A University of Edinburgh news release

Buildings could be better designed against the dangers of fire thanks to research at the University of Edinburgh.

Structural engineer and fire expert Dr Luke Bisby will join the University next month (May) and is to focus on improving the fire safety of both traditional and new building materials and methods of building repair.

Dr Bisby has been appointed Arup Foundation/Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellow in Structures and Fire, and will join the University’s Building Research Establishment (BRE) Centre for Fire Safety Engineering.

Dr Bisby’s work should lead to more robust and easier to implement fire safety solutions and in the long term could transform industry thinking around fire safety, encouraging architects and engineers to collaborate to enable sustainable designs for buildings of the future.

Dr Bisby said: “The combination of complementary expertise in the Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at Edinburgh is unique, and I hope that my addition to the group will help it to conduct leading research in all areas of fire safety engineering.”

Sir Duncan Michael, trustee of the Arup Foundation and a Fellow of the Academy, said: “Creating opportunities for greater interdisciplinary understanding is fundamental to the Arup Foundation. By supporting the University of Edinburgh in the appointment of Dr Bisby we are helping to instigate new thinking around the subject of fire safety engineering in buildings, in order to rationalise practice methods and encourage integration with all disciplines involved in building design.

“In the long term, the research work should have a positive influence on the teaching, training, practice and legislation of fire safety in buildings, while also benefiting the industry as a whole.”

Robert Barrett, Head of Research at The Royal Academy of Engineering, welcomed this new joint Arup and Academy-funded appointment which will enhance the successful Fire Engineering Research Group, in which the Academy already co-sponsors a Research Chair. The addition of a new and important discipline will enable the integration of Structural, Architectural and Fire Safety Engineering at Edinburgh.

Previously, Dr Bisby was Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada.

Notes for editors

  1. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
  2. Arup is the global firm of designers, engineers and business consultants providing a diverse range of professional services to clients around the world. The firm is the creative and inspirational force behind many of the world’s most innovative and sustainable building, transport and civil engineering projects. Arup provides its clients with the brightest minds who provide extraordinary business advice and creative solutions for the built environment.

    Established in 1946, Arup has over 10,000 employees, based in more than 90 offices across more than 35 countries, working on up to 10,000 projects at any one time. Its unique structure, with the firm held in trust on behalf of its employees, gives Arup complete independence. Profit at 31 March 2007 was £48.5m GBP, before tax and profit share, while turnover rose 21% on the previous year to reach £572.4m.

    Arup’s multi-disciplinary approach means that any given project may involve people from any or all of the sectors or regions in which it operates. Its aim is to achieve excellence in all it does by bringing together the best professionals in the world to meet our clients’ needs.

For more information please contact

Catriona Kelly, University of Edinburgh Press and PR Office, Tel 0131 651 4401