Faculty member and PhD student discuss fire engineering at international and national conferences

PhD student Ramla Qureshi presents research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Ramla Qureshi, PhD student in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, presentsresearch at MIT

By Peter Murphy

Published May 23, 2018

“Our research provides active boundary conditions when testing for fire, while behavior of the structure surrounding an element is simulated in real time in order to continuously update the applied boundary effects in a test.”
Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering

Assistant professor Negar Elhami Khorasani and PhD student Ramla Qureshi will travel to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) next week to participate in three different sessions Elhami Khorasani has organized with international colleagues.

Elhami Khorasani and her colleagues organized three sessions with a total of 16 presentations from the U.S., Asia and Europe. The theme of the sessions is centered around fire engineering. Structural Safety in Fire Engineering: Past, Present and Future will take attendees through the path this discipline has followed. Qureshi will present some of the research she and Elhami Khorasani have been working on, specifically, “the need of active boundary conditions for fire testing.”

“Research in this area started to accelerate in recent years,” Qureshi says, “the shift from prescriptive to performance-based design in fire engineering calls for experimental techniques that can capture real behavior of structures during fire and are economical.”

Elhami Khorasani will also attend and present a paper at the 10 International Conference on Structures in Fire (SIF) in June. Two conference papers will be presented as part of the conference. Elhami Khorasani will present the first paper, titled, Instantaneous stiffness correction for hybrid fire testing.

The hybrid testing technique is common in the field of earthquake engineering. Elhami Khorasani is applying this method to fire engineering; this paper presents the research results.

“While full-scale building tests are possible, these are highly expensive and require a specialized laboratory environment and full- scale models. Conversely, simpler tests of individual members in a standard furnace do not capture the global stiffness and redundancy of the boundary structure,” Elhami Khorasani says, “our research provides active boundary conditions when testing for fire, while behavior of the structure surrounding an element is simulated in real time in order to continuously update the applied boundary effects in a test.”

Khorasani will have another paper featured at the conference; Evaluating uncertainty in response of steel-composite members and assemblies under standard fire exposure – application of the ME-MDRM, is a collaboration between she and her colleagues from Ghent University in Belgium, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom. Professor Ruben Van Coil, from Ghent University, will present the paper featuring research on the importance of establishing efficient unbiased methods for the risk and reliability analysis of structures under fire. This research will help constitute broader Performance Based Design methodologies for fire safety.