The YorkU fire team has a number of currently advertised graduate positions where we are looking for strong graduate students with creativity and interest in fire related themes.
We are currently recruiting 3 masters students and 1 doctoral student. Both Domestic and International students are being considered and the positions are fully funded and connected to Industry.
Two of our top available positions are the following:
In the area of Structural Fire Engineeringwe are looking on an initial focus on developing performance-based approaches to optimize fire protection for the Canadian construction market. This exciting opportunity is a collaboration with Entuitive, a global engineering firm in Toronto Canada (see http://www.entuitive.com). Studies would commence mid-2020. This applied research design project will be a collaboration with Matthew Smith P.Eng with opportunities for industry internship and experience. Previous civil engineering education with Canadian engineering material standards (CSA A23, S16, and/or O86) will be considered an asset. The research is tailored for a student with a strong interest to become a consulting fire engineer in Toronto.
In the area of Stadium Design for Fire, we are looking at a fire engineering research programme that hybrids all of fire safety engineering together as a proposed PhD project. The work would fall under a multi-collaborative team with industry partner Arup, a multi-national engineering firm. We would be considering the study of an innovative structural system for stadium design and adjoining fire behaviour and pedestrian dynamics. Previous fire engineering education with at least one of these topics of study will be considered an asset. The project is tailored for a student with a strong interest to become an academic/professor in Canada.
Other topical areas for graduate project (Both MASc and PhD) consideration include: How compartment (room) size effects the fire dynamics of Timber structures to enable the generation of engineered tool sets; climate effects and resiliency of timber building materials to extreme hazards ; and lastly we are looking for students with interest in heritage materials in fire. Those projects are sponsored by a variety of governmental collaborations and are meant to inform standards and code development cycles.
Each of the above projects will have options for industrial internship and/or opportunities to study abroad for a term of study with our collaborators.
Those interested in these opportunities are encouraged to email Dr. John Gales P.Eng (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a statement of interest and CV.
About YorkU Fire
We are situated in Toronto,, at Canada’s third largest university. Home to the YorkU High bay lab, we have recently received CFI funding in order to expand our fire testing facilities (see https://yorkufire.com/2019/09/06/york-fire-lab-funding/). Our group uses some of the most advanced instrumentation technologies for strain and deformation measurement in fire. Our graduate team is currently 6 strong with an equal representation of undergraduate researchers. Graduate courses offered are Human Behaviour in Fire, Fire Dynamics, Structural Fire Resilience, and Fire Modelling.
At York University, our fire research team studies heritage materials and their response to fire. Our focus has been to consider timber and masonry. Doing these studies we are in the midst of preparing revised international guidance for these important structures. More recently the events in Paris have emphasized why this is such a serious topic of research to consider. For the last two years we have focused our efforts to really understanding timber performance, and we have done this by procuring real materials (columns, beams etc) from structures undergoing renovation (adaptive re-use) or sadly demolition. The importance of this study is now even more profound given this weeks events.
The month of October has been incredibly productive for our women in engineering project (led by yours truly, Natalie). Early in the month, I had the pleasure of attending the Athena SWAN conference hosted by York University, and just a couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to England to link up with professionals in the engineering discipline that are working toward positive change.
Athena SWAN is a recent initiative spearheaded by the UK to increase representation of women and minorities in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields. It is a program designed to reward institutions who consistently work toward promoting diversity and inclusivity, and its success lies in its rewards not being permanent. Institutions that carry Athena SWAN medals must continue to support inclusivity and diversity, else lose their medals for lack of improvement.This focus on accountability and endurance of effective programs and practices over time is precisely what our research in Canada is targeting. The Athena SWAN conference held at York University sought to understand how to bring the Athena SWAN framework to Canada, as many of our resources and problems are similar but there are marked differences that must be acknowledged. Key themes that emerged from this conference were the need to acknowledge the differences between recruitment, development, and retention in our research and discussions about diversity; the need for initiatives and collaborations to run at a national level; and the need for institutions to be transparent to the public about both their successes and failures. I hope to embed these themes in our continuing work on the retention of women in engineering across Canada, and to involve more and more institutions in our research program. It is clear that incentives to participate in the drive to include underrepresented folks in STEM are being developed more and more, and that means that we will hopefully start seeing the people who need to be participating start participating, to avoid preaching to the choir.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the 2018 Fire and Evacuation Modeling Technical Conference (FEMTC). It was hosted by Thunderhead Engineering and held in Gaithersburg, Maryland, right around the corner from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). This three day event spanning from October 1st to 3rd was a single-track agenda which allowed participants to watch all presentations and engage with all speakers. Attendees ranged from engineers to geo-scientists to researchers and a few students. The presentations were a fantastic balance between technical material and more high-level fire and modeling topics. I presented on the first day on stadium egress modeling our team has been conducting over the past year in collaboration with ARUP. The open access version of the paper can be found here and the presentation video at the bottom of this blog post. Our research was well-received and represents stage one of the project, in which stage two will be built upon over the next eight months. One of my favourite aspects of the conference included the fact that many of the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) software developers were in attendance. Since many of the presentations were geared towards certain aspects of FDS, a lot of the Q&A periods not only consisted of audience questions, but also of comments from these FDS developers of precise recommendations and precautions to take when utilizing FDS for specific purposes.
The following is a guest post by research assistant and team member, Natalie Mazur. This June, Natalie is presenting The Experiences of Women in Undergraduate Engineering at the 9th Canadian Engineering Education Association’s Annual Conference., Vancouver, Canada. The paper can be downloaded here .
Dr. Gales will be chairing the Workshop on Advancements in Evaluating the Fire Resistance of Structures to be held Thursday December 6th and Friday December 7th, 2018. This workshop is sponsored by ASTM Committee E05 on Fire Standards and will be held at the Washington Hilton in Washington, DC, in conjunction with the December standards development meetings of the committee. The workshop will celebrate the centennial of the furnace temperature-time curve, which defines the thermal fire exposure conditions in ASTM E119 and other fire resistance test standards.
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.
Very exciting to announce that effective this year I am joining John Wiley’s journal, Fire and Materials as an Associate Editor. In this role I will be considering mainly the structural materials papers. Fire and Materials is one of the more older peer reviewed journals for our research community beginning in 1976. The journal is led by Steven Grayson. More information is to come on this initiative. For now be sure to check out my own Fire and Materials paper on the Creep of Prestressing steel which can be downloaded here .