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Professor Ed Galea - University Alliance. London, England, GB

Professor Ed Galea Professor Ed Galea

Director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group | University of Greenwich

London, England, UNITED KINGDOM

His research and software tools inform disaster management and crowd safety, and the design of safe buildings, aircraft and ships, globally

Areas of Expertise (5)

Fire and Evacuation

Evacuation

Computational Fire Engineering

Fire Safety

Civil Defence

Biography

Professor Ed Galea is the founding Director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG) at the University of Greenwich. He leads a team investigating how fires spread and how people in emergency situations respond - using computer modelling - in buildings, aircraft, ships, rail transport and urban environments. His work has informed disaster management, the designs of airplanes, buildings and passenger ships (based on the best layouts for evacuation), and the invention of tools used in safety modelling globally. He manages the research activities of 20 full-time psychologists, fire engineers, computer scientists and mathematicians. His personal research interests include human evacuation behaviour, crowd dynamics, evacuation and crowd modelling, and fire modelling.

Ed’s recent projects include: a study into the human factors associated with the evacuation of the World Trade Center, a Homeland Security project (supported by the US DoD) to develop a real-time evacuation management system for the Pentagon building, understanding human behaviour associated with the impact of security bollards on evacuation, and the modelling of respiratory droplets during the COVID-19 pandemic to assess social distancing measures. Ed is the Vice-Chair of the International Association of Fire Safety Science. He has served on several major public inquires and legal cases as an expert in fire and evacuation including: the Paddington Rail Crash, the Swiss Air MD11 crash, the Admiral Duncan pub bombing, and the Grenfell Tower block fire.

Media Mentions (5)

Airplane accidents are 95% survivable. Here are seven ways to increase those odds even more.

Business Insider India  online

2020-02-05

An analysis by the University of Greenwich professor Ed Galea found that sitting within five rows of an emergency exit will drastically improve your chance of survival. Galea analyzed the seating charts from more than 100 plane crashes, interviewing 1,900 passengers and 155 crew members. He found that most survivors only had to move five rows or less before escaping the plane. Any more than that, your odds of survival drop.

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Airplane accidents are 95% survivable. Here are seven ways to increase those odds even more.

Business Insider  online

2020-02-04

An analysis by the University of Greenwich professor Ed Galea found that sitting within five rows of an emergency exit will drastically improve your chance of survival. Galea analyzed the seating charts from more than 100 plane crashes, interviewing 1,900 passengers and 155 crew members. He found that most survivors only had to move five rows or less before escaping the plane. Any more than that, your odds of survival drop.

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What the Titanic teaches us

San Francisco Chronicle  online

2019-05-24

"Children obviously need help," said Ed Galea, a professor of mathematical modeling and evacuation specialist and the University of Greenwich.

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Should overhead lockers be centrally locked?

BBC  online

2016-08-08

"Passengers are told not to waste time getting luggage, but they just don't listen," says fire safety expert Prof Ed Galea of London's Greenwich University. "This is not unusual, it happens in most cases. Often they don't appreciate the absolute urgency of their situation. They don't realise that every second can literally make the difference between life and death."

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Construction site workers “risk lives” as they snub evacuation alarms

PBC Today  online

2019-09-04

Professor Ed Galea, who headed up the research team in the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich, said: “In an emergency evacuation situation, each second can make the difference between life and death. A delayed response poses a significant risk to the health and safety of workers who might need to be evacuated due to a fire, or another on-site emergency.

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Multimedia Appearances

Publications:

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Videos:

Escalator efficiency - BBC Radio4 TODAY Evacuation from  Herculaneum

Audio:

Social

Accomplishments (3)

Society of Fire Protection Engineers (UK) Best Research Project for 2019 Award

2019 Research project concerning evacuation from high-rise construction sites.

Winner, Royal Aeronautical Society’s Gold Award 2017

2017 A paper co-authored by Prof Galea, entitled, ‘Numerical Investigation of the Fatal 1985 Manchester Airport B737 Fire’, which appeared in the Aeronautical Journal was selected as the best research publication to appear in 2017.

Winner, The Guardian University Award for Research Impact 2014

2014 In 2014 a project conceived and managed by Prof Galea concerned with the development of a novel concept in emergency signage called, ‘Active Dynamic Signage System’ won The Guardian University Award for Research Impact.

Education (3)

University of Newcastle: Ph.D., Astrophysics 1984

Monash University: Dip.Ed., Education 1981

Monash University: B.Sc., Science 1980

Articles (6)

A naval damage incident recoverability toolset: Assessing naval platform recoverability after a fire event

Ocean Engineering

2020 Naval platform survivability is a key enabler to ensure maritime warfighting capability. Therefore, assessment of naval platform recoverability, after a damage event, is critical to assure platform survivability in a warfighting environment. To support such an assessment, an innovative modelling and simulation capability, known as the Naval Damage Incident Recoverability Toolset (NavDIRecT) is being developed.

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Hospital evacuation planning tool for assistance devices (HEPTAD)

Fire and Materials

2020 A new software tool, called HEPTAD (Hospital Evacuation Planning Tool for Assistance Devices), designed to aid evacuation planning in hospitals is described and demonstrated in this article. The software can identify regions within a hospital geometry that are inappropriate for patients who require the use of specific movement assistance devices in the event of an emergency evacuation.

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An evacuation model validation data-set for high-rise construction sites

Fire Safety Journal

2020 Evacuation of high-rise construction sites is one of the most challenging evacuation scenarios conceivable. Over the past 50 years, very little evacuation research has focused on issues uniquely associated with high-rise construction sites. To address this, FSEG, in collaboration with IOSH and Multiplex, undertook a three-year project to develop an evidence base describing evacuation performance of high-rise construction site workers.

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The modelling of pedestrian vehicle interaction for post-exiting behaviour

Proceedings of Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics 2018

2020 During a major evacuation of high capacity buildings, such as a tower block or transportation hub, the emergency services will need to consider the safety of the people within the vicinity of the emergency. However, in general, when assessing the safety of a building for evacuation only the behaviour within the building is considered.

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Perception and recollection of fire hazards in dwelling fires

Safety Science

2020 Current understanding of dwelling fire injury outcomes is impacted by data limitations, confounds, and failures to adequately examine occupant behaviour. For instance, research rarely considers: occupant perception of fire hazard properties (e.g. size of flames/smoke when first encountered); resultant engagement (enter smoky room, tackle flames); whether hazard size percepts are accurate when recollected for investigators; and what the best recollection method is.

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Perceptions of autonomous vehicles: Relationships with road users, risk, gender and age

Science Direct

2020-12-09

Fully automated self-driving cars, with expected benefits including improved road safety, are closer to becoming a reality. Thus, attention has turned to gauging public perceptions of these autonomous vehicles. Future studies should continue to investigate people’s perceptions from multiple perspectives, taking into account various road user viewpoints and individual characteristics.

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