0

SFPE Foundation Awards First Annual Dr. Guylène Proulx, OC Scholarship to Robert Brown

sfpe_foundation_logo_color_faThe SFPE Foundation announced that the first annual Dr. Guylène Proulx, OC Scholarship has been awarded to Robert Brown, a PhD candidate at University of Greenwich, London, UK. This award was established in 2014 in honor of Dr. Guylène Proulx, an outstanding researcher in human factors and human behavior related to fire, and a passionate advocate for fire safety awareness. Her enduring legacy is the body of her research work, as well as the future research this annual grant will enable.

The grant will go towards funding Mr. Brown’s PhD project entitled “Collection, Analysis and Implementation of Human Performance Data from Planned Assembly Trials on Passenger Ships at Sea.” Despite continual improvements in ship structural design, operational practices, onboard technology and regulations, accidents involving capsize, sinking or fire still occur, resulting in the need to evacuate passenger ships. When such evacuations are necessary, the results are often devastating, with loss of life, sometimes numbering in the hundreds. The objectives of this research project were to plan and conduct semi-unannounced assembly exercises onboard large passenger ships, to collect data on passenger performance during the exercises in order to quantify response time and assembly time, to use the datasets collected to characterize the nature of passenger response times on the different ships and in different areas onboard, and to develop a method for validating evacuation models and demonstrate the impact of the new response time distributions on total assembly time in evacuation simulations.

The research undertaken in this project is novel both in the way that datasets have been collected and the knowledge gaps that have been addressed by the results. This dataset represents the largest, most comprehensive response time dataset ever collected on land or sea. The movement data collected has produced two comprehensive validation datasets for ship evacuation models, the only ship evacuation model validation sets currently available. Analysis of the data has provided important new information regarding the nature of passenger response to alarms and has shown that complex experiments can be planned successfully and executed safely to characterize the individual paths passengers take during the assembly process onboard large passenger ships. A paper coauthored by Mr. Brown and other members of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at University of Greenwich team, describing one of the datasets collected on the project, won the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) Medal of Distinction in 2014.

Edwin Galea, CAA professor in Mathematical Modelling and Director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at University of Greenwich, is supervising this research project. The results of the study will be presented at a future SFPE conference.

“Rob and the project SAFEGUARD team are deeply honored by this award. The SAFEGUARD project involved understanding and quantifying human behavior in emergency situations and using that knowledge to improve life safety. Rob Brown’s significant contributions to the development of a novel automatic person tracking system, based on infrared technology, enabled the collection of large human performance datasets, which would have been impractical using conventional methods,” said Professor Galea.

“Dr. Guylène Proulx was an inspiration to us all, and we can think of no better tribute to her legacy than making the world a safer place in her name. To this end, the unique data produced by SAFEGUARD has been submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for consideration in updating international regulations of large passenger ship evacuation safety.”

“Guylène Proulx was considered by all who knew her to be one of the preeminent researchers in the field of human behavior in emergencies. This project honors her legacy by building on Professor Galea’s SAFEGUARD passenger evacuation research and holds the potential to save lives,” said April Hammond-Berkol, Chair of the SFPE Foundation’s Board of Governors. For more information about the grant or to make a donation to the foundation, visit the SFPE Foundation website.

 

0

SFPE Member Webinar: Post-Earthquake Fire Performance of Buildings

MEMBER ONLY WEBINAR (2)

On Monday, May 18, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m EDT, SFPE will hold a members-only Innovation Series webinar on Post-Earthquake Fire Performance of Buildings. The webinar will be presented byBrian Meacham, Ph.D., P.E., CEng, FIFireE, FSFPE, Associate Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Participants will receive 1 professional development hour (PDH).

History has shown that post-earthquake fire can be devastating, resulting in more impact than the earthquake itself. Until recently, however, the investigation of post-earthquake fire performance of buildings has largely been ignored. Given that earthquake engineers are not required to explicitly consider post-earthquake fire, and fire protection engineers are not required to explicitly assume earthquake damage as an initial condition for fire performance analysis, this is a significant concern.

In order to obtain a better understanding of post-earthquake fire performance of buildings, and how that information could be integrated into a risk-informed performance-based approach to fire safety design of buildings, a full-scale, five-story reinforced concrete building specimen was erected on the Large Outdoor High Performance Shake Table (LHPOST) at the University of California, San Diego, outfitted with various nonstructural components and systems (NCSs), and subjected to a series of earthquake motions and compartment-scale fires.

Outcomes of the experiments illustrate the extent of damage to building fire safety systems, including compartment barriers, façade systems, egress systems and active fire protection systems. Post experiment analysis illustrates how such damage could impact occupant life safety and emergency response during fires in earthquake-damaged buildings, and how the understanding of expected earthquake damage could be integrated into a risk-informed performance-based approach to building fire safety design in earthquake prone areas. An overview of the experimental program, outcomes from the test series, and implications for building fire performance design will be presented.

Innovation Series webinars are an exclusive series of online technical sessions focused on helping SFPE members strengthen professional skills and stay on top of industry trends. Professional expert instructors lead the webinars, highlighting the latest technical developments in the field.

Members will receive an email with registration information for the webinar. Not a member yet but interested in joining to take advantage of great benefits like the Innovation Series webinars, among many others? Visit the SFPE website to learn more and join today.

0

SFPE Website Update and Planned Payment System Outage 5/18/15 to 5/26/15

sfpe annoucement

In an effort to best serve members across the globe, SFPE has been working hard to upgrade our member database and website. The new website will feature a clean, mobile-responsive design, which will make it easy to access SFPE information and resources anytime, from any device. In the next few months we will be building out additional features, including members-only content, discussion groups and more.

In order to transition from the old system to the new, we must temporarily shut down all online payment functionality. From 12:01 am on Monday, May 18 until 9:00 am EDT on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, we will be unable to process any online payments, including dues payments, event registrations and store purchases. On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, we should be able to resume transactions in the new system.

If you plan to register for SFPE events, renew your dues or make any purchases from the SFPE bookstore, please do so prior to May 18 or after May 26. Or, contact Kendall Talbert at ktalbert@sfpe.org or 301-915-9722 to process your transaction off-line.

We appreciate your patience as we work to upgrade our technology to provide the best possible online experience.

0

SFPE Foundation Awards Student Research Grant to the Imperial College London

Funds to go towards computational study of the structural response of steel and concrete buildings to the fire exposure defined by the new travelling fires methodology

The SFPE Foundation announced that a Student Research Grant has been awarded to Egle Rackauskaite, a PhD candidate at Imperial College London. The Foundation offers grants in support of baccalaureate, masters and doctoral student research projects in fire safety science or fire protection engineering. In this case, the awarded funds will go towards creating a collaboration between the Imperial College London and the University of Michigan to investigate and compare the structural response of steel frames and concrete frames to travelling fires. Egle’s work will capture the fire heterogeneity effect on the structural response and quantify it in a probabilistic framework. This would allow identifying the critical fires that could lead to the most severe conditions for the structures.

“Innovative architectural designs of new high rise structures already pose a challenge to engineers,” said Ms. Rackauskaite in her application for this grant. “This is above all the case in structural fire protection engineering. Understanding of fundamental mechanisms of whole building behaviour in fire has significantly increased in the last decades; however, most of this understanding is based on the assumption of uniform fires in a compartment. Recent work has shown that while the uniform fire assumption may be suitable for small enclosures, the large, open-plan compartments, typical of modern architecture, do not burn simultaneously throughout the whole enclosure. Instead, these fires tend to move across the floor plates as flames spread, burning over a limited area at any one time. These fires are referred to as travelling fires”. Dr. Guillermo Rein, Imperial College London, UK and supervisor of Egle, added “Travelling fires challenge the design assumptions made in most design codes. Understanding the effects of travelling fires on structures is important for the development of modern future cities with increased resilience to fire.”

Dr. Ann Jeffers, University of Michigan, USA, will co-supervise this research project. The results of the study will be presented at a future SFPE conference and submitted for consideration to the SFPE/NFPA journal Fire Technology.

“Understanding the effects of travelling fires in modern buildings is extremely important both today and for planning of future architectural development in cities,” said April Hammond-Berkol, Chair of the SFPE Foundation’s Board of Governors. “This research project will help advance the field of structural fire engineering to better protect people in future cities.” For more information about the grant or to make a donation to the foundation, visit the SFPE website.

0

SFPE Europe Conference is Just Over a Month Away–Join us in Copenhagen!

2015 Europe conf sm logo

There’s just over a month until the SFPE Europe Conference on Fire Safety Engineering in Copenhagen, Denmark, 4-5 June. Register now and book your hotel room for this don’t-miss event.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers banner

The SFPE Europe Conference offers unparalleled educational opportunities including:

  • A two-day seminar prior to the conference, Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering. On Tuesday-Wednesday, 2-3 June, we are offering a seminar on Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering. This seminar has been developed in cooperation between the Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety at Lund University, Sweden, and NFPA, USA. Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering will include a wide variety of topics such as human behavior theories, emergency exit design, evacuation elevators, toxicology, pedestrian dynamics, egress modeling and selection of evacuation scenarios. For more information on this pre-conference seminar, visit the conference website.​
  • A unique educational program featuring leaders in the field sharing cutting-edge practices in fire protection engineering and fire safety. Keynote speakers include Greg Baker, Chief Scientist, SP Fire Research; Anne Dederichs, Head of Studies, Master of Fire Safety, Technical University of Denmark; Graham Spinardi Ph.D., Science Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh Research and Emanuele Gissi, Ph.D.,MEng., Vice Dirigente, Ministero dell’Interno, Corpo nazionale dei Vigili del fuoco(Fire and Rescue Service). The complete list of sessions and speakers is available here.
  • Poster presentations will be showcased during the Welcome Reception on 3 June. Here are details on the dynamic posters that will be featured.

Interested in exhibiting or sponsoring? Complete details and application can be found here [PDF].

For more information about attending, exhibiting or sponsoring this event, contact Melissa Franco at +1 301-915-9724 or mfranco@sfpe.org.

0

SFPE Member Webinar: Proper Use of CFD Models

SFPE member webinar April 27, 2015

On Monday, April 27, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m EDT, SFPE will hold a members-only webinar on Proper Use of CFD Models. The webinar will be presented by Daniel Rosberg, Technical Director, WSP Fire & Risk. Participants will receive 1 professional development hour (PDH).

During 2012-2013 the Swedish sub-chapter to the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (Chapter 47, BIV) performed a project to develop a best practice guideline to ensure better use of CFD-modeling when performing ASET-analyses.

The project was initiated in conjunction to new building regulations were introduced in Sweden. The new regulations presents among other things general recommendations on performance-based design of a building’s fire protection. The recommendations define for example what fire scenarios to analyze and which values to use when performing an ASET analysis. There are tabulated values for heat release rate, growth rate as well as soot yield and heat of combustion for different design fire scenarios and type of occupancy. However the recommendation does not give any further guidance how to model a fire with these attributes in a fire model, e.g. FDS.

To increase the knowledge and ability to handle the new requirements and to improve the quality when performing ASET- analyses with advanced fire models, a guideline was developed.

The guideline discusses issues such as work methodology, (how, when and what), fire and calculation characteristics, impact of building geometry, smoke gas ventilation, and post processing of output data.

The work in the project was carried out similar to the development of open-source codes, standardizing committees and how the SFPE-organizations work with the development of guidelines. The project was completely non-profit and the project group consisted of 8 members with represented consultants, academics and research institutes.

Innovation Series webinars are an exclusive series of online technical sessions focused on helping SFPE members strengthen professional skills and stay on top of industry trends. Professional expert instructors lead the webinars, highlighting the latest technical developments in the field.

Members will receive an email with registration information for the webinar. Not a member yet but interested in joining to take advantage of great benefits like the Innovation Series webinars, among many others? Visit the SFPE website to learn more and join today.

0

Important Constitution and Bylaws Revision Ballot Information 

sfpe annoucement

If you are a voting member of SFPE, you should have received an email containing information about the SFPE Constitution and Bylaws revision that is currently up for member vote. This revision has been proposed after much work by the Board of Directors and has been reviewed by legal counsel and a professional registered parliamentarian.

Please cast your vote to help us update our governing documents to enable us to be a more contemporary association empowered to meet the needs of current and future members. You can review the revised Constitution and Bylaws document here. We have also created this FAQ document that provides more information about what the consolidation of these two documents entails. Additionally, SFPE President Michael Madden will be hosting a webinar to respond to questions and concerns the membership may have as well as provide more details on why this revision will strengthen our organization. We will announce details about the webinar once the date and time have been confirmed.

0

Only 3 Days Until Early-Bird Registration Ends for SFPE Europe Conference

2015 Europe conf sm logo

 

Thinking about attending SFPE Europe Conference on Fire Safety Engineering in Copenhagen, Denmark, 4-5 June? Don’t delay—the early-bird discount registration rate and hotel cut-off both end on Monday, 20 April 2015. Register today  and book your hotel room to secure the best rates for this don’t-miss event.

The SFPE Europe Conference offers unparalleled educational opportunities including:

  • A two-day seminar prior to the conference, Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering. On Tuesday-Wednesday, 2-3 June, we are offering a seminar on Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering. This seminar has been developed in cooperation between the Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety at Lund University, Sweden, and NFPA, USA. Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering will include a wide variety of topics such as human behavior theories, emergency exit design, evacuation elevators, toxicology, pedestrian dynamics, egress modeling and selection of evacuation scenarios. For more information on this pre-conference seminar, visit the conference website.
  • A unique educational program featuring leaders in the field sharing cutting-edge practices in fire protection engineering and fire safety. Keynote speakers include Greg Baker, Chief Scientist, SP Fire Research; Anne Dederichs, Head of Studies, Master of Fire Safety, Technical University of Denmark; Graham Spinardi, Ph.D., Science Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh Research and Emanuele Gissi, Ph.D., MEng., Vice Dirigente, Ministero dell’Interno, Corpo nazionale dei Vigili del fuoco (Fire and Rescue Service. The complete list of sessions and speakers is available here.
  • Poster presentations will be showcased during the Welcome Reception on 3 June. Details on the dynamic posters that will be featured are available here.

Hotel

Please support SFPE by staying at the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers. A discounted guest room rate of DKK 1,325 has been negotiated for all conference attendees, but it is only available until Monday, 20 April 2015. To make your reservation, book online here. SFPE must guarantee hotel rooms to secure meeting space, so by choosing to stay in the conference hotel, you’re helping make it possible for SFPE to deliver quality educational programs to advance the profession.

Exhibit & Sponsor Opportunities Still Available

Complete details and application can be found here [PDF].

For more information about attending, exhibiting or sponsoring this event, contact Melissa Franco at +1 301-915-9724 or mfranco@sfpe.org.

0

Poster Session and Pre-Conference Workshop At SFPE Europe

ECCG june

Did you know that in addition to the rich educational program featuring industry-leading presentations, the SFPE Europe Conference will also feature a Poster Session and a pre-conference seminar?

On Tuesday-Wednesday, 2-3 June, we are offering a seminar on Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering. This seminar has been developed in cooperation between the Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety at Lund University, Sweden, and NFPA, USA. Evacuation for Fire Safety Engineering will include a wide variety of topics such as human behavior theories, emergency exit design, evacuation elevators, toxicology, pedestrian dynamics, egress modeling and selection of evacuation scenarios. After completion of the seminar, the participants will also have a basic understanding of pedestrian dynamics, and understand different egress modelling approaches (network, grid and continuous models) and their limitations.For more information on this event seminar, visit the conference website.

In addition to the rich educational program featuring industry-leading presentations at SFPE Europe, the Welcome Reception on 3 June will feature the following dynamic poster presentations:

  • Impact of Smoke Compartment Size on Horizontal Evacuation Time in Healthcare Facilities, Mary Long, Graduate Student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI); Drew Martin, Graduate Student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
  • A Methodology to Determine Fire Safe Exhibition Areas in Large, Geometrically Complex Hall, A.D. (Tony) Lemaire, M.Sc., Senior Project Leader, Efectis Nederland
  • Assessing the Environmental Impact of Building and Wildland Fires, Drew Martin, Graduate Student, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI); Brian Meacham, Ph.D., PE, CEng, FIFireE, FSFPE,  Associate Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)
  • Steel Shear Connections Behavior in Composite Floor Systems Under Fire Loading, Tugba Özdemir Mazlum, M.Sc., Civil Engineer, Boğaziçi University
  • Fire Safety in Timber Buildings, Birgit Östman, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
  • Performance Based Fire Engineering – ASET v RSET, Chris Taylor, PG, B.Sc., Senior Fire Engineering, Ramboll
  • Automatic Intensive Warehouse Fire Suppression System Modeled Using Fire Safety Engineering CFD Simulation With automatic Targeting Water Monitors System, Vincenzo Cascioli, Ph.D., Ing., Fire Safety Engineering Specialist, ING. EN. I.A. Gruppo Professionisti Associati; Danilo Marcelli, Ph.D., Director, ING. EN. I.A. Gruppo Professionisti Associati; Michele Urbani, Ph.D., Ing., Safety Engineer, ING. EN. I.A. Gruppo Professionisti Associati; Donato Fabbricatore, Ph.D., Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Corpo Nazionale Vigili del Fuoco (CNVVF) – National Fire Corps
  • Fire Safety Academic Education at University Level in Spain: The Growing Case of Catalonia, Oriol Rios, Ph.D. Candidate, Polytechnic University
  • An Evacuation Model Based on a Continuous Approach, Grégoire Pianet, Ph.D., Study & Modeling Section Manager, Groupe CNP

If you haven’t already registered, don’t delay–register today to secure discount early-bird registration rates and book your hotel room. Early-bird registration ends Monday, 20 April, so act now–and we hope to see you in Copenhagen!

0

In Memoriam: Richard Morley

SFPE Past President and Member for Life, Richard Morley, FSFPE, passed away on January 18, 2015. Richard served as SFPE President in 1992 and worked as a fire protection engineer for FM Global for 30 years. In 2000, he was a recipient of the John J. Ahern President’s Award, an award that honors individuals whose conspicuous contributions deserve very special recognition by SFPE and its leadership.