Matt Smith successfully defended his research thesis on Steel in fire with no required revisions and was nominated for a university senate medal.

Research team member, Matthew Smith, and Engineer at global consulting firm, Entuitive, successfully defended his masters thesis: Towards a Performance-Based Fire Design Framework for Composite Steel Deck Construction in Canada . His thesis and defense were of the highest quality that there were no corrections necessary. Matt was subsequently  nominated for the university’s senate medal (he has also just been awarded the SFPE National Capital Region Chapter Scholarship in Fire Safety Engineering in Canada for his work. A big thank you to his examiners whom I would say have a combined experience of over 60 years practicing steel construction. Also a big thank you to project sponsors: CISC and Entuitive, as well as to reps from FM Global and the National Research Council, NIST for their previous feedback and contributions.

The Research Need

Matt’s thesis addresses a very important research and consultancy area in Canada: fire safety engineering. What we lack at the moment in Canada is a strong education system which can teach practitioners the underlining behaviors of what structural systems do in real fires and how to design accordingly. And I say real fires with emphasis. Subsequently this thesis is the first application in Canada of iTFM (improved travelling fires methodology) on a real Canadian building and pays particular attention to connection behaviour and the development of Alternative Solutions for Canadian practitioners. Also discussed was a historical critique on Canadian education and practice in general with reference to alternative solution development. It is our plan to have Matt’s thesis adapted for general use in the near future through mainstream industry prior to public release of the document.

Future Research

We are currently recruiting a new MASc student whom will carry on from Matt’s initial work. Matt and myself will supervise this student on a project which intertwines resiliency with steel construction. Largely experimental, the work will be performed abroad with international university partners so this will be a fantastic once and a life time experience for a young engineer to be (more details can be found here).

We will also be engaging shortly with other research partners to work on the topic of travelling fires with an additional grad and undergraduate researcher – details to this collaboration will be announced shortly.