Commencing with WSP in late 2020, Laura Schmidt completed her Bachelor of Science in General Engineering Science with a focus on Civil and Environmental Engineering and her Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering in both Europe, China and Australia. She was recently invited to present her research on char fall-off and its impact on timber structures and fire with the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) London Student Chapter, where she discussed the complexities of the structural capacity of timber when exposed to fire.
Laura says, “Engineered timber buildings are becoming increasingly popular, due to their promise of sustainability, aesthetic benefits and potential cost savings.”
However, fire poses a real risk to timber structures, and keeping people safe from the dangers of fire is one of the greatest responsibilities facing the property industry. Laura’s research addresses this concern.
“Learning to predict and prevent char loss in the event of a fire is important, as it determines the timber structure’s mechanical response to the fire,” adds Laura. “Building a strong fundamental understanding of the drivers behind char fall off means that methods to prevent it or account for it can result in reliable safe structures.”
With an aim of encouraging further education around the use of timber, Laura is currently completing a research article for publishing in several international scientific journals and magazines. She will also present at the upcoming Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Science and Technology in December this year.
WSP prides itself on attracting and retaining the best talent who thrive on challenges and unconventional thinking in alignment with our Future Ready program. We look forward to continuing to support Laura’s career as she pursues holistic approaches to timber and fire safety.