This website describes the work of the research group at the University of Sheffield on the fire resistance behaviour of steel and composite structures. Our main theme has been to progress our understanding of structural actions in fire by analytical studies using our numerical modelling software Vulcan, which has been continuously developed over 20 years as a specialised research tool. Although this research code continues to be developed by the group, a professional design version has been converted to analytical fire engineering design software with a Windows-style graphical user interface, and is marketed by Vulcan Solutions Ltd, initially a spin-out company set up jointly by the University of Sheffield and Buro Happold Ltd, but recently bought-out by Vulcan's developers. It has been used by leading specialist consultants to support advanced fire engineering design and fire protection strategies for major construction projects. In some cases we have conducted structural fire engineering appraisals in a consultant rôle where designers have wanted to add a structural fire engineering optimisation to their own services.

We started work in 1985, attemping to simulate the behaviour of isolated steel elements in furnace tests. Several software approaches have been used since this time, as the emphasis has gradually shifted from beams and columns in isolation towards the performance of steel and composite framed building structures as a whole in fire conditions. The main thrust of the research remains in numerical modelling, but several projects have been conducted in partnership with institutions with experimental facilities and expertise. Recently we have done some very successful experimental work at Sheffield on high-temperature connection component behaviour and on model-scale furnace testing of concrete slabs.

At the present time (January 2015) 30 PhDs have been awarded within the Group, plus two MPhil and one MSc(Res).

Download the latest .PDF précis of our projects and publications.