Dr Stephen Welch

Senior Lecturer

Engineering Discipline: 

  • Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Institute: 

  • Infrastructure and Environment

Research Theme: 

  • Fire Safety Engineering
Dr Stephen Welch
Dr Stephen Welch


Dr Welch has a PhD in combustion and nearly 30 years of experience in fire research and teaching. He worked for a decade at BRE's Fire Research Station, including full-scale fire tests at BRE Cardington, before joining the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh in 2004. His research spans a range of topics related to computational simulation of fire and structures and has had involvement as first or second supervisor of nearly 30 graduated PhD students and served as examiner for nearly 30 more (including external examiner appointments). His teaching is related to fire safety engineering practice, providing a training in engineering approaches to applied problems, with critique and analysis of relevant regulations, codes and design principles. He was Programme Director for the one-year MSc Structural and Fire Safety Engineering (SAFE) 2008-23 (120+ graduates), and is a management board member for the International Master in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE), since 2010 (300+ graduates).  He was Discipline Programme Manager for Civil & Environmental Engineering 1/1/14-30/4/18 & 14/3-14/8/22 and is now Deputy Director of Students in the School of Engineering.

Academic Qualifications: 

Professional Qualifications and Memberships: 

AIFireE, AIOP (Combustion Physics subgroup), IAFSS newsletter associate editor


Deputy Director of Students, School of Engineering

Management Board, International Master in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE)

Programme Director, Structural & Fire Safety Engineering (SAFE) MSc


Current teaching: Fire Safety Engineering 5/MSc/IMFSE (formely Current Methods in Fire Safety Engineering/Fire Safety Engineering 4) (short-listed for "Outstanding course" via 22/23 EUSA Teaching awards https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cslN1EdULWQ, Fire Science Laboratory 5/SAFE/IMFSE, Fire Safety Engineering 3

Previous teaching: Fire Safety Engineering Design Project 5, Fire Safety Engineering Analysis and Design 5/MSc, Quantitative Methods for Fire Safety Engineering 5, Numerical Methods and Computing 2, Engineering 1, Civil Engineering 1

Research Interests: 

Fire safety engineering

Long experience in development and validation of computer modelling methods for fire-related problems in building and transport applications, spanning fire spread, combustion, heat transfer, soot and toxic emissions, structural thermal response, sensor-steering and human response. Current research leadership in travelling fire modelling and fire-structure coupling in large buildings and fire modelling using HPC resources (RFCS TRAFIR/EPSRC UKCTRF/SureFire Hong Kong), and previously on dynamics and simulation of travelling and post-flashover fires (EPSRC Real Fires for Safe Design of Tall Buildings), characterising thermo-mechanical response of composite and steel pressure vessels in fire (EU FCH-JU FireComp), fire safety in modern energy efficient buildings and facade fire (Rockwool), intelligent egress based on sensor-linked models (BRE Trust), ICU evacuations (NHS Lothian/Trenton Fire), generalised structural-fire frameworks (OpenSees), glazing in fire, etc.


  • Travelling/post-flashover fires, including fire spread simulation using High Performance Computing (HPC) resources (EPSRC UKCTRF/EU TRAFIR, SureFire Hong Kong) (video)
  • Fire-structure coupling methodologies for large/complex spaces (RFCS FIRESTRUC)
  • Sensor-linked fire and egress models, including ICU evacuations (BRE Trust PhD studentships)
  • Fire hazard prediction, including smoke and toxic species (EPSRC, Nuffield)
  • Thermo-mechanical response of composite and steel vessels in fire (EU FireComp, EPSRC PhD studentship with Akzonobel/Promat)
  • Fire behaviour of energy efficient constructions and facade fires (Rockwool)

Further Information: 

Room 3.08, Alexander Graham Bell building https://www.ed.ac.uk/maps/maps?building=0618