How do Buildings Burn? by Professor José L. Torero
AIB Address Series
3 September 2014
Charles Pearson Theatre,
Eastern Resource Centre (ERC), Level 1,
The University of Melbourne
The Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Building is pleased to present an AIB Address by
Professor José L. Torero, Head, School of Civil Engineering, The University of Queensland.
HOW DO BUILDINGS BURN?
Fire safety in construction is a heavily regulated environment intended to deliver safe infrastructure. Nevertheless, behind regulations hide inefficiencies, mistakes, misinterpretations and ignorance that, many times, lead to expensive and poorly constructed projects. Furthermore, innovation can find in regulations an unsurmountable hurdle. To optimise safety it is not sufficient to have a prescriptive framework but it is essential to understand how buildings burn.
José L. Torero is the Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of School at the University of Queensland. A graduate of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and the University of California at Berkeley, Professor Torero has held the positions of Head of the Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, BRE/RAE Chair and Director of the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, and was Landolt & Cie Chair in Innovation for a Sustainable Future at École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne. Additionally, Professor Torero was an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland (USA) and Charge de Recherche at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France). He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Building Research Establishment.
In 2008 Professor Torero was awarded the Arthur B. Guise Medal by the Society of Fire Protection Engineering and, in 2011, the Rasbash Medal from the Institution of Fire Engineers (UK) for eminent achievement in the advancement of the science of fire safety.
He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Fire Safety Journal and was the Associate Editor of Combustion Science and Technology (2005-2010). He is a member of the Editorial Board of Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, Fire Technology, Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, Fire Science and Technology and the International Journal for High-Rise Buildings. He is the vice-Chair of the International Association for Fire Safety Science, Chair of the Fire Safety Working Group of the International Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and a member of numerous influential committees and standards development bodies.
A consultant to many private and government organisations around the world, Professor Torero has participated in such landmark fire forensic projects as the Buncefield fire, the Sago Mine disaster, the Texas City refinery explosion, and the collapse of the World Trade Centre. He is recognised for leading edge research in a broad range of subjects associated with fire safety.