Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate position within the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh. The successful candidate will contribute to research as part of the project “Firebrand flux and condition system: Towards a sensor-based method to quantify firebrands produced during WUI fires” funded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and supervised by Dr Rory Hadden. Increasing the resilience of communities in the wildland urban interface (WUI) is a key priority in the USA, southern Europe, and Australia.
Firebrands are the leading cause of ignition of structures at the Wildland Urban Interface. These are small particles generated by the burning of natural or structural materials, which are lofted by the fire plume and transported by the wind ahead of the fire front. This project will focus on the development of a system to measure the thermal and physical characteristics of firebrands generated by these fires using visual and thermal imaging techniques. The methods will be tested under laboratory conditions, and as part of large-scale wildfire experiments being performed in New Jersey, USA. It is anticipated that the outputs from this project will also inform the development of a system used to gather data during real wildfires.
Duties will include apparatus development, design and execution of laboratory scale calibration/testing experiments, dissemination of research findings, and contributing to field work activities including development of diagnostics and on site research work. A crucial activity is liaising with NIST on project progress, developments, and deliverables.
The successful candidate should have (or be close to completing) a PhD in a relevant engineering discipline, physics, or computer science. Experience of infrared imaging techniques and working with large datasets will be strongly considered. The position will commence ASAP and is fixed term for 12 months.