Funded PhD Opportunity Fire Dynamics and Material

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning


The successful applicant will work on experimental and numerical study of fire dynamics and materials flammability of modern materials used in buildings, aviation, transportation etc. For experimental investigation, the student will avail of the state-of-the-art experimental facility at FireSERT arranging from high-precision thermal analytical instruments for detailed measurements of thermal degradation of milligram samples in different atmospheres, to meso-scale testing of material flammability and fire behaviour using the standard apparatus such as cone calorimeter and tube furnace, and to large-scale testing using customised experimental rigs for enclosure and façade fires. The research environment also includes wet chemistry provisions for syntheses of flame retardant polymers and a range of spectroscopic techniques for characterisation of novel formulations and materials.

In terms of computer modelling, the student will develop advanced models to address the different important phenomena in fire such as combustion, radiation, production of smoke and carbon monoxide and structural behaviours using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA). These models will be validated against literature data and/or available experimental data at FireSERT.

Some potential topics include:

*Burning behaviours of liquid and solid fuels in compartment and façade fires,

*Mechanical and thermal behaviours of glazing in fire

*Natural and mechanical ventilation in atria

*Passive fire protection of facade structures: development of fire protective coatings.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement


    Vice Chancellors Research Scholarships (VCRS)

    The scholarships will cover tuition fees and a maintenance award of £15,009 per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). Applications are invited from UK, European Union and overseas students.


    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 19 February 2018
Interview Date
12 March 2018

Contact Supervisor

Dr Jianping Zhang

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #237993 when applying for this PhD opportunity