Fire Lab (U of Eduinbrugh)

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From left to right, Max, Mohamed,Simon,Pasquale and Nemer during the pool fire experiment

Last two blogs, I used to write about the main entertainment part of our master which is travelling around Europe.

This time I am going to write about the academic side of the IMFSE experience. As I am spending my third semester at the University of Edinburgh so I am taking four different interesting courses; The Fire Lab, Finite Element methods for solid and structures, Fire Safety Engineering and Society and Structural design for fire.

This blog, I will focus on the Fire Lab, the fire lab is supervised by Dr. Rory Hadden and the teaching assistant Simone Santamaria. It is good to note that Simon is a PhD student at Rory`s group and he is also an IMFSE Alumni.

The purpose of the fire lab is to help the students to understand the different experimental setups and techniques used in fire safety engineering. In addition to that, it increases the knowledge about the main standard tests used, its applications and also limitations.

During this course, we have five different sessions in the following order:

  1. Spontaneous ignition.
  2. Flash Point and Fire Point.
  3. Ignition of Solids and heat release rate.
  4. Flame Spread.
  5. Pool fire correlations.

Usually the lab session starts with a discussion between the students and the teacher about the pre-prepared risk and verbal assessments. For the risk assessment, we are expected to think about the experimental setup and what are the main risks that we could point out and also how to decrease its risk`s level. For the verbal assessment, we should read some literature about the experimental setup, the purpose of the test and what are the targeted measurements.

Despite the fact that we are usually serious when dealing with such experiments, we also usually have some fun and take nice pictures for the flames and the ignited objects. Here are some nice pictures from the lab sessions this semester:

According to Simon, the cone calorimeter that we are using in our experiments is the same as that was used by Prof.Dougal Drysdale who consider one of the main scientists in the fire safety topic and he is also the author of the standard reference text ‘ An Introduction to Fire Dynamics’.

Here is a picture of the Cone Calorimeter:

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The Cone Calorimeter in the Fire Lab at the University of Eduinbrugh

Here, you can find more about the courses of the IMFSE.

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