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Introduction to Fire Engineering. Fire ignition, flame spread and flame height. The performance of construction materials and fire resistance. People movement and behaviour during fires. Fire detection, suppression and smoke extract systems. Wildland fires, fire investigation, fire-fighting.
Fire engineering design of buildings is a large, complex and rapidly expanding multidisciplinary subject. This course provides a general introduction to fire science and engineering. It is useful for engineers, architects, Building Control Authority and fire service personnel as a starting point for those who wish to become professional fire engineers through a combination of further education and experience. It is a required course for students who are looking to pursue Fire Engineering at the postgraduate level. It aims to:• provide an understanding of the hazards of fires in buildings and the dynamics of fire development;• describe the performance of building materials and structures in fire;• develop knowledge of the active and passive fire protection measures available to building designers;• examine how people behave in fire situations and• cover other fire science and engineering topics of interest such as wildfires, fire-fighting, etc.
The learning outcomes of the course are divided into (1) Remembering and Understanding, (2) Applying and Analysing, and (3) Evaluating and Creating as shown below.Remembering and UnderstandingA passing grade requires that the student is able to:explain “What is a fire?”understand the different types of combustion, and differentiate between flamesexplain heat transfer in solids, liquids and in a vacuumexplain ignition, flame spread, fire growth, flashover and decay processes in room firesidentify different detection methods and how different systems apply themidentify the key items to be considered in choosing warning systemsdifferentiate between suppression systems and state their advantages and disadvantagesunderstand structural fire design concepts and contrast fire severity and fire resistanceinterpret human behaviour in firesunderstand firefighting operations, and how these may affect design decisionsunderstand NZ regulations and Risk Assessment methodologiesApplying and AnalysingA passing grade requires that the student is able to:recall & utilise fire engineering terminologyperform simple heat transfer calculationsdistinguish between ignition of thin or thick solidscalculate flame heights, burning rates, mass and volume flow rates, temperatures and velocities through axisymmetric plumes and ceiling jetsdistinguish between different detection and suppression systemscalculate activation times of detection systems and flow rates of sprinklersdetermine the effects of toxic products on occupants, and calculate evacuation timescalculate fire severity and fire resistance of simple beamsEvaluating and Creating A passing grade requires that the student is able to:calculate layer temperatures using MQH and estimate flashover conditions in roomsestimate time to ignition and flame spread on the surface of a given materialassess the performance of fire safety systems under given scenariosappraise the performance of different structural assemblies against each other.estimate the potential for fire spread from a roomuse computer simulations to estimate loss of tenability in rooms
Subject to approval of the Director of Studies
Students must attend one activity from each section.
The course will be run as a four-week programme that includes two weeks of self-study time and a two-week on-campus block session. Full attendance at the block session is compulsory and it will consist of lectures, tutorials, laboratory work, etc. Students will be expected to come fully prepared for the block as there will not be time to catch up. The course is run by the academics listed in Section 3. Other experts will contribute to the course to cover specific topics.A 60-minute test will be run on the first Thursday of the block session (23rd Jan) and a 3-hour formal test will be run on Friday 31st January 2020 at 9.00 am. The block session test will cover your reading in the first two weeks of the course (self-study period) and the material covered in the first three days of the block. We expect to be using the newly refurbished fire engineering lab during the block course. The exact details of the lab session will be communicated on the first day of the block course. The final test will cover all of the course material, and will be run on campus.The course will also be assessed by up to four assignments. These have to be completed in pairs. Students do not have to work in the same pair for each submission. Working in groups larger than pairs is not permitted and the rules regarding plagiarism remain in place. The correct use of English, appropriate units etc. will be required.The core material covered in the course will be presented in the lectures. Students are expected to jot down key concepts and ideas as they are discussed, or illustrated with diagrams and graphs. Examples and problems will be used to illustrate techniques and concepts, but you (students) are expected to put in time outside lectures to refine your understanding through revision and additional reading, and to develop your problem-solving skills by working through illustrative problems. The lecture material is supported by tutorials. These tutorials provide an excellent opportunity to develop problem solving skills in a supportive environment. Please take full advantage of these sessions. A rough guide to the amount of time you should be putting into the various parts of this course is listed as follows:Contact HoursLectures - 36 hoursTutorials - 12 hoursLaboratories - 5 hoursTotal - 53 hoursIndependent StudyLecture review and reading - 30 hoursTutorial prep, lab and assignments - 30 hoursTest and exam preparation - 37 hoursTotal - 97 hoursNote: This is an indication of average expected workload and the actual time spent by the student may vary widely.
For further information see
Civil and Natural Resources Engineering
Head of Department
The assessment for this paper will comprise three main components – a test, a final exam and assignments. The test will cover the first two modules (Introductory topics in fire engineering and Fire dynamics). The final exam covers all modules. Please note that:1. You cannot pass this course unless you achieve a mark of at least 40% in the final exam.2. Assignments shall be completed in pairs. The same grade will be given to both students except in exceptional circumstances. Students do not have to work in the same pair for each submission. Working in groups larger than pairs is not permitted and the rules regarding plagiarism remain in place.• Assignments must be submitted as a single complete document. A collection of spreadsheets etc. is not acceptable and unacceptable submissions will be returned unmarked.• You should describe your problem, your approach, properly reference any literature that you consult, etc.• Assignments can be typed or handwritten so long as they are legible.• Correct use of English, appropriate units, etc. are required.3. The test will cover material covered in the first two modules (Introductory topics in fire engineering and Fire dynamics) and students will be given a formula sheet.4. The final exam will be a 3-hour examination. It will cover all of the course material. All information needed for the exam will be provided.5. Students in this course can apply for special consideration for impaired performance provided they have sat the test, the final exam or both. Approved requests for Special Consideration will be considered following the department policy.Repeating students must complete all assignments, the test and the final exam unless otherwise agreed by the course co-ordinator.
Students will be given free access to an electronic copy of one of two course textbooks “Fire Engineering Design Guide”, 3rd edition which is published by CAENZ. In addition, students are expected to have access to “Principles of Fire Behavior” 2nd edition, by J. G. Quintiere, Wiley Publishing. Copies are available from the Engineering Library. Additional materials may be made available on the individual topics. Students will be informed when these materials are uploaded.
General Safe Conduct in the Laboratory:(i) Bare feet, jandals, sandals, or other open footwear are not permitted in laboratories; the University requires that safety boots are worn during labs.(ii) Smoking is prohibited in laboratories; (iii) Eating and drinking are prohibited in all laboratory areas and near computer terminals in the Computer Suite; (iv) Running or any form of "horseplay" or "skylarking" is not permitted in any of the laboratories as they are potentially very hazardous; (v) Long hair is to be adequately constrained; (vi) Loose clothing that could get caught in equipment or machinery should not be worn. (Neckties can be particularly hazardous in this regard). Specific Hazards in the Fire Engineering Laboratories: a) Prior to fire experiments: (i) Trip hazards such as cables, tubes, equipment etc. (ii) Flammable gases and liquids (iii) Electrical equipment and sparks Be careful what you touch and where you walk in the laboratory. Use appropriate safety equipment (gloves, safety glasses, etc.) where necessary before, during and after any fire experiment. b) During fire experiments: (i) Equipment noise (ii) High temperatures and thermal radiation (iii) Direct flame contact (iv) Toxic smoke The laboratory can get noisy during an experiment so listen carefully to any instructions. There are manual and automatic sprinklers installed in the laboratory. There is also manual firefighting equipment. If you feel threatened or even just uncomfortable during the experiment due to the fire or smoke then you should move to a safe place. In the unlikely event of something going wrong, you should evacuate the building by the most appropriate safe route. c) Post fire experiments:(i) Hot surfaces (ii) Soot and debris If you get soot or debris on your skin use soap and water to wash it off.
The course will be useful for engineers, architects, Building Control Authority and fire service personnel as a starting point for those who wish to become professional fire engineers through a combination of further education and experience. The course is generally required for anyone who is looking to pursue the fire engineering post-graduate qualifications.
Domestic fee $1,164.00
International fee $5,750.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Civil and Natural Resources Engineering