FEMTC 2024 in Kansas City, MO and online | Sept 18-20.


All FEMTC 2020 Videos Now Available

In September 2020, Thunderhead Engineering welcomed a record attendance to FEMTC 2020 in its first virtual edition. We are excited to present to you the full set of presentations from our event with videos, papers, and slides available. This material is free for anyone to download/view.

We've previously written about Thunderhead Engineering President Brian Hardeman's first and second talk of the event as those were made available. You can view those posts, or read on for a look at some key speaker presentations from the event.

For more information and the full list of 38 presentations, visit the FEMTC 2020 event page. We will be discussing each individual presentation on our social media channels, so follow the Thunderhead Engineering account on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, if you would like to contribute to those conversations and stay informed of future FEMTC events.

Evacuation modelling and COVID-19

Enrico Ronchi - Department of Fire Safety Engineering, Lund University

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the research domain of crowd dynamics is under the spotlight, given the risk of virus transmission in confined and open spaces. All stakeholders dealing with crowds face new challenges concerning safety. The key challenge for fire safety engineers is the need to ensure crowd safety in case of concurrent threats, i.e. a fire and virus transmission. Evacuation modelling is a powerful tool to address this issue. In this context, the introduction of physical distancing recommendations and the risk perception concerning virus transmission can affect crowd movement and behaviour. This implies that evacuation models need to be calibrated and modified in light of the expected behavioural changes and the interactions between pedestrians and between pedestrians and their surroundings. Given the current limited knowledge on human behaviour and space usage during pandemics, this talk presents an overview of the possible uses and needed modifications of crowd evacuation models. This includes both proximity analysis and exposure assessment. A model for exposure assessment to retrofit crowd evacuation models, called EXPOSED, is also presented. EXPOSED allows the study of occupant exposure based on the analysis of pedestrian trajectories, considering different types of disease transmission mechanisms.

Evacuation Analysis of a Large Experimental Cavern of the CERN Accelerator Complex

Giordana Gai - CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research

This contribution describes the evacuation analysis of a large underground facility of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The facility is located at approximately 100 m below ground and is part of the CERN largest particle accelerator complex: the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The experimental area is composed by a main cavern connected through corridors and passages to service caverns. Those are served by lifts foreseen in the evacuation procedure to reach the surface buildings. Given the complexity of the cavern from an evacuation standpoint, the use of agent-based modelling is employed. The evacuation model Pathfinder has been selected, and its capability to automatically integrate toxicity data from the PyroSim/FDS model along the occupants' paths and to calculate their Fractional Effective Dose (FED) has been used. The cavern also includes a particle detector, unique in its layout, for which the evacuation procedure foresees self-rescue masks to be collected at specific locations before moving towards the exit. Behavioural scenarios are carefully defined based on literature and evacuation drills. Repeated evacuation simulations are run with Pathfinder adopting pseudo-random sampling from distributions to vary the model inputs and evaluate behavioural uncertainty. Depending on their initial position in the cavern, the occupants - likely to be involved in maintenance activities - would need to evacuate using scaffolding, ascending and descending stepladders and stairs. The case study shows the importance of using advance modelling techniques to evaluate the consequences for life safety during fire evacuation in complex underground facilities.

The FDS Pressure Equation: Intuitive Understanding and Solution Strategies

Susanne Kilian - hhpberlin Ingenieure für Brandschutz GmbH

The pressure equation plays an important role within the entire FDS solution process. Particularly with regard to an efficient parallelization, it represents a major challenge. The following presentation is intended to provide a more intuitive understanding of the inherent properties of this equation and the associated implications regarding its efficient and accurate parallel solution. Basic design principles of currently applied and potentially alternative solution strategies will be presented and compared regarding their advantages and disadvantages.

For more view the FEMTC 2020 event page.