Simulation of External Fire Spread Mechanisms in High Rise Buildings PhD

Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Entry requirements:
3 years
6 years
Reference number:
Start date:
01 October 2018
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
09 March 2018



in the UK for research quality

REF 2014


in the UK for Mechanical Engineering

The Complete University Guide 2018


of 2 Queen's Anniversary Prizes


Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

Very recently the UK has seen one of the most disastrous fires in history, the Grenfell Tower fire, in London. The loss of life and immense suffering caused by this fire is inconceivable. There are many scientific aspects of this kind of fires that deserve investigations, whereby many lessons could be learnt for future building designs and management of such residential buildings. This Ph.D. project concerns the scientific research that could be undertaken to understand the mechanisms of fire spread in high-rise buildings such as the Grenfell Tower fire. In this work simulation techniques based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), combustion modelling and radiative heat transfer calculations would be developed to conduct numerical experimentation to study different fire-scenarios in high-rise building fires.

A comprehensive literature survey would be undertaken at the start of this research project to understand current knowledge on high-rise building fires. Based on this survey, simulation studies will be undertaken to understand key parameters affecting high-rise building fires. Simulation of soot and radiative transfer in typical compartment fires will be undertaken by incorporating advanced soot models and radiation calculation techniques into Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) based fire simulations. Thorough simulation work research will be undertaken to develop models to simulate effects of radiative heat transfer, wind and ventilation on fire spread. Comprehensive simulation programme can test different possible scenarios leading to fire-spread in high-rise buildings.


Primary supervisor: Prof. W. Malalasekera

Secondary supervisor: TBC

Find out more

For further project details email Prof. W. Malalasekera or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about the School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, please visit our website.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical Engineering or a related subject. They should have a sound knowledge of Thermo-fluids, heat transfer and combustion subject areas. Previous knowledge of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) would be advantageous. Ability to learn new modelling techniques, programming in Fortran in C is essential for the incorporation of new models into commercial and open source CFD programs.

Ability to write scientific papers and make presentations is expected from the candidate. Demonstration of writing skills through previous publication would be advantageous.

A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics or Physics.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This is an open call for candidates who are sponsored or who have their own funding. If you do not have funding, you may still apply, however Institutional funding is not guaranteed. Outstanding candidates (UK/EU/International) without funding will be considered for funding opportunities which may become available in the School.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name select Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Please quote reference number: WMUF2018