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Structures Fire Behaviour and Protections Fire Performance

   Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment

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  Prof A Nadjai, Prof F Ali, Dr Naveed Alam, Dr J Zhang  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The principal thrust is the experimental evaluation of the structural behaviour in fire of a variety of materials and structural assemblies. The focus is on the principal building materials i.e. steel, concrete, brickwork, timber, fiber reinforced plastic “FRP”, flooring systems, facades glazing panel systems and compartmentation. The second thrust is the study of the correlation between thermo-structural response and the quantification of thermal onslaught and transmission, seeking definitions of fire severity on structures. Fire testing studies examined furnace severity in both the large-scale and indicative furnaces at FireSERT, complying with European Standards, enable direct correlation to end user needs.

In examining the behaviour of structural assemblies in fire, the principal objective of FireSERT’s research is to use experimental parametric studies to provide comprehensive scale model test data. This informs design guidance within a limit state philosophy (parametric experimental data linked to computer simulations forming the basis of statistical and sensitivity analyses). For cost effective research FireSERT also have several small purposes designed furnaces for this research work.

The Structural Fire Engineering Current Principal Research Programmes Focus On:

1-Modular Building System Fire Performance

2- Precast concrete sandwich panel walls Fire Resistance

3- Behaviour of Glazing Façade Panel System in Tall Buildings

4-Experimental and Numerical study on Fire Performance Steel Joints

5-Experimental and Analysis of spread/travelling interacting steel structures.

6-Fire resistance of Ultra high strength concrete columns, beams and slabs

7-Fire behaviour of composite flooring/offshore platform systems and protections

8-Earthquake and fire in buildings

9- Tunnels and transportation vehicles fire impact

10- Coupling method for FEA and CFD modelling of structure behaviour in fire

​FireSERT has state of the art research facilities which are virtually unique within a university setting. These include a 600m2 burn hall which houses a range of calorimeters including a ten-megawatt facility for full-scale research. Large-scale combination wall and floor furnaces together with intermediate/small scale furnaces facilitate experimental research and product development.

Equipment to be used in this project is listed as: crane, data logging systems, thermocouples, LVDTS, large furnace, load cells, hydraulic loading equipment, dynamic loading equipment. Concrete lab including using concrete mixers, vibrating table, curing tanks.

FireSERT has collaborated with a number of national and international organisations and is currently involved in deferent projects linked with European, industrial and building control partners in the sustainability and resilient buildings.  FireSERT's unique data was used by British Steel to press the UK case regarding the plate thermometer in European harmonisation debates. FireSERT possess the only heat flux-time curves for the Cardington LBTF full scale compartment fire tests and the NFSC2 compartment tests and recently conducted large scale fire compartment for long cellular beams with a recent development of new Eurocode. The research student will have opportunities to attend meet with experts in his research area and also to collaborate with other leading groups in the School Built Environment.


Nadjai and el, Large scale fire test: The development of a travelling fire in open ventilation conditions and its influence on the surrounding steel structure, April 2022, Fire Safety Journal 130:103575,
Naveed. A, Nadjai, A, Maraveas, C, Kahanji C, Effect of Air-gap on Response of Slim floor Beams in Fire, Journal of Structural Fire Engineering, July 2018.
Proceeding of the 10th International Conference on Structures in Fire, Authors: Ali Nadjai ,Ali Faris, Jean-Marck Franssen, Olivier Vassart Published - 6 Jun 2018, ISBN: 978-1-85923-274-3
Akagwu, P., Ali, FA. & Nadjai, A., Behaviour of bolted steel splice connections under fire, Journal of Constructional Steel Research. 170, 106103, 31 Jul 2020,
Kahanji, Charles, Ali, Faris and Nadjai, Ali, Residual strength of ultra high performance fibre reinforced concrete, 10TH International conference on structures in fire, 6-8 June 2018, pp. 147-155
Charlier M, JM Frebssen, Dumont F, Nadjai, A, Vassart, O.,Development of an Analytical Model to Determine the Heat Fluxes to a Structural Element Due to a Travelling Fire, October 2021, Applied Sciences 11(19):9263, DOI: 10.3390/app11199263
Lu, K, Zichang, W., Ding, Y.,Zhang Jianping, Flame behavior from an opening at different elevations on the facade wall of a fire compartment, Stp 2021, Proceedings of the Combustion Institute 38(1), 10.1016/j.proci.2020.07.094 ​
Eleni, A., Konstantinos, C., Dionysios, K., Zhang, Jianping., Delichatsios, M,M Numerical investigation of externally venting flame characteristics in a corridor-façade configuration, November 2019, Fire Safety JournalDOI: 10.1016/j.firesaf.2019.102912

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