Members of our team attended the SFPE fire conference in Hawaii last week. Team member Hailey Quiquero gave a fantastic presentation on modelling timber structures in fire from a FEM point of view. Her work is a collaboration with the University of Canterbury. Dr. Gales gave a presentation regarding steel connections based on team alumni Matt Smith’s work as he could not make the conference.

Team member Hailey presents her paper on finite element modelling of Post-Tensioned Timber.

The conference was great overall. The more interesting aspects to the team discussed were presentations regarding the Marco Polo Tower fire in Hawaii, which introduced interesting effects of high rise and wind effects, good discussion on travelling fires by the folks from Imperial College, facade discussion, case studies on tall timber, airports. A engaging presentation by Jose Torero on Margaret Law. Jose posed a thought for us; Who do you respect, Who do you admire, Who would you not question. He detailed that exemplars – rather icons – in our profession have importance in growing our profession – especially for those entering it. Ending that if we could answer the above wed truly find Margaret Law. We were updated on the Grenfell inquiry and its potential ramifications on the construction industry.

Overall we found it great that the conference stressed a linkage between academia and practitioners and stressed how important this relationship is for our work to be useful. We have a number of other papers upcoming in other conferences and hopefully similar discussions will emerge at those.

Next up; the team travels to the USA to meet up at SGH, NIST, and WPI. Afterwards the structures in fire conference in June.