Integrated Simulation of Structures in Fire and Application to Performance-based Engineering for Design and Collapse Prediction
Professor Asif Usmani
--Chair Professor of Building Sciences and Fire Safety Engineering
--Head of the Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering
Faculty of Construction and Environment, Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Abstract:With the group’s development efforts for more than ten years, an open-source integrated simulation environment has been established to model structures in fire. It builds large structural models using GID OpenSees interface, and links CFD fire simulation software FDS with heat transfer and thermomechanical analyses in OpenSees for fire. Integrated simulation aims to account for realistic fire scenarios and to predict system-level structural responses to fires, which provides a high-fidelity evaluation tool to support the performance-based engineering as well as a research testbed for modelling evolving designs in modern architectures. This lecture will also provide a brief account of the progress on the ongoing SureFire project at PolyU on the topic of smart firefighting, in which the key objective is to develop techniques to forecast critical events (including potential structural collapse) to provide decision support to emergency responders in a major fire emergency.
Bio: Asif Usmani joined PolyU in August 2016. He led Civil Engineering research and teaching at UK universities before that with most of his career at University of Edinburgh as Professor of Structural Engineering and Computational Mechanics (until September 2015). His research has been focused on simulation of thermo-mechanical behaviour of structures in fire and developing methodologies for performance based fire safety engineering. Key achievements include: providing fresh insights to understand non-intuitive structural behaviour observed in full-scale fire tests on a steel-frame composite building at Cardington (UK) during the mid-1990s; explaining the collapse of WTC Twin Towers; proposing and leading research on a distributed real-time emergency response system, FireGrid, demonstrated successfully in London in 2010 (subject of a BBC Horizon documentary). His current research interests include: Development of computational tools for integrated simulation of structures subjected to fire based on open-source software framework OpenSees. At PolyU he has expanded into AI and other emerging information and computational technologies for smart firefighting in dense urban environments consistent with the agenda of the Smart City Blueprint for Hong Kong and currently leads an HK$33.333million research project in this area funded by the RGC Theme-based Research Scheme. Another new area of research he is developing at PolyU seeks to develop a new paradigm for future construction in order to more fully exploit emerging technologies such as additive manufacturing.