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Prediction of the collapse of high rise buildings in the event of extreme fires by the means of high-fidelity CFD-FEM tools

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Extreme fire events such as those in World Trade Centre in 2001 and the Grenfell Tower in London caused loss of lots of life and resources and distress in national and international scales. Such incidents can happen again in the future, especially in developing countries where many people are living in poorly made multi storey buildings. A major problem with a fire in highly inhabited buildings is the evacuation of the people in a safe and timely manner. In principle, once a building is subjected to an extreme rate of heat from a fire, it should maintain its integrity at least during the evacuation time. For this reason, it is fundamentally important to develop predictive tools to identify the most vulnerable elements of a building and the onset of any potential collapse. In this project, we will develop a state-of-the-area numerical tools by combining Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and the Finite Element Methods (FEM) to perform numerical experiments. The goals of the project are to identify the worst-case fire scenarios and the most critical components of a building. We will use advanced combustion and radiation modelling approaches to obtain detailed information of the local and temporal temperature distribution, and the thermal loads in the structure. This information is then passed to a FEM software to analyse the response of the structure to the calculated thermal loads. Results of this project create a framework to conduct CFD-FEM analysis of buildings at the event of extreme fires. This study generates vital knowledge and computational tools that is required in quantitative risk assessments of existing buildings, and the design of future safer constructions.
The University of Birmingham is looking to recruit a highly motivated graduate with an engineering or mathematical background to undertake this research.  You will be working alongside a highly experience team who are known for the quality of their research and creative approach to problem solving.  Applicants are encouraged to send a CV Dr Medhi Jiang () before making a formal application.

Funding Notes

There is a competitive funding opportunity for a bursary if an applicant is one of the best students who apply across the school (for many different projects). This is highly competitive and would, at best, only partially cover overseas student registration fees. Paid work in the UK during a full-time degree is restricted to a maximum number of hours per week and therefore is unlikely to cover what is required. Therefore an independent source of funding is required for overseas students from outside the EU.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Mechanical Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 21.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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