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Master Thesis - Modelling Fire in Large Exposed Mass Timber Compartments

Can Fires in Large Exposed Mass Timber Compartments be Accurately Modelled with a Zone Model? This is the key question in the master thesis work that includes the optimizing of a calculation tool and validation against experimental data. Working from Lund or flexible remote!

About RISE
RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB is a research organization owned by the Swedish government. The thesis will be undertaken within the Fire research unit within the Fire and safety department. The unit conducts research across a wide range of fire safety topics with expertise ranging from fire dynamics in mass timber compartments, to wildland fires or material behaviour in fire conditions and the toxicity of combustion gases. The unit undertakes commercial and research projects with both modelling and experimental methodologies as well as contributing to standardisation committees.

Mass timber materials, such as Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) and glued laminated timber, are increasingly popular as structural materials for large and tall buildings. There is a drive to implement them because of their low climate impact and the architectural benefits of visible timber surfaces. However, as mass timber is combustible this leads to a number of fire safety challenges.  To overcome these design challenges it is important that  we have a good understanding of the fire dynamics in compartments with exposed timber. To this end a fire model called SP-TimFire has been developed at RISE. SP-TimFire is a single zone model which incorporates the heat released by the charring of mass timber as the fire develops. The model has been demonstrated to provide good predictions of fires on the scale of a residential compartment but has not been validated for larger scale fires.

Thesis description
The goal of this project is to assist in improving and optimising the implementation of SP-TimFire and to validate the model for use in larger compartments.

The tasks of the student for this master thesis project are:

  • Develop and validate 1D-heat transfer model (utilising the crank-nicolson method) for transient heating of mass timber sections.
  • Integrate this heat transfer model into the SP-TimFire implementation and conduct a validation study, against published experimental data, of SP-TimFire for use with large compartments.
  • Document activities and results as a thesis report.

RISE will provide background information and guidance during the master thesis work and assist in sourcing experimental data for the validation study.

Student profile
We are looking for an ambitious MSc student who has fulfilled the course requirements. Good programming skills are required, preferably including experience in python or MatLab, as is experience with numerical modelling methods although experience undertaking heat transfer would be a useful but is not specifically required. The student should also have good spoken and written English. Applications should include a brief personal statement, a CV, and a list of grades. In the application, make sure to mention previous activities or other projects that you consider relevant for the position. Candidates are encouraged to send in their application as soon as possible. Suitable applicants will be interviewed as applications are received. A successful candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to mass timber fire dynamics research projects.

Location and date
This thesis work will be performed with RISE Fire and Safety in Lund and the work place could be in this office or remote. The staring date of the work is flexible but at the latest in September 2023.

Welcome with your application!

If you are interested in the Master work and would like to have more information please contact Alastair Temple, 010-516 56 70. Last day for application is the 30th of June. 

Om jobbet




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Job type

Student - examensarbete/praktik


Alastair Temple



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