Experimental Methodology in Fire Science Research

The Division of Fire Safety Engineering will give a two day course for post-graduate students prior to the IAFSS symposium.

If you are interested in participating or if you have any questions please contact: nils.johansson@brand.lth.se. The final date for applying to the course is April 21, 2017


The aim is that the postgraduate students get a deeper understanding of experimental method applicable in fire science research.

The student will be provided with knowledge about fundamental concepts and techniques that are applied across a range of experimental fields.

The course also aims to bring young researchers in the field of fire safety science together in order to exchange experiences and contacts for future collaboration and contact.

Skills and Abilities

The student should be able to:

  • Construct an experimental design.
  • Describe and use basic statically methods for evaluating experimental measurements.
  • Discuss the accuracy of their collected and evaluated data.
  • Describe possible ethical issues in their research field


The course is built around the book “Experiment! – Planning, Implementing and Interpreting” by Öivind Andersson.

 The following topics will be covered in the sessions in the course:

  • Introduction to the experimental method
  • Experimental design.
  • Experimental methods in fire dynamics research
  • Experimental methods in evacuation research
  • Ethics and plagiarism

The student will need to prepare him- or herself before the course by reading hand-outs and solve exercises provided by the course responsible.

The student also needs to submit a final assignment within 2 months of the course to the course responsible. The final assignment is introduced on the last session.

Preliminary Schedule

A total of 6 sessions will be conducted in course. All sessions will take place in conjunction with the 12th International Symposium on Fire Safety Science at Lund University. The preliminary dates for the course are June 8-9 2017.

The following table gives the topic and date of the sessions in the course.

Session Topic Date Time Room
Start Introduction June 8 9-10 TBA
Session 1 What is an experiment? June 8 10-12 TBA
Session 2 Statistics for experiments June 8 13-15 TBA
Session 3 Experimental design 1 June 8 15-17 TBA
 Social activity 
Session 4 Experimental design 2 June 9 9-10 TBA
Session 5 Ethics and plagiarism June 9 10-12
Session 6 Experimental methods in fire science research (fire dynamics and evacuation) June 9 13-16 TBA
End Summary and final assignment June 9 16-17 TBA
 Social activity  

Literature and Language

The course book is: Experiment! – Planning, Implementing and Interpreting by Öivind Andersson, published by John Wiley & Sons, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-470-68825-0

Exercises may be carried out using Microsoft Excel or Mathworks Matlab.

The course will be given in English.

Course Certificate

Students that attend the sessions and presents the final assignment will receive a course certificate.

Teaching Staff

Nils Johansson, associate senior lecturer, Lund University (course responsible)

Daniel Nilsson, senior lecturer, Lund University

Patrick van Hees, Professor, Lund University