Its been a busy few months. We gear up for the York University move in January. Our recent news includes:

Our team has won a number of recent research awards. Lauren Folk (now a graduate student on our team) won the Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Award Best undergraduate thesis 2017 at Carleton this fall. Her work is a collaboration with ARUP Fire that studied care home evacuation. We received three undergraduate research scholarships to study: Poverty in Canada, Timber in fire and GFRPs.

Our team continues to grow. Ranim Dahli, an award winning graduate of the University of Manchester, will be joining our team in January to study Timber structures in fire as a graduate student. Jade Phillipe will join as a co-op research student to assist on steel related research for the spring semester. Jade joins us after a stint in consultancy in Ottawa. They join our team of currently 12 strong.

In education, we had a series of I Joist beam tests which were performed as a new second year lab for undergraduate students. The timber materials were donated by Nordic. We are currently looking at a diversity and inclusion education study. More to come.

timber education.png
Our undergraduate students tested I-Joist timber beams under 2 point loads. The black speckles introduced the students to Digital Image Correlation as a measurement technique.

I was featured on the Discovery channel on Daily Planet this month in a three minute segment that was speaking about the recent California wild fires assisted by RA Mina Li. This interview follows a joint collaboration with NIST which involved a research exchange last summer. A preliminary paper from a Canadian context is currently being prepared.

Discovery Channel in Canada aired a three minute interview with me regarding wildfires in California. Embers and radiant heat were our focus of discussion.

Our team begins its relocation to York University this January which will complete the move by May of 2018.  York University is in Toronto, Canada. Our team will be based in the Department of Civil Engineering. This move follows York University’s recent investment of over $100m dollars to build a state of the art Civil Engineering program and lab space in Toronto. Our move is a strategic effort to mobilize Canadian structural fire design and have central structural fire research group to Toronto. The collaborative opportunities with industry and academic partners nearby is enhanced by this location. I will begin teaching a graduate courses in fire engineering and introduce a comprehensive research program on the theme of Structural Fire Resilience. Our team will continue our current studies in Human Behaviour in Fire with added resources and expanded networks (more information to come).

York University’s Department of Civil Engineering
A state of the art High Bay Lab measuring 18x18m will allow large scale testing

Our team traveled to the University of Waterloo (southern Canada) to participate and collaborate in two state of the art structural timber research projects. One at Beam scale and the other a Full structure scale. The results of these tests are currently being evaluated and we will report on these in a separate blog post. The test series were a collected effort from over 7 research students on both teams.


The Hockey Hall of Fame Induction ceremony took place in Toronto this November. It celebrated the 100th NHL anniversary. Their ceremony magazine featured an article concerning the first NHL season and the burning down of the Montreal Arena which I authored.

Article on the NHL’s first season; How a Fire Changed the course of NHL History which was distributed at the Hockey Hall of Fame Induction ceremony this fall.