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Our research in the field of fire dynamics covers bench scale experiments, development of new numerical methods and large-scale simulations on HPC systems.

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The modelling of fire and smoke spread in buildings using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods became very popular in fire safety engineering and science. Increasingly accurate geometry and phenomena modeling are the benefits of those methods, however they are in general numerically and computationally very demanding. Three dimensional turbulent reactive flows with radiative, convective and conductive heat transfer have to be modeled on length scales ranging from less than one millimetre to several hundred metres: The use of high performance computing (HPC) suggests itself.

The fire dynamics group emerged 2012 within the division "Civil Safety and Traffic" of the Jülich Supercomputing Centre. The division is closely coupled to the Bergische Universität Wuppertal, where the group contributes to various teaching activities and supervision of Bachelor, Master and PhD students. The primary scientific goal of the group is the development and validation of models and methods in the field of fire dynamics.

All our work, i.e. methods, software and data sets, is freely available either directly via the webpages or on request.

Research Topics

Fire Dynamics Research Topic Experiments

Bouyancy Driven Flow Experiments

The validation of complex computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models, like the Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS), is a major task in fire safety science.

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Fire Dynamics Research Topic Underground Stations

Safety in Underground Stations

We investigate the life safety in underground stations in the event of a fire. CFD-based fire simulations predict the availability of escape paths.

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Visibility in Compartment Fires

In life safety analysis, the simulation of smoke propagation, toxicity and visibility can be used to predict the tenability criteria during evacuation.

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ARTSS is a CFD code simulating buoyancy-driven turbulent smoke spread based on finite differences and a large eddy simulation (LES) turbulence model.

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Fire Dynamics Research Topic Pyrolysis


Pyrolysis is a major process that must be considered for modelling the flame spread. It describes the gasification of a solid and provides fuel for the fire.

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