Dr Rahul Wadhwani

Completed PhD student
Dr Rahul Wadhwani

Using a firebrand modelling dragon system, Dr Rahul Wadhwani’s PhD refined two sub models in the Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Dynamics Simulator: pyrolysis and firebrand transport. His research is benefiting fire model developers and improving numerical modelling of short-range embers.

“These embers travel in front of a fire front and can start new fires, which can trap firefighters or destroy houses,” Rahul said. “I’m hopeful that my results could help enable better predictions for fire behaviour in vegetation where a lot of embers are generated.”

In 2017, Rahul spent five months at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Imperial College London as a visiting PhD student, working as part of a team reviewing fire behaviour on significant fires internationally: 2016’s Fort McMurray (Canada) fire, the 2016 Haifa (Israel) fire, the 2014 Västmanland
(Sweden) fire and 2009’s Black Saturday in Australia.

Rahul has presented his research findings at a conference in Sweden and took part in the Three Minute Thesis at the Research Advisory Forum in 2018. He now leads the Large Outdoor Fires and the Built Environment subgroup, established by the International Association for Fire Safety Science.

Student project

This study is refining two sub-models, pyrolysis and firebrand transport, in the Wildland-Urban Interface Fire Dynamics Simulator (WFDS), which is a US computational fluid dynamics based fire model. These sub-models will then be validated against experimental data obtained through a constructed firebrand generator. This study will be a part of a larger research project, the aim of which is to develop full physics-based WFDS models that can provide insight into non-physics based operational tools and improve their effectiveness. The resulting model will also be able to generate input data for non-physics based models by simulating enough case studies to cater to a wide range of variables.
Supervisory panel:
Ignitability of eucalyptus litters
19 Sep 2018
The propagation of fire inside a typical forest canopy is heavily dependent on the amount of oxygen...
Rahul Wadhwani Conference Poster 2016
14 Aug 2016
Firebrands are burning pieces of litter, for example, bark, leaf, and twigs.

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