IBE faculty presents fire protection findings at International Conference

By Peter Murphy

Published April 19, 2018 This content is archived.

An assistant professor representing UB’s Institute of Bridge Engineering (IBE), presented findings of a study indicating the importance of investments in fire protection for railway tunnels.


“Disruptions in service and downtime of tunnels following a fire can lead to significant economic losses and social costs,” says Negar Elhami Khorasani, who presented the findings, and is lead author of a paper on the study.

This research examines the expected structural damage in a tunnel during a fire event and concludes that, although safety may not be compromised, significant damage to the tunnel structure could be incurred. Therefore, a preliminary investment in fire protection of tunnels, for a faster service restoration, is justified. However, before organizations are able to make decisions on investments, a quantitative risk analysis is essential.

The findings are published in a paper, titled Structural performance of a railway tunnel under different fire scenarios, co-authored with Andreas Stavridis, an assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, and John Billittier, a student in the department’s graduate program.

Elhami Khorasani presented the findings at the 2018 Joint Rail Conference (JRC). The conference takes place April 18 through April 20, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to its website, the JRC is “the premier technical event in the U.S., including all disciplines for freight and passenger rail transportation, mechanical, electrical, civil and systems engineering.”

To learn more about the conference, visit this link