Professor Gary Hunt, the Dyson Professor of Fluid Mechanics has received the Telford Gold Medal for his work on the influence of room geometry on the overturning of smoke owing to a floor fire.
Gary's paper was published in: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) vol. 166, issue 2 and was voted the overall best ICE paper of 2014. The paper details the elegant application of fluid mechanics to a problem of great practical value, namely the estimation of the filling of a room with smoke in the event of a fire, and the prediction of the safe time to evacuate such a room. The strength of the paper lies in the exploration and resolution of the underlying fluid mechanics determining the three-dimensional, confined spreading of smoke.
The modelling used has contributed to design guidelines suitable for use by practising fire-safety engineers.
The Telford Gold medal is the Institution of Civil Engineers' highest award for a paper. It was introduced in 1835 following a bequest by Thomas Telford (1757-1834), the Institution's first President. The medal may be awarded for a single paper or an outstanding series of papers.