Fire and Evacuation Modelling Courses


The University of Greenwich offers the following Short Course and Masters options related to Fire Safety Engineering.

ABOUT PPEM and PPFM Short Courses


Course delivery options, dates, cost, registration, etc.
Why attend these courses?
Who are we?
Who should attend?
Course outlines
Course news and photos

Fire Safety Engineering


These courses were introduced for the first time in 1997. From 1997-2019 over 650 fire professionals from 44 countries have attended these courses.

In the UK, fire kills on average 530 people and causes £1.5 billion (0.14% of GDP) of direct losses per year.  Fire Safety Engineering (FSE) is all about  preventing these types of losses from occurring through efficient design.  FSE employs mathematical modelling to assist the engineer in developing efficient means of protecting people and property from unwanted fires.  From fire simulation to evacuation simulation, from structure-fire interaction to fire suppression, FSE increasingly relies on mathematical modelling to achieve its goals. The increasing use of mathematical models within FSE has lead the FSEG of the University of Greenwich to coin the term Computational Fire Engineering or CFE to describe the core discipline of mathematical modelling within fire engineering. The FSEG are leaders in CFE and have been developing CFE tools since the mid 1980's.  FSEG are pleased to offer two short courses in CFE concerned with Fire Modelling and Evacuation Modelling. In particular the courses consider model formulation, application, limitations and the interpretation of model predictions.

Why Attend These Courses?


Building regulations world-wide are changing from the traditional prescriptive to the performance based codes. The use of Computational Fire Engineering to demonstrate safety equivalence is therefore becoming more important. Architects and Fire Safety Engineers crucially need to understand how and when to correctly apply these models. Regulatory authorities which approve building designs equally need to understand the validity of the model predictions.

Smoke spread in high rise building using SMARTFIRE WTC evacuation simulation using buildingEXODUS


Who are we?


These courses are being offered by the University of Greenwich Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG).

Based at the University of Greenwich in London, FSEG has been one of the pioneers in Computational Fire Engineering (CFE) undertaking research and applications of Fire and Evacuation modelling since the mid 1980s. With 22 researchers, FSEG is the UK's largest University-based CFE research team. Since its formation in 1986, the group's research and consultancy has been supported by a number of prestigious organisations in both the private and public sectors. Its interests span most aspects of CFE. They include Fire Field Modelling, Evacuation Modelling, Combustion Modelling and Fire-Suppression Modelling. To find out more about FSEG visit our home page at:

Underground station evacuation simulation using buildingEXODUS Rhode Island disco fire simulation using SMARTFIRE

Who should attend?


These courses are aimed at all sectors of the building industry - building engineers, architects, fire safety engineers/consultancies and the regulatory authorities.

From 1997-2019 these courses have attracting over 650 safety professionals. The courses have attracted participants from 44 countries. Those attending were drawn from: Fire Engineering Consultancies; Architectural Practices; Fire Services; Building Control Inspectors; Local, Regional and National Government; Police; Aviation Industry; Maritime Industry; Nuclear Industry; Oil Industry; Horse Racing Industry; and Academia.

Notable quotations from delegates include:

"Generally Excellent"
"I enjoyed being at the University of Greenwich and look forward to returning"
"An excellent course. It has exceeded my expectations on learning outcomes by a very large margin."
"I have been on a large number of courses over the years and feel this has been one of the most enjoyable and most certainly the most professionally run."
"Lecture material was presented on a level which was easily understood."
"All lectures were exceptionally informative."
"These (laboratory sessions) were an essential element of the course."
"Fantastic assistance from University staff on all problem areas."
"Varied and interesting topics."






Short Course: Principles and Practice of Evacuation Modelling

- 5 day intensive Short Course.
- Main lecturers: Prof E Galea, Mr L Filippidis, Mr Darren Blackshields , Mr David Cooney from FSEG.
- Human psychological and physiological responses to fire described along with evacuation model assumptions and limitations.
- "Hands-on" exposure to evacuation modelling.
- Those attending are expected to be able to use PC Windows and operate a PC.

Short Course: Principles and Practice of Fire Modelling

- 5 day intensive Short Course.
- Main lecturers: Prof E Galea, Prof M Patel, Dr J Ewer, Dr F Jia, and Dr A Grandison from FSEG.
- Zone and Field modelling described.
- "Hands-on" exposure to zone and field modelling.
- Those attending are expected to be able to use PC Windows and operate a PC. A rudimentary understanding of basic differential equations would be an advantage but is not a pre-requisite.

MSc by Research


The two short courses, Principles and Practice of Fire Modelling and Principles and Practice of Evacuation Modelling can contribute to achieving an MSc qualification (Research MSc). In order to contribute to the MSc, the assessment associated with each of the short courses must also be undertaken and successfully completed.

MSc Option 1: MSc by Research

- 180 Credits required for qualification.
- Principles and Practice of Fire Modelling SC + assessment = 30 credits.
- Principles and Practice of Evacuation Modelling SC + assessment = 30 credits.
- Research Project = 120 credits for MSc by Research.
- APL/APEL also available.
- Any remaining short fall in credits can be made up of standard MSc units offered by the University of Greenwich or other institutions.
- Course attendance options include Full-Time and Part-Time block release modes.
- Course duration full-time NORMALLY 1 YEAR and part-time NORMALLY 2 years.

- Full-time mode:

- normally for students progressing from a just completed BSc or BEng,
- entry into course is usually in January of each year.

- Part-time mode:

- normally for professional engineers working in fire engineering or related discipline.
- candidates usually complete the two short courses PPEM and PPFM and associated assessment in one year and then enrol in the MSc by Research in the following year as a project only student.

MSc Pre-requisites

A first degree is NORMALLY required. Prospective students without a first degree must demonstrate considerable relevant experience in fire safety engineering or equivalent qualification. Please contact Prof Ed Galea for details.

MSc Assessment

This consists of two components:
(1) The main research project is assessed through the student produced thesis. In addition to the thesis, each candidate must undergo a viva.
(2) Each of the two courses PPEM and PPFM are assessed through a combination of project and course work. The project work is undertaken and completed while on the course, with the project report submitted several weeks after completing the course. In addition, each of the two courses have course works which must be completed by the student in their own time and submitted several weeks after completing the course.


APL stands for Accreditation of Prior Learning and APEL stands for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning.
Example APL: Behaviour of people in fires. Course offered by the Fire Service College. This will only be accredited when it can be demonstrated that some form of formal assessment accompanied the course. Simple attendance of a course will not normally qualify for APL.
Example APEL: 5 years experience as a Building Control Surveyor.
Documentary proof of experience/courses is required. Candidates for the MSc who wish to claim APL/APEL are advised to contact Prof Ed Galea and lodge their claim several weeks prior to starting the course.

Nature of research project for MSc by Research

(1) In most cases projects are expected to be work related.

(2) Nature of the project must be agreed between student and Prof Galea/Dr Patel prior to starting the course.

(3) Complete research proposal must be completed and approved prior to enrolling within the MSc by Research.

(4) Project must be completed and submitted by due dates, re-registration may be required for students failing to submit project by due dates.

(5) Project supervisor will be appointed for each student.

(6) Project work is expected to be performed solely by the student, where other people are involved, this must be clearly stated in the project report.

(7) The project should ideally make use of the skills taught on the courses.

(8) The following should be considered as a guide to suitable project areas:

(a) A critical appraisal of how modelling could be used in a performance based code framework, setting out a method of good practice.
(b) Use of modelling techniques to investigate a theoretical problem.
(c) Develop and implement a new sub-component for a model.
(d) Use a combination of modelling and conventional techniques to solve a practical engineering problem.
(e) Perform a detailed critical appraisal of a model or modelling approach.
(f) Enhance a model through data acquisition.

(9) The project may involve additional costs which must be meet by the student or supporting organisation.

(10) It is possible to extend suitable projects into a higher qualification i.e. MPHIL/PhD.