Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Mechanical Engineering

Research Associate







609City and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus





Matthew is a Research Assistant in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, studying fires in the external walls (the facade) of tall buildings.

Matthew completed his PhD viva in Feb 2021, on the topic: A Top-Down Approach to Study the Fire Performance of Building Facades Using Standard Test Data. The work was funded by Arup and EPSRC and focused on improving the fire safety and design of building facades using smart algorithms. Matthew was awarded the Society of Fire Protection Engineers Student Scholar Award in November 2020 for this research.

During his research, he has combined knowledge from the fields of optimisation, heat transfer, statistics, and machine learning. In his free time he enjoys writing and performing music and comedy.


M. Heidari, E. Rackauskaite, M. Bonner, et al., Fire experiments inside a very large and open-plan compartment: x-TWO, 11th International Conference on Structures in Fire (SiF2020), 2020,

D. Purnomo, M. Bonner, S. Moafi, G. Rein, Using cellular automata to simulate field-scale flaming and smouldering wildfires in tropical peatlands, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 2020,

M. Bonner, W. Wegrzynski, B. Papis, G. Rein, Kresnik: A top-down, statistical approach to understand the fire performance of building facades using standard test data, Building and Environment, 2019.

D. Purnomo, F. Richter, M. Bonner, R. Vaidyanathan, G. Rein, Role of optimisation method on kinetic inverse modelling of biomass pyrolysis at the miscroscale, Fuel 261, 2019.

M. Bonner, G. Rein, Flammability and multi-objective performance of building facades: towards optimum design, International Journal of High-Rise Buildings 7, 2018.