Fire Engineering is a complex field that relies heavily on Fire Science. Over the past few years we’ve enjoyed our close relationship with the great team at the Edinburgh Fire Research Centre at The University of Edinburgh (check out our post from last year’s CPD session here). However, it’s important that the science stays up to date with new building materials and methodologies, as materials may often enter the market before the fire science behind them is fully understood.
This year, we’ve extended our commitment to ongoing education and to contributing to the wider Fire Engineering industry. We have taken an extra step to support and assist in supervising new PhD candidate Cameron MacLeod.
Cameron put an introduction together for us:
It is certainly an interesting time to begin a PhD.
DFC and the University of Edinburgh are teaming up for a PhD project in the best crossover since the Avengers. The PhD is on “the fire hazard of layered construction materials”. There are a lot of composite products out there in the construction industry, but what hazard do these products pose? It has been shown previously that layered materials pose a complex hazard due to the interaction between multiple layers. As there are a large amount of different composite products on the market, this problem is a very large and open one. Therefore, my aim is to develop a method for evaluating the hazard presented, and to characterise the thermophysical processes associated with specific product typologies that lead to different levels of fire hazard.
Unfortunately, as I won’t be able to introduce myself in person, let me give a little background about me.
I was born and raised in Edinburgh with a Mum who works in a bank and a Dad who works in a brewery. This came in very handy when we would get free crates of booze each month! But much to their surprise both my brother and I are now PhD students, one in assisted robotics for dementia patients and one in fire safety. I’m sure you can tell which son my parents think is doing “proper” research and which is “just burning things”. But nevertheless I have a very supportive family who insist that the brains never came from either of them, and it must have “skipped a generation”, even though they always seem to be the ones winning the lockdown quizzes.
My undergraduate experience is as an MEng student in Civil Engineering from which I graduated this July. During my time at university I have been in and around the fire research group a lot, as a research intern in the summers of 2018 and 2019, and as a final year thesis student. I have studied and researched various topics ranging from wildfires, compartment fires, structural fires, and computer modelling. But as a civil engineer clearly my destiny was in dealing with construction products.
Ideally, the PhD would involve industrial placements where I get to work a DFC office for a few weeks each year, but clearly that isn’t happening anytime soon. Which is a real shame, because DFC seems like a great place to work, with great people. It would have been amazing to start off the PhD getting to know the company and the people behind it, and let’s not forget, the pub visits after work. So for now we’ll have to settle with emails and team calls, but one day, one day we’ll get to have a drink together.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves Cameron! We are extremely excited to play a part in your PhD and we’re looking forward to the day when we can all sit down together for some real face-to-face collaboration – and yes, a drink at the pub as well!
* Cameron’s proposed title for this article was “Best crossover since the Avengers”, but we have to draw the line somewhere, right?
- Posted by Matthew Eyre
- On 12th January 2021