Title image - The Centre for Numerical Modelling and Process Analysis

The Fire Safety Engineering Group


FSEG is a world leader in Computational Fire Engineering. From the Airbus A380 superjumbo, to the new aircraft carrier for the Royal Navy; from the Sydney and Beijing Olympics to the World Trade Center evacuation, the group and their advanced fire and evacuation/pedestrian dynamics modelling tools, SMARTFIRE and EXODUS, have solved some of the world's toughest fire and safety engineering problems.

The 30-strong multi-disciplinary team of mathematicians, physicists, behavioural psychologists, fire safety engineers and computer scientists has been pushing back the frontiers in this fast-growing discipline for twenty years, undertaking a unique combination of leading edge research, large scale human factors trials, and practical real world consultancy. This expertise has been recognised through awards including The Queen's Anniversary Prize. Team members also contribute to formal Inquires, such as those for the Paddington Rail Crash and the Swiss Air MD11 crash; to international standards committees, including IMO and ISO, and to several UK Government committees concerned with homeland security and civil defence.

FSEG work is supported through research grants from the UK EPSRC, the EU and UK and overseas governments. The group also undertakes research and consultancy for industry with clients ranging from international blue-chip companies to local SMEs.

Group Awards & Achievements


  • FSEG win the Royal Institution of Naval Architecture Medal of Distinction for 2013 for the best paper to appear in the Transactions of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, International Journal of Maritime Engineering, the paper is entitled: "Passenger Response Time Data-sets for Large Passenger Ferries and Cruise Ships Derived from Sea Trials"
  • FSEG win The Guardian University Award in the category of “Research Impact” for their work on Intelligent Active Dynamic Signage Systems as part of the EU FP7 project GETAWAY.


  • FSEG were finalists in the Guardian University Awards in the category of “Research Impact” for their work on Intelligent Active Dynamic Signage Systems as part of the EU FP7 project GETAWAY.


  • A paper co-authored by FSEG staff, “Fire and Evacuation analysis in BWB aircraft configurations: computer simulations and large-scale evacuation experiment”, which appeared in the Aeronautical Journal 2010, won the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Bronze Award for 2010
  • FSEG were finalists in the THE 2011 AWARDS in the category of “Outstanding Engineering Research Team of the Year” for their work on Blending Wing Body (BWD) aircraft as part of the EU FP6 NACRE research project.


  • A paper co-authored by FSEG staff, “Signage Legibility Distances as a Function of Observation Angle”, which appeared in the Journal of Fire Protection Engineering 2007, won the SFPE Jack Bono Engineering Communication Award. The Jack Bono Engineering Communication Award is given to the authors of the paper that during the prior year has most contributed to the advancement and application of professional fire protection engineering.
  • A paper co-authored by FSEG staff, “Integrating personnel movement simulation into preliminary ship design”, won the 2008 RINA Samuel Baxter Prize for best paper on safety appearing in the International Journal of Maritime Engineering.


  • European IST prize winner, awarded by European Council of Applied Sciences, Technology and Engineering (Euro-CASE).
  • Paper co-authored by FSEG staff is awarded the Hodgson Prize by the Royal Aeronautical Journal for the best published paper in 2002.


  • Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.
  • Communications & IT in Shipping Award for Innovation in IT for Ship Operation and Safety.
  • RINA/Lloyds Register Award for Ship Safety.


  • British Computer Society Award for IT and Gold Medal.

Selected Publications

  • Integrating personnel movement simulation into preliminary ship design. International Journal of Maritime Engineering, 2008
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  • Fire and evacuation analysis in BWB aircraft configurations: computer simulations and large-scale evacuation experiment, Aeronautical Journal , 114 (1154), 2010.
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  • The UK 9/11 evacuation study: analysis of survivors’ recognition and response phase in WTC1. Fire Safety Journal, 45 (1), 2010.
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  • Investigating evacuation lift dispatch strategies using computer modelling. Fire and Materials, Vol 36, 2012.
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  • Approximating the evacuation of the World Trade Center north tower using computer simulation. Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, 18 (2), 2008.
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  • Investigating the representation of merging behavior at the floor-stair interface in computer simulations of multi-floor building evacuations. Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, 18 (4), 2008.
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  • A Systematic Methodology to Assess the Impact of Human Factors in Ship Design, Applied Mathematical Modelling, 33, 2009.
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  • Experimental Analysis of the Effectiveness of Emergency Signage and its Implementation in Evacuation Simulation, Fire and Materials, Vol 36, 2012.
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  • Numerical investigation of tube furnace toxicity measurement method (ISO 19700). Fire and Materials, Vol 36, 2011.
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  • Predicting toxic gas concentrations at locations remote from the fire source. Fire and Materials, Vol 35, 2011.
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  • Understanding the Effectiveness of Notification Technologies in Assisting Vulnerable Populations, Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, vol 19, 2009.
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  • Questioning the Linear Relationship between Doorway Width and Achievable Flow Rate,” Fire Safety Journal, v44, 2009.
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  • Representing evacuation behavior in engineering terms, Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, 22(2), 2012.
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To learn more about our team and research visit our group website

Prof Ed Galea
Prof Ed Galea: FSEG Director

Group Statistics


  • 18 Research Staff
  • 12 Phd Students


  • 109 Research Publications.
  • £4,898,000 Total Research and Enterprise Income.

Selected Projects

Significant Grants


  • £158,250, TSB/EPSRC (KTP). Kent Fire and Rescue Service, LIFEBID, understanding behaviour in domestic fires, July 2013 – Aug 2016.


  • £85,000, CPNI (UK Home Office). Experimental analysis of the impact of Bollard Arrays on Pedestrian movement, Nov 2012 – Aug 2013.
  • £21,000, ASH. Consultancy, fire analysis, Sept 2012 - Aug 2013.
  • £33,500, Nexen. Consultancy, off-shore evacuation analysis, July – Oct 2012.
  • £17,000, Fujitsu Europe. Evacuation associated with large scale flooding. Proof of Concept, March-June 2012.
  • £20,000, Bombardier: Consultancy aircraft evacuation project. April 2012 – Jan 2013.


  • €572,438, EU FP7 STREP,GETAWAY. Concerned with underground station emergencies (Nov 2011 – Oct 2014).
  • €640,000, EU FP7 IP,INDIRA. Concerned with large scale emergencies (April 2011 – May 2015).
  • €354,000, EU FP7 STREP, AircraftFire. Concerned with aircraft fire and evacuation simulation (Jan 2011 – Dec 2014).


  • £45,000, Home Office. Review of state of the art in indoor-dispersion modelling for CBRN, March 2010 – March 2011.
  • £65,000, Jet Aviation, Consultancy. Aircraft evacuation project, Sept 2010 – April 2011.
  • £26,000, Bombardier, Consultancy. Aircraft evacuation project. Sept 2010 – March 2011.
  • £20,000, AGIP, Consultancy demonstration project, evacuation analysis of large-scale oil refinery plant, Nov 2010 – Jan 2011.


  • €345,000, EU FP7 STREP, FIREPROOF. Concerned with ship evacuation (June 2009 – June 2012).


  • €725,000, EU FP7 STREP, SAFEGUARD. Concerned with ship evacuation, both experimental and modelling (April 2008 – Nov 2012).
  • €600,000, EU, FP7 STREP, BeSeCu. Concerned with cultural influence on evacuation. (May 2008 – Dec 2011).


  • US$90,000, US Defence Dept. Pentagon Shield, (Dec 2007 – Sept 2010).


  • £111,000 (US$200,000) secured from the US Federal Rail Administration for research into rail evacuation.


  • £440,000 secured from the Home Office for two Civil Defence projects.
  • €590,000 secured for project NACRE, an FP6 IP concerned with fire and evacuation analysis of Blended Wing Body aircraft.
  • €177,000 secured for project AVATARS a FP6 STREP concerned with pedestrian circulation analysis in stations.
  • £70,000 secured from Airbus and Bombardier to undertake various aviation evacuation research projects including an analysis of the evacuation capability of the Airbus A380.


  • £1.5 million EPSRC (GR/S74201/01 and EP/D507790) grant awarded for World Trade Centre evacuation project HEED. Project HEED is a consortium lead by FSEG and Professor Galea involving University of Ulster and University of Liverpool.
  • £231,724 EPSRC grant (GR/T22100/1) awarded to incorporate ship evacuation analysis into early naval ship design in collaboration with UCL.


  • £55,000 secured for a project funded by Borealis concerned with toxic gases generated from cable combustion in fires.
  • £50,000 secured by Lloyds Register for a research fellow in maritime fire and evacuation analysis.
  • £40,000 awarded by Canadian TSB to assist in the investigation of the Swiss Air MD11 aircraft disaster.


  • £325,000 secured for project FIRE EXIT, an FP5 project concerned with evacuation from ships.
  • £130,000 secured for project VELA, an FP5 project concerned with Fire and evacuation analysis for the next generation of aircraft (flying wing).
  • £97,500 secured from the Taiwanese Government for a project on water mist and fire simulation.
  • £50,000 awarded by UK DTLR to study the evacuation of the World Trade Centre buildings on 9/11/01.
  • Leverhulme Trust Grant worth £50,000 awarded to support a visiting post-doctorial fellow in fire research.


  • £125,000 secured from Canadian Department of Transport for the development of a ship evacuation simulator.
  • £66,000 secured for project VERRES, an FP5 project concerned with evacuation requirements for Very Large Aircraft.
  • £60,000 secured from UK MOD (Royal Navy) to investigate crew behaviour in conditions of list.