Applications of Structural Fire Engineering Conference

Prague, 19-20 April 2013

Gang Dong nominated as Best Young Researcher at ASFE 2013
The award was judged by two well known international researchers in Structural Fire Engineering - Professors Tan Kang Hai of NTU in Singapore and Venkatesh Kodur of Michigan State University in the USA. The judges read the papers submitted by young researchers, as well as assessing their oral presentations and their subsequent responses to questions from the audience. Gang's paper was on his development of a component-based finite element which should be a key factor in enabling whole-structure analysis of structures in fire to predict progressive failure sequences, including disproportionate collapse.

Henry Adams Award for joint project paper

2 June 2011
The authors of a paper in The Structural Engineer giving a general overview of the successful EPSRC-sponsored project on Robustness of Steel Connections in Fire, which our group shared with colleagues at The University of Manchester between 2005 and 2008, have been awarded one of two Henry Adams Awards for best research paper of 2011.

Four of the authors were able to be present at the presentation lunch held at Glaziers' Hall in London on 2 June 2011, to collect their certificates. Roger Plank, during his year as President of IStructE, both presented certificates to the other authors and received his own.

The paper's details are:

It presents the main results of a large number of tests to destruction at high temperatures of four different types of connection in conditions which representr the final stage of beam behaviour in fire, when beam-ends are subject to high rotations, combined with catenary tension force.

IStructE Young Researchers' Conference

The success of our research students in presentations at the IStructE's annual Young Researchers' Conference, which started with Samantha Foster's Third Prize for a poster presentation in 2003, has now led to winning entries for posters in 2006, 2007 and 2008. This year we had our first invitation to give an oral presentation at the Conference.

19 March 2008

Andy Hu makes it a hat-trick of wins in Poster Competition - Joint second in oral presentations for Yuan Yuan Song
We didn't believe it could happen three years in a row, but for the third year running one of our research students won the competition for poster presentation of their research work at the 2008 IStructE Young Researchers' Conference in London.

Ying (Andy) Hu's poster describes his research on the robustness of flexible endplate connections between steel beams and columns in fire conditions. His work is part of an EPSRC project now in its third year in which both furnace testing and modelling approaches have been applied to a number of connection types subject to extreme combinations of tying and shear forces.

To download a copy of Andy's poster (1Mb), click here.

Yuan Yuan Song was invited to give one of the oral presentations, on the behaviour of industrial portal frames subject to fire, and was awarded Joint Second Prize. To download a PDF copy (4Mb) of her slides click here.

The Department was well represented at the Conference. Shan Shan Huang presented her work in another poster (300kb). From the Department's other structural research groups, Harris Angelakopoulos and Sohaib Ahmad were selected to give poster and oral presentations of their work.


7 March 2007
Florian Block's success in 2006 was followed-up by yet another win for a Group research student in 2007. Tony Abu won the first prize for a poster describing his PhD research on tensile membrane action in slabs under fire action. This is a very important mechanism which is used in state-of-the-art performance-based structural fire engineering design of multi-storey buildings.

To download a copy of Tony's poster, click here.

Another Group research student, Shan Shan Huang, also showed her work on the effects of transient strain on the behaviour of concrete-filled hollow-section columns in fire. Although she did not featuure among the winners she received very positive comments on her work. As a second-year student most of the researchers against whom she was competing were considerably further into their doctoral research.

To download a copy of Shan Shan's poster, click here.

We are also pleased to report that Donald Nyawako won the second prize for a poster reporting his work on active control of vibration. Wael Darwich was selected to give an oral presentation of his work on structural optimisation at the Young Researchers' Conference.


IStructE 200615 March 2006
A group of researchers went down to the annual conference at the IStructE headquarters in Belgravia, at which Florian and Chaoming Yu displayed posters describing their research work. The conference is a great opportunity for research students to develop their presentation skills, check out what's going on in other universities and do some networking.

To download a copy of Chaoming's poster, click here.

Florian's poster reflects the whole of his 3 years' research work, and employs some fairly advanced graphic design skills. He received the award from this year's President of IStructE, Michael Dickson of Buro Happold, a happy coincidence as Florian has been sponsored by Happolds throughout his PhD studies and will work for them when his thesis is complete. He was also a prize-winner at the Eurosteel 2005 conference in Maastricht, for an oral presentation of a paper on his research.

To download a copy of Florian's poster, click here.

Group Researchers win ASCE Raymond C. Reese prize 2005

Reese presentationZhaohui Huang, Ian Burgess and Roger Plank have been awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers' Raymond C. Reese Research Prize for two companion papers published in the Society's Journal of Structural Engineering during 2003:

The papers describe developments of the group's research software Vulcan which enable it to show the mechanisms at work, particularly in composite floor slabs, when structures are at very high temperatures and distortions due to exposure to building fires.

The Raymond C. Reese Prize, which can only be won once, was instituted in 1970 to be ".. profession-wide recognition of a paper published by ASCE that describes a notable achievement in research related to structural engineering and how it can be used".

Two of the authors, Zhaohui Huang and Roger Plank, were able to travel to the ASCE's April 2005 Structures Congress in New York, and are shown above collecting their awards at the Presentation Lunch.

Vulcan Wins Two National Software Awards

BCS AwardsAt the British Computer Society's Annual Awards Dinner at the Park Lane Hilton, London on 29 September 2005 our newly-launched designer's version of Vulcan won first the Technology: Applications category and then the BT Innovation Flagship Award for Technology, which includes all four Technology categories.

After the main phase of the competition, in the course of which BCS judges made hands-on inspections of the software and interviewed users, Vulcan had earlier been selected as one of four medallists from which the national award was selected.

The re-written Vulcan software has been developed by Dr Zhaohui Huang of our Group and Dr Paul Shepherd of Buro Happold Ltd from our research code. This designer's version of the software uses a Windows® interface, and has been developed specifically for efficient set-upand analysis of 3-dimensional building subframe models for practical Structural Fire Engineering design. It has been tested in real projects by Buro Happold FEDRA.

The software is being marketed by a Sheffield University spin-off company, Vulcan Solutions Ltd.

To see photos of the presentation dinner click either of the Vulcan links in the left margin or below.

Two Poster Events in 2005

Since most of our research is supported by taxpayers' money or by industry, it is very important that we show what we are doing wherever possible.

It is also necessary for researchers to be able to convey their enthusiasm and the relevance of their work to non-specialist audiences, as well as giving technical presentations to experts.

HSL Buxton
Our group was invited to display our work as part of a showcase of University research work related to Health and Safety, held at the new HSL headquarters at Buxton. Three of our research students, Florian Block, Tony Abu and Shan Shan Huang, went along to accompany the poster, which shows the whole of our development route over the past 20 years. The whole group contributed to the poster, but we are particularly grateful to Florian for the main inspiration, and for producing the poster.

To download a copy of the group's poster, click here.

HSL Poster

House of Commons, Westminster
Marwan Sarraj was one of 100 younger engineers selected to present posters displaying their research work as part of a high-profile national event at the House of Commons on 6 December 2005. The annual event, which is now in its sixth year, aims to present a display of excellent UK Engineering research and R&D to MPs so as to increase the profile of Engineering nationally.

To download a copy of Marwan's poster, illustrating his work on fin-plate connections in fire, click here.

Marwan  Poster