A collage of theses at Lund University.

These last weeks in Sweden have been kind of intense with submissions and exams but not only for us the freshmen but for seniors as well. Four of the IMFSE seniors did their thesis at Lund University, Alejandra, Darko, Juan, and Melchior. Each of them had a limited time to present their work to the public and then they had to answer questions that the examiner, opponents, and the public might have (it sounds scary to me but I’ll have to deal with it next year, hopefully, :D).

In this blog I’ ll give a short “presentation” about these four theses but if you are more interested in any of the topics you can drop an email to these guys and they will be happy to help J.

Alejandra Velasco: “My thesis was about the effect of fatigue during deep metro evacuation and its implication on evacuation modeling tools. Metro stations are widely used and their usage is increasing over the years. Few studies can be found concerning the implication of fatigue, therefore, keeping in mind this particular knowledge gap and by merging two science fields, fire safety engineering, and ergonomics. The purpose of my thesis was to determine how people’s evacuation performance is affected by carrying weight (8 kg) while performing a stair-climbing exercise.

A laboratory experiment was conducted, in which participants performed three different experimental sessions. The first test that participants had to perform was a sub-maximal test and the other two sections were stair-climbing exercises, in one of the tests the participant had an additional weight of 8 kg. As well I used evacuation modeling tools and it is necessary that they put an effort to include fatigue into evacuation modeling tools so that it can resemble more accurately a natural human response”

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I had as well the chance to participate in Alejandra’s experiment, and as you can see in the picture after a couple of minutes climbing with a backpack I was tired, I guess this is called fatigue J.

Darko Perovic: “My thesis was in collaboration with CERN and the aim was to better understand the potential fire behavior of most common combustible items present in CERN’s facilities. After a detailed literature review of fires in electronic cabinets, I developed an Excel calculator for obtaining a design fire in any number of cabinets/racks. Since there are not many literatures for small vehicles in fire, I introduced as well suggestions on how to address the fires used at CERN. The second part of my thesis is designed to explore and test suitable techniques that CERN might use with the goal of characterizing smoke production by common cables and insulating oils used in their premises. Hence, this thesis tries to present the state of art in the mentioned fields and to use the knowledge obtained in literature and by conducting experiments with a goal of further familiarizing with hazards common for nuclear facilities.”

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Juan Manuel Chaves: “My thesis is an experimental study on effective width through openings using Kinect. The effective width model was introduced to show how the flow was linearly proportional to the effective width on stairwells accounting for the edge effect as well as lateral body sway. A fundamental part of this model is the use of effective width for each specific section of the evacuation route being analyzed. In my experiments, I used the Kinect v2 sensor as a tool to measure the dimensions of the boundary layer on three simple scenarios considering low-density flows. Two experiments were  performed an individual and a group one, the first aimed at calibration and unimpeded walking behavior analysis and the latter aimed to provide valuable data to analyze the dimensions of the boundary layer in openings when considering simple low-density flows in the selected configurations. As a conclusion, the boundary layer changes its dimension depending on the width of the opening.”

Melchior Schepers: “In my thesis, I researched the possibility of using FDS and its HVAC module for multi-scale modeling of fire and smoke spread in the LHC accelerator in use at CERN. Multi-scale modeling is a novel approach to fire modeling in situations where the size of the domain prevents it from being modeled completely in 3D. By splitting the domain between a 1D and 3D portion, multi-scale modeling allows for much faster simulations which still adhere to the correct boundary conditions. In my thesis, I built a model representing one section of the LHC tunnel and subsequently subjected it to a number of sensitivity analyses. This led to some remarkable results such as the fact that the simulation results were relatively insensitive to a bunch of parameters, both in the 1D and 3D domain. In the end, it was a really interesting topic, but I also learned that a lot more research in this particular field is needed.”

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Quite interesting topics don’t you think? I wish all the IMFSE seniors good luck with the graduation and best of luck in your career as future FSE :).




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