Dr Felix Wiesner joined the Fire Safety Engineering research group at The University of Queensland (UQ) as a lecturer in timber engineering in October. His research, which is funded by the National Centre for Timber Durability, will investigate the effectiveness of fire-retardant treatment options for timber products and how these can be best utilised to meet performance-based fire safety measures.
Australia has a rich history of timber as a construction material with a multitude of uses. Timber is used structurally for dwellings, as well as for infrastructure, such as utility poles, and for decking or cladding. For all these applications unique risks from compartment and wildfires must be considered within the context of the timber used. The analysis and development of treatment methods can support the better utilisation and optimisation of timber resources for the consideration of the effects of fire.
Special focus will be placed on the link between fire performance and durability of timber and engineering timber products, to ensure that modern timber buildings can achieve their design life targets. In addition to treatment options, Dr Wiesner will also investigate the influence of physical parameters on the fire performance of different Australian timber species; this will enable a better selection of timber species to meet required performance criteria and allow better utilisation of native timber species and aid the local economic development.
Prior to joining the fire research team at UQ Dr Wiesner completed his doctoral studies on the structural performance of engineered timber products in fire at The University of Edinburgh. During his studies, he also worked on multiple large-scale mass timber compartment fire experiments and investigated the thermal consequences of localised fires on steel columns.