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 over 25 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 (5 current) 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 is Programme Director for the one-year MSc Structural and Fire Safety Engineering (SAFE), now in its final 15th year (110+ graduates), and a management board member for the International Master in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE), now in its 13th year (300+ graduates).  He was Discipline Programme Manager for Civil & Environmental Engineering 1/1/14-30/4/18 & 14/3-14/8/22.

Academic Qualifications: 

Professional Qualifications and Memberships: 

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


Programme Director and Personal Tutor for Structural & Fire Safety Engineering (SAFE) MSc

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


Current teaching: Fire Safety Engineering 4/IMFSE, Fire Science Laboratory 5/SAFE/IMFSE, Fire Safety Engineering 3

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

Research Interests: 

Fire safety engineering

Active on the development and validation of computer modelling methods for fire-related problems in building and transport applications, spanning 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 fires, including fire spread in post-flashover fires using High Performance Computing (HPC) resources (EPSRC UKCTRF/EU TRAFIR, SureFire Hong Kong)
  • 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