Infrastructure and Environment

Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE) at the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh

This project aims to create a generally applicable framework for transferring academic innovations in the modelling of particulate materials into industrial practice in the UK. The process of twin-screw granulation has been selected as an exemplar industrial process which is simulated across multiple scales using the coupled methods of population balance modelling and the discrete element method.

Research Themes: 

  • Granular Mechanics and Industrial Infrastructure

Exposed structural timber elements within a compartment creates an additional fuel load which must be considered in design. This research focuses on quantifying this additional fuel load, and understanding conditions where after burnout of the compartment contents, the additional exposed timber may stop burning (auto-extinguish). 

Research Themes: 

  • Fire Safety Engineering
Timber compartment fire test

Low intensity prescribed fires are often employed in forests and wildland in order to manage hazardous fuels, restore ecological function and historic fire regimes, and encourage the recovery of threatened and endangered species. Current predictive models used to simulate fire behavior during low-intensity prescribed fires (and wildfires) are empirically-based, simplistic, and fail to adequately predict fire outcomes because they do not account for variability in fuel characteristics and interactions with important meteorological variables. Experiments are being carried out at scales ranging from the fuel particle, to fuel bed, to field plot and stand scales, with an aim of better understanding how fuel consumption is related to the processes driving heat transfer, ignition and flame spread, and thermal degradation through flaming and smouldering combustion, at the scale of individual fuel particles and fuel layers. Focus is placed on how these processes, and thus fuel consumption, are affected by spatial variability in fuel particle type, fuel moisture status, bulk density, and horizontal and vertical arrangement of fuel components, as well as multi-scale atmospheric dynamics.

Research Themes: 

  • Fire Safety Engineering
Wildland fire

Working with the fire brigades, and using a small-scale experimental apparatus to define appropriate fire-fighting responses to underventilated fires in sealed or partially sealed compartments. 

Research Themes: 

  • Fire Safety Engineering
Picture of firefighters

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