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FSEG is one of the largest university-based research groups dedicated to Computational Fire Engineering in the world. From 2014-2022, FSEG generated over £7 million worth of research and outreach funding and published over 200 research publications. Research and Outreach falls into three broad areas:

CONSULTANCY and industrial research contracts,

RESEARCH PROJECTS with 'industrial collaboration' funded by a combination of EPSRC and industrial partners,

APPLIED RESEARCH funded by EPSRC, Innovate UK and the EU.

Examples of research projects undertaken by FSEG include:

  • Analysis of the WTC 9/11 evacuation.
  • Development of solid phase combustion models.
  • Development of fire effluent-human interaction models.
  • Experimental study exploring the interaction of people with signage systems.
  • Prediction of CO/CO2 generation in enclosure fires.
  • Full-scale unannounced evacuation experiments focusing on occupant response and response time.
  • Development of two-phase fire-water interaction models.
  • Development of escalator and elevator models.
  • Experimental study into the evacuation capability of overturned rail carriages.
  • Developing hybrid field-zone fire models.
  • Development of pedestrian dynamics circulation movement and behaviour models.
  • Human behaviour studies relating to evacuation in a variety of applications including, high-rise buildings, construction sites, passenger ships, urban-scale scenarios, etc.
  • Development of rail car evacuation models.
  • Development of CBRN dispersion and evacuation models.
  • Development of models to predict the impact or marauding armed terrorists in crowded places.
  • Development of models to predict the dispersion of airborne pathogens.
  • Analysis of fire spread in Living Walls.
  • Forensic analysis of fire incidents.
  • Quantifying the performance of mobility assist devices used in the evacuation of disabled people.

Examples of consultancy projects undertaken by FSEG include:

  • Analysis of passenger ship design for evacuation.
  • Fire and evacuation forensic analysis of major fire scenes.
  • Analysis of evacuation safety of naval vessels.
  • Analysis of ventilation and smoke movement characteristics for underground structures.
  • Evacuation analysis of high-rise buildings.
  • Fire and smoke spread in aviation, building and marine environments.
  • Circulation and evacuation analysis for subway stations.
  • Analysis of evacuation provision for hospitals.
  • Analysis of evacuation provision for historic buildings.
  • Fire analysis for the Canadian Transport Safety Board as part of the MD11 Swiss Air Disaster.
  • Expert witness to Inquiries such as the Cullen Inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove disaster, Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Evacuation analysis for aircraft manufacturers concerning design and certification.
  • Advice to fire brigades on fire and evacuation performance of large structures e.g. warehouses. Analysis of smoke movement and ventilation requirements of atria.

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Research undertaken by FSEG has lead to the development of the CFE tools buildingEXODUS, airEXODUS, maritimeEXODUS urbanEXODUS, matEXODUS and SMARTFIRE.  These products are distributed and used world-wide by FSEG. 

The buildingEXODUS building evacuation model is currently used by Fire Brigades, Regulatory authorities, Design Engineers and Universities in 31 countries.

The airEXODUS evacuation model has become the recognised world leading evacuation model in the aviation industry and has been used in projects for Boeing, Airbus, British Aerospace, Bombardier and Mitsubishi.

The maritimeEXODUS software has been used for the analysis of large passenger ships, naval vessels (Royal Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy), large pleasure craft such as Thames River boats and Off-shore oil platforms. It has users in the UK, Netherlands, Korea, Italy, Taiwan, Denmark, Canada and the USA. maritimeEXODUS has been endorsed by the UK MOD as, “the escape tool that most closely meets the needs of the MOD for the development of warship escape design guidance and assessment”. 

The group is also developing the railEXODUS software under contract to the US FRA, urbanEXODUS for the simulation of large-scale evacuation and matEXODUS for scenarios involving marauding armed terrorists, with the support of DSTL and DASA. 

The SMARTFIRE CFD based fire field model has users in 17 countries. In addition to traditional fire applications, SMARTFIRE is being used to explore fire spread in living walls and the dispersion of airborne pathogens such as COVID-19:

From 2014 to 2020, over 300 licenses to these products were sold to users in 31 countries.  Over this period, users have included: DSTL (UK), Lloyds Registrar (UK), Arcadis (UK), London Fire Brigade (UK), Thornton Tomasetii (USA/UK), Hughes (USA), Department of Transportation (US), SNCF (French Rail), Bureau Veritas (France), Royal Australian Navy (Australia), University of Gent (Belgium), National Research Council (Canada), Tsinghua University (China), China Maritime Classification Society (China), Osaka University (Japan), Tokyu Construction (Japan), Busan National University (Korea), Navantia (Spain), Ministry of the Interior (Italy), Instytut Techniki Budowlanej (Poland).

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FSEG expertise is sought by standards bodies such as the BSI, ISO and IMO and Governments. Prof Galea is a nominated UK representative to: ISO committee TC92 since 2000, IMO Fire Protection (FP) meetings since 2001 and has contributed to the development of ship evacuation modelling standards; since 1997 he has been a member of several British Standards Institute committees concerned with fire safety including FSH/24/5, which deals with issues concerned with life safety and evacuation and FSH/24/2 which deals with calculation methods for fire safety engineering. Prof Galea has been a member of several UK government advisory groups such as SAPER (Scientific Advisory Panel for Emergency Response) since its inception in 2003.

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FSEG is helping to shape the future of fire safety engineering practice. Members of FSEG are involved in the supervision of doctoral and masters level research students concerned with fire safety and the development and delivery of fire safety engineering courses, including, short courses for industry and MSc programmes. Since 1997, FSEG have run two short courses aimed at the fire safety engineering community, namely:

  • Principles and Practice of Fire Modelling (PPFM) and
  • Principles and Practice of Evacuation Modelling (PPEM).

These courses are concerned with theoretical and practical issues of fire and evacuation modelling. From 1997-2022 over 670 fire professionals from 44 countries have attended these courses. The face to face version of these courses have been assessed by the IFE as suitable for CPD, with the PPEM course being granted 35 hours and the PPFM being granted 38 hours.  FSEG now offer distance learning versions of these courses.

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