Evacuation Study of a Cultural Centre

abstracts1Our team’s recent human behaviour in fire research in collaboration with ARUP will be presented at Interflam in London, UK this July. Two of our multi-disciplinary papers represent an ongoing research project performed over the last three years: “Fire evacuation and strategies for cultural centres.” And “The effects of Linguistic Cues on Evacuation Movement Times”. In this research project we characterized three evacuations that occurred at a Cultural Centre over the course of three years. This project has been a major focus of our group for some time however one which requires significant consideration. We are now introducing the project to the fire community for the first time this summer for preliminary feedback as we continue to advance this very important project in the long term.

abstracts2Interflam is one of the leading fire conferences this year so the venue serves a great location. Part of our outputs are towards a comprehensive database of group based movement and decision making characteristics. We followed this with extensive surveying of linguistic evacuation cues at that centre conducted over several months to interrogate themes we observed. These results are being utilized to inform the development of evacuation modelling in our future work and collaborations.

Presentations of these papers will occur July 2nd, papers will be posted soon!

Stadium Pedestrian Flow Research: Emergency Fire Evacuations

Our team’s human behaviour in Stadia project in collaboration with ARUP (a multi-year NSERC Collaborative Research Development Initiative), will be presented at Interflam in London UK this July 2nd. This student led paper by Danielle Aucoin and Tim Young represents an ongoing research project performed over the last two years. To date we have studied ingress and egress behaviour in four stadiums. We have focused on Tennis, Baseball, Soccer and Football, and our preliminary results that we can share are just appearing now.

GFRPs, Heritage Timber, Education, Sustainable Concretes, Performance Based Fire, New Instruments and More!

Summer conferences

We have an exciting two weeks ahead. The research team will be visiting 4 conferences in the coming weeks to present 6 presentations. In addition we will have a 7th presented at ASFE and this will be announced at a later date. The below are brief descriptions of each. Open access versions will appear at a later date.

CSCE Symposium in Vancouver (May 31st to June 3rd)

Mass Heritage Timber Performance in Fire presented by Arlin Otto. The paper looks at a comparison of timber performance in fire of three unique types of timbers. The paper will also discuss adhesive bleeding seen in LVL panels .

Annual Concrete Labs at Carleton

Confined concrete cylinder after failure
Confined concrete cylinder after failure

Teaching the undergrad students about emerging materials this week. To make our labs more educational this year (with massive amounts of extra safety protocols added), we conducted several concrete compression tests on conventional concrete wrapped in a carbon fiber reinforced polymer (frp). The students are able to compare their normal conventional concrete compression cylinder tests to compression tests of concrete cylinders with frp wrap.

A big thanks to Sika canada for supplying us these frp and adhesive materials, helping with training, and above all making this lab an awesome addition to our undergrad class this year! You can see one of the many tests below;

The above video shows one of the concrete compression tests with frp wrap (the best bit is near the end). A sacrificial camera was used to record failure in a safe way (an old Sony Cybershot from 2006). The cylinder failed with a compressive stress above 65 MPa (around 500 or so KN), whereas the average normal compressive failure strength of this concrete mix (without frp) was about 40 MPa.

The students were asked at the end of the lab to discuss the mechanisms and effects of ‘confinement’ using frp after observing the lab.

Necking of steel


One of the great things of testing materials with image correlation technologies at ambient and high temperatures is developing educational movies about engineering. Last summer Tom Parker and myself compiled thousands of images from my digital image correlation experiments into these videos. I’ve posted one example above which is to help teach the principles behind necking of steel for students. Ill post back later with an expanded blog entry with more videos but for now enjoy!