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vfdb Excellence Award for Benjamin Schröder

At this year's general meeting of the vfdb (Vereinigung zur Förderung des Deutschen Brandschutzes e.V.), Benjamin Schröder (formerly JSC) received the excellence award for his doctoral thesis. vfdb, which is the largest community for fire safety engineering in Germany, awards the prize once a year for outstanding scientific work with a crucial impact for fire safety.

Benjamin Schröder's work was part of the ORPHEUS project coordinated by JSC, which aimed at the fire safety of underground stations. The research in his thesis entitled 'Multivariate Methods for Life Safety Analysis in Case of Fire' tackled a holistic analysis of life safety. Two major aspects made the work outstanding: the analysis is based on a large scenario ensemble and it also features a new analysis approach for complex building structures.

In contrast to state-of-the-art analyses using only a few scenarios, the new approach led to more than 8500 scenarios for the underground station investigated. Here, the fire and evacuation dynamics were coupled and the smoke spread data were computed on the supercomputer JURECA. To analyse the large amount of data, a new method based on a spatiotemporally resolved ASET/RSET (available/required safe egress time) map was proposed. This led to the definition of a single scalar value to characterize the criticality of a scenario. Finally, a cluster analysis allowed a few scenarios to be identified which represent the full criticality spectrum. The methods outlined in Benjamin Schröder's thesis are already being applied by practitioners in the German fire safety community. For further information, visit

Contact: Dr. Lukas Arnold,

from JSC News No. 259, 8 August 2018