24th Australasian Conference on the Mechanics of Structures and Materials

The last 9th of December students from the UQ Fire attended the ACMSM24 conference. In my case, that was the first time I was going to present my research to professors other than my supervisors and people in UQ Fire.

The conference embraced all sort of topics, from new technologies in structures to how to protect structures against all possible hazards.

Luckily, my presentation was scheduled for the last day of the conference. Therefore, I managed to network with many delegates that got curious about my topic and assisted my session, giving me support and interesting feedback.

My presentation was about the main differences of a fire in a timber structure and a non-combustible structure. I also explained the potential of self-extinguishment of timber and how much we could gain if we could apply this phenomenon in the fire safety design.

Quang Le, also a student from the fire team at the University of Queensland, presented his work about concrete cylinders heated uniformly with radiant panels. His discussion was about how the thermal gradient inside the concrete affects the material properties.


Proceedings from the conference are available here (for free). Quang’s and my paper may be found in the references below.

Q Le, VTN Dao, C. Maluk, J. Torero, and L. Bisby. (2016). An investigation into temperature gradient effects on concrete performance at elevated temperaturesMechanics of Structures and Materials: Advancements and Challenges, Taylor & Francis Group, pp 951-956. ISBN: 978-1-138-02993-4

Gorska Putynska, A. Law, and J. Torero. (2016). An investigation into the effect of exposed timber on thermal loadMechanics of Structures and Materials: Advancements and Challenges, Taylor & Francis Group, pp 939-944. ISBN: 978-1-138-02993-4



While meeting new people during the breaks, I got into a discussion with a group of researchers from the University of New England. They were specialists in structural corrosion. One of them mentioned that fire is like corrosion just in a faster rate. Therefore, both fields might have many things in common. – which might sound evident but the term “corrosion” is hardly used in the fire field, that is why I found it interesting.

On the other hand, one of the keynote speakers from Swinburne University of Technology did a very interesting presentation about geopolymer concrete. He explained the arguments why it is ecologically friendly and why the market is reluctant to use it. Most interestingly, he assured that this concrete does not spall during fire. I was wandering how relying is this statement, as most of the delegates where conducting fire tests in conventional furnaces which may not be really adequate for this kind of experiments.

I got many positive experiences from this event: many of the presentations were very interesting, I learned new skills on how to speak in public and I acquired new ideas about my research thanks to networking with other professors.

Carmen Gorska

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