Fields of Study
We create knowledge to protect ecosystems and the environment. For example, we are pioneers in tackling smouldering megafires, the largest fires on Earth destroying essential peatland ecosystems. They release annually 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is an emerging research topic related to climate change mitigation. Our work in this topic has yielded new fundamental knowledge on how these fire ignite, spread and can be suppressed.
Our main sponsors are EPSRC and ERC (2016 Consolidator Grant).
Our research is changing how buildings are designed for fire safety. For example, we pioneered the design concept of travelling fires, a novel way to account for the fact that fires in buildings spread and do not burn uniformly over large enclosures, as traditionally assumed. The resulting design methodology has been applied by Arup, Buro Happold and AECOM on 39 iconic UK buildings (e.g. Battersea Power Plant and New Ludgate). Our main sponsors are Arup, EPSRC, CERIB and SFPE.
We study how materials ignite and how to avoid it. For example, we have developed computational and experimental expertise in quantifying the heat transfer mechanisms involved in flame retardants of polymers. This is important because the flame retardants have a big global market but are currently based on exploiting chemical principles alone, whereas heat transfer has been traditionally ignored. Our work shows that heat transfer plays different and substantial roles and can be used to design new fire safe materials.
Our main sponsors are BASF and FM Global.