiency of aircraft designs for BOMBARDIER CANADA

    [10/04/1997] Prof Galea has been appointed to the Life Safety Committee of the British Standards Institute (April 1997).

    [25/03/1997] Prof Galea presented 2 papers at the IAFSS Symposium on Fire Safety in Melbourne Australia during March 1997 concerning recent developments with the buildingEXODUS evacuation model and the SMARTFIRE fire field model.

    [20/03/1997] Mr Fuchen Jia of FSEG presented a paper at the IAFSS Symposium on Fire Safety in Melbourne Australia during March 1997 concerning the prediction of flashover and backdraft using fire field models.

    [12/03/1997] Prof Galea presented a paper concerning the airEXODUS evacuation model at Royal Aeronautical Society Symposium on Cabin Safety in London during March 1997.

    [15/12/1996] Prof Galea and Mr Owen visited the NTSB in Washington DC to present a paper on airEXODUS and spent a week collecting data from their archive files (Dec 1996).

    [05/12/1996] Prof Galea and Mr Owen visited BOEING Seattle and FAA Seattle to present results from the airEXODUS simulations on the B767 Evacuation Demonstration (Dec 1996).

    [09/10/1996] Staff from the FSEG presented 2 papers (one concerning airEXODUS) and 2 posters at the NATO AGARD conference in Dresden Oct 1996.

    [01/10/1996] Mr Steven Gwynne joined the group in Oct 1996 as a Doctoral Student in Evacuation Modelling.

    [07/05/1996] Prof Galea gave an invited presentation to the IFE entitled 'Burning Questions - Model Answers' on 7th May 1996 at the ESSEX Fire And Rescue Headquarters.

    [01/05/1996] Exodus Group has started work on a CAA funded project concerned with the analysis video footage of evacuation trials performed by the worlds major aircraft manufacturers. This information is being used in the continued development of the airEXODUS evacuation model.

    [06/03/1996] Staff from the FSEG presented 2 papers and 2 posters at the INTERFLAM'96 conference at Cambridge during March 1996.

    [01/02/1996] FSEG has started work on an EC funded project concerned with investigating the use of water mist as a replacement for Halon extinguishment systems on Feb 1996. FSEG's role on the project, which has a three year duration, involves the mathematical modelling of the water mist, its interaction with the fire atmosphere and the extinguishment of the fire.

    [] FSEG has started work on a CAA funded project concerned with the analysis video footage of evacuation trials performed by the worlds major aircraft manufacturers. This information is being used in the continued development of the air-EXODUS evacuation model.

    [] Prof Galea has been awarded an EPSRC grant to continue work on the development of the SMARTFIRE fire field model. In addition to the EPSRC, the project - which runs for three years - is supported by, The Loss Prevention Council, The Home Office (FRDG), Ove Arup and Partners, and the Essex Fire Brigade.

    [] Prof Galea has been awarded a further two year research and development contract by the UK CAA for the continued development of the airEXODUS evacuation model.

    [] Mr L Filippidis MSc has joined the group as a software engineer/modeller in the area of evacuation modelling.

    [] Mr A Grandison MSc has joined the group and is working in the area of water spray modelling.

    [] Mr A Dixon MSc who has a background in Psychology has joined the group and is working in the area of evacuation modelling.

    [] Mr E Alessandri has left the group to take up a position in the German insurance industry.

    [] Prof Galea and Mr Owen attended the CAA/FAA evacuation certification test of the B777 and modified B767 at BOEING Seattle USA during April. Prof Galea also presented results from that air-EXODUS predictions of the B767 aircraft evacuation to the Boeing and CAA/FAA certification team. Model predictions were extremely accurate.

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