UQ Fire wins the 2018 NIST “Christmas Tree Fire HRR prediction” competition

On December 12 2018, the University of Maryland – Department of Fire Protection Engineering supported by NIST hosted the fifth Annual Christmas Tree Fire Safety Demonstration. This event consisted of a series of live fire experiments on both natural and artificial Christmas trees to show the burning behaviour of Christmas trees and to raise awareness about the damage caused by typical Christmas tree fires.

As part of the demonstration, students, researchers and engineers from Fire Safety Science and Engineering programmes and companies around the world were invited to join the “Christmas Tree Fire Heat Release Rate prediction” competition, where they must predict the burning behaviour of a Fraser Fir Christmas Tree from ignition to burnout. Individual submissions must predict parameters including the Fire Growth Rate, Peak Heat Release Rate (Peak HRR), Duration of Steady Burning, and Fire Decay.

For the 2018 Competition, 114 predictions from 32 institutions around the world were received. The video of the 2018 Christmas Tree Burn can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PLr9mdDL90&t=595s

This year, Dr Andres Osorio, Dr Martyn Mclaggan, Mr Andrea Lucherini, Mr Abdulrahman Zaben, and Mr Mateo Gutierrez represented UQ Fire. The UQ Fire team performance was remarkably good, obtaining the best individual submission, as well as the best team prediction (average of the individual submissions from the same institution).

Results from Individual Predictions (individuals who scored 70 pts or higher):

  1. Mateo Gutierrez Gonzalez, University of Queensland (81.08 points)
  2. Junyi Li, Ghent University (79.17 points)
  3. Jakob Brinkø Berg, DTU (78.97 points)
  4. Lucy Fox, NIST (78.36)
  5. Salah Benkorichi, Omega Fire Engineering (76.36 points)


Results from Group/Team Average Score (3 or more individuals from one Institution):

  1. University of Queensland (55.24 points)
  2. NIST (48.73 points)
  3. Worcester Polytechnic Institute, WPI (48.72 points) <– so close!
  4. University of Edinburgh (44.71 points)
  5. Case Western Reserve University (42.74 points)

Big congratulations must be extended to the UQ fire team who proudly represented our group and special congratulations to Martyn who has now been part of the winning team for three consecutive years, and to Mateo who submitted the best individual prediction in this year’s competition.

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