Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Professor of Fire Science



+44 (0)20 7594 7036g.rein Website CV




Ms Eniko Jarecsni +44 (0)20 7594 7029




614City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Guillermo is Professor of Fire Science at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Imperial College London, and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Fire Technology. He is Fellow of the Combustion Institute.

His research is centred on heat transfer, combustion and fire, by the combination of lab experiments and computer models. The purpose of his work is to reduce the worldwide burden of accidental fires and protect people, their property, and the environment. His research portfolio is ample, but over the last 20 years he is best known in three areas: 1) how synthetic polymers and wood ignite so we can prevent fires from starting; 2) how modern materials respond to fire so engineers can design better structures; and 3) how wildfires spread so rural communities can be protected.

He created and leads the research group Imperial Hazelab where he has supervised 16 postdocs and graduated 24 PhD students, 11 of whom have become academics. The group is funded by a wide range of international sponsors, most notably Arup, EPSRC, NIST, H2020 and the European Research Council. Hazelab has been prolific at publishing their work in more than 200 journal papers (Google h-index 62) collecting over 11k citations. 

Guillermo's work has been recognised internationally with a number of scientific awards like the 2020 Research Excellence Award from the Combustion Institute, the 2018 SFPE Guise Medal from the Society of Fire Engineers, or the 2016 Early Career Award for Excellence from the International Association of Wildland Fires.

He is also a motivated teacher, enthusiastic about the education of the next generation of engineers, and passionate about outreach in engineering.

He has been featured in international media (e.g. The Economist, Financial Times, BBC Radio, New York Times). He appeared in the TV documentaries 'Titanic: the New Evidence' and 'The Great Fire of London: In Real Time'.


Guillermo was born in Madrid, Spain, and studied Mechanical Engineering at University of California at Berkeley (MSc 2003, PhD 2005), and before than at ICAI Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (Ingeniero Industrial, MEng1999) and University of Texas at Austin (exchange, 1999). He joined Imperial College in 2012 from a previous academic position at the School of Engineering of the University of Edinburgh (2006-2012).

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Rackauskaite E, Bonner M, Restuccia F, et al., 2022, Fire Experiment Inside a Very Large and Open-Plan Compartment: x-ONE, Fire Technology, Vol:58, ISSN:0015-2684, Pages:905-939

Rein G, Huang X, 2021, Smouldering wildfires in peatlands, forests and the arctic: Challenges and perspectives, Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health, Vol:24, ISSN:2468-5844, Pages:1-10

Richter F, Jervis FX, Huang X, et al., 2021, Effect of oxygen on the burning rate of wood, Combustion and Flame, Vol:234, ISSN:0010-2180

Santoso MA, Cui W, Amin HMF, et al., 2021, Laboratory study on the suppression of smouldering peat wildfires: effects of flow rate and wetting agent, International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol:30, ISSN:1049-8001, Pages:378-390

Purnomo DMJ, Bonner M, Moafi S, et al., 2021, Using cellular automata to simulate field-scale flaming and smouldering wildfires in tropical peatlands, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol:38, ISSN:1540-7489, Pages:5119-5127

Bravo Diaz L, He X, Hu Z, et al., 2020, Review—meta-review of fire safety of lithium-ion batteries: industry challenges and research contributions, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol:167, ISSN:0013-4651, Pages:1-14

Richter F, Rein G, 2020, A multiscale model of wood pyrolysis in fire to study the roles of chemistry and heat transfer at the mesoscale, Combustion and Flame, Vol:216, ISSN:0010-2180, Pages:316-325

Bonner M, Wegrzynski W, Papis BK, et al., 2020, KRESNIK: A top-down, statistical approach to understand the fire performance of building facades using standard test data, Building and Environment, Vol:169, ISSN:0360-1323

Hu Y, Christensen EG, Amin HMF, et al., 2019, Experimental study of moisture content effects on the transient gas and particle emissions from peat fires, Combustion and Flame, Vol:209, ISSN:0010-2180, Pages:408-417

Ronchi E, Gwynne SMV, Rein G, et al., 2019, An open multi-physics framework for modelling wildland-urban interface fire evacuations, Safety Science, Vol:118, ISSN:0925-7535, Pages:868-880

Santoso MA, Christensen EG, Yang J, et al., 2019, Review of the transition From smouldering to flaming combustion in wildfires, Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering, Vol:5, ISSN:2297-3079

Roenner N, Yuan H, Kraemer RH, et al., 2019, Computational study of how inert additives affect the flammability of a polymer, Fire Safety Journal, Vol:106, ISSN:0379-7112, Pages:189-196

huang X, Rein G, 2017, Downward Spread of Smoldering Peat Fire: the Role of Moisture, Density, and Oxygen Supply, International Journal of Wildland Fire, Vol:26, ISSN:1049-8001, Pages:907-918

Rackauskaite E, Kotsovinos P, Jeffers A, et al., 2017, Structural analysis of multi-story steel frames exposed to travelling fires and tradition design fires, Engineering Structures, Vol:150, ISSN:1873-7323, Pages:271-287

Rein G, Huang X, Restuccia F, et al., 2017, Detection of landmines in peat soils by controlled smouldering combustion: Experimental proof of concept of O-Revealer, Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science, Vol:88, ISSN:0894-1777, Pages:632-638

Restuccia F, Huang X, Rein G, 2017, Self-ignition of natural fuels: can wildfires of carbon-rich soil start by self-heating?, Fire Safety Journal, Vol:91, ISSN:1873-7226, Pages:828-834

Huang X, Restuccia F, Gramola M, et al., 2016, Experimental study of the formation and collapse of an overhang in the lateral spread of smouldering peat fires, Combustion and Flame, Vol:168, ISSN:0010-2180, Pages:393-402

Rackauskaite E, Rein G, 2016, Corrigendum to "Improved formulation of travelling fires and application to concrete and steel structures" [Structures 3 (2015) 250-260], Structures, Vol:6, ISSN:2352-0124, Pages:182-182

Huang X, Rein G, 2016, Thermochemical Conversion of Biomass in Smouldering Combustion across Scales: the Roles of Heterogeneous Kinetics, Oxygen and Transport Phenomena, Bioresource Technology, Vol:207, ISSN:1873-2976, Pages:409-421

Vermesi I, Roenner N, Pironi P, et al., 2016, Pyrolysis and ignition of a polymer by transient irradiation, Combustion and Flame, Vol:163, ISSN:0010-2180, Pages:31-41

Rackauskaite E, Hamel C, Law A, et al., 2015, Improved formulation of travelling fires and application to concrete and steel structures, Structures, Vol:3, ISSN:2352-0124, Pages:250-260

Huang X, Rein G, Chen H, 2015, Computational smoldering combustion: Predicting the roles of moisture and inert contents in peat wildfires, Symposium (International) on Combustion, Vol:35, ISSN:0082-0784, Pages:2673-2681

Turetsky MR, Benscoter B, Page S, et al., 2015, Global vulnerability of peatlands to fire and carbon loss, Nature Geoscience, Vol:8, ISSN:1752-0894, Pages:11-14

Li K-Y, Huang X, Fleischmann C, et al., 2014, Pyrolysis of Medium-Density Fiberboard: Optimized Search for Kinetics Scheme and Parameters via a Genetic Algorithm Driven by Kissinger's Method, Energy & Fuels, Vol:28, ISSN:1520-5029, Pages:6130-6139

Huang X, Rein G, 2014, Smouldering combustion of peat in wildfires: Inverse modelling of the drying and the thermal and oxidative decomposition kinetics, Combustion and Flame, Vol:161, ISSN:0010-2180, Pages:1633-1644

Rios O, Jahn W, Rein G, 2014, Forecasting wind-driven wildfires using an inverse modelling approach, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, Vol:14, ISSN:1561-8633, Pages:1491-1503

Bal N, Rein G, 2013, Relevant model complexity for non-charring polymer pyrolysis, Fire Safety Journal, Vol:61, ISSN:0379-7112, Pages:36-44

Hadden RM, Rein G, Belcher CM, 2013, Study of the competing chemical reactions in the initiation and spread of smouldering combustion in peat, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol:34, ISSN:1540-7489, Pages:2547-2553

Stern-Gottfried J, Rein G, 2012, Travelling fires for structural design-Part II: Design methodology, Fire Safety Journal, Vol:54, ISSN:0379-7112, Pages:96-112

MacPhee SL, Gerhard JI, Rein G, 2012, A novel method for simulating smoldering propagation and its application to STAR (Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation), Environmental Modelling & Software, Vol:31, ISSN:1364-8152, Pages:84-98

Jahn W, Rein G, Torero JL, 2012, Forecasting fire dynamics using inverse computational fluid dynamics and tangent linearisation, Advances in Engineering Software, Vol:47, ISSN:0965-9978, Pages:114-126

Hadden R, Alkatib A, Rein G, et al., 2012, Radiant Ignition of Polyurethane Foam: The Effect of Sample Size, Fire Technology, ISSN:0015-2684, Pages:1-19

Colella F, Rein G, Verda V, et al., 2011, Multiscale modeling of transient flows from fire and ventilation in long tunnels, Computers & Fluids, Vol:51, ISSN:0045-7930, Pages:16-29

Bal N, Rein G, 2011, Numerical investigation of the ignition delay time of a translucent solid at high radiant heat fluxes, Combustion and Flame, Vol:158, ISSN:0010-2180, Pages:1109-1116

Law A, Stern-Gottfried J, Gillie M, et al., 2011, The influence of travelling fires on a concrete frame, Engineering Structures, Vol:33, ISSN:0141-0296, Pages:1635-1642

Jahn W, Rein G, Torero JL, 2011, Forecasting fire growth using an inverse zone modelling approach, Fire Safety Journal, Vol:46, ISSN:0379-7112, Pages:81-88

Colella F, Rein G, Torero JL, et al., 2011, A Novel Multiscale Methodology for Simulating Tunnel Ventilation Flows During Fires, Fire Technology, Vol:47, ISSN:0015-2684, Pages:221-253

Belcher CM, Yearsley JM, Hadden RM, et al., 2010, Baseline intrinsic flammability of Earth’s ecosystems estimated from paleoatmospheric oxygen over the past 350 million years, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol:107, Pages:22448-22453

Cowlard A, Jahn W, Abecassis-Empis C, et al., 2010, Sensor Assisted Fire Fighting, Fire Technology, Vol:46, ISSN:0015-2684, Pages:719-741

Belcher CM, Mander L, Rein G, et al., 2010, Increased fire activity at the Triassic/Jurassic boundary in Greenland due to climate-driven floral change, Nature Geoscience, Vol:3, ISSN:1752-0894, Pages:426-429

Rein G, Torero JL, Jahn W, et al., 2009, Round-robin study of <i>a priori</i> modelling predictions of the Dalmarnock Fire Test One, Fire Safety Journal, Vol:44, ISSN:0379-7112, Pages:590-602

Rein G, 2009, Smouldering Combustion Phenomena in Science and Technology, International Review of Chemical Engineering, Vol:1, Pages:3-18

Rein G, Cohen S, Simeoni A, 2009, Carbon emissions from smouldering peat in shallow and strong fronts, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol:32, ISSN:1540-7489, Pages:2489-2496

Rein G, Cleaver N, Ashton C, et al., 2008, The Severity of Smouldering Peat Fires andDamage to the Forest Soil, Catena, Vol:74, ISSN:1872-6887, Pages:304-309

Rein G, Fernandez-Pello AC, Urban DL, 2007, Computational model of forward and opposed smoldering combustion in microgravity, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, Vol:31, ISSN:1540-7489, Pages:2677-2684

Rein G, Lautenberger C, Fernandez-Pello AC, et al., 2006, Application of genetic algorithms and thermogravimetry to determine the kinetics of polyurethane foam in smoldering combustion, Combustion and Flame, Vol:146, ISSN:0010-2180, Pages:95-108

Lautenberger C, Rein G, Fernandez-Pello C, 2006, The application of a genetic algorithm to estimate material properties for fire modeling from bench-scale fire test data, Fire Safety Journal, Vol:41, ISSN:0379-7112, Pages:204-214

Leach SV, Rein G, Ellzey JL, et al., 2000, Kinetic and fuel property effects on forward smoldering combustion, Combustion and Flame, Vol:120, ISSN:0010-2180, Pages:346-358

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