The unit provides students with an understanding on the details of combustion process, flame characteristics, fire behaviour of materials, fire retardants and various test methods. It also covers, modelling of decomposition and combustion of fuels in various forms and associated heat transfer mechanisms during pre and post flashover stages. Details of two-zone models and computational fluid dynamics models (including underlying physics and numerical scheme); and model validation are an integral part of this unit.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


VQB5612 - Scientific Principles for Fire Professionals

VQB5641 - Fire Safety Systems Design

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse chemical decomposition, with the pyrolysis of solids and evaporation of liquid fuels, and combustion  
  2. Evaluate fire properties of building materials and contents  
  3. Compute advanced heat transfer, fluid dynamics and fire dynamics  
  4. Evaluate a number of commonly used modelling tools for fire and smoke growth and propagation.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise Fire dynamics (1500 words) 25%
Assignment Combustion chemistry and toxicity (1500 words) 25%
Report Field and zone modelling (2500 words) 50%

Required reading

In addition to required texts, a very comprehensive set of course notes will be available that cover most topics. These notes will contain further references and reading material.

An Introduction to Fire Dynamics 3rd ed.
Drysdale, D., (2010)
John Wiley and Sons, London

International Fire Engineering Guidelines
Australian Building Codes Board (2005)
Australian Building Codes Board

International fire engineering guidelines (2005) is the most recent edition.

Where to next?

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