top of page



MOOC “Playing with Fire” is online

May 2023

After two years of preparation and shooting, the MOOC “Playing with Fire” is online now. This is the world’s first online course that is dedicated to fire safety engineering. The instructors include Dr Xinyan Huang, Dr Liming Jiang, Dr Gigi Lui, Dr Anwar Orabi, Dr Aatif Khan et al. The course materials (videos and notes) are free to watch, and with an additional US$ 100, the students can get a certificate. 

new member_Bingyou and congliang.png

Welcome Prof. Bingyou Jiang & Dr Congliang Ye

May 2023

We have a new visiting scholar Prof. Bingyou Jiang from the Anhui Science and Technology University since the pandemic. Prof. Jiang is an expert in mining safety and dust explosion. He will spend one year at PolyU, hosted by Dr Xinyan Huang. Dr Congliang Ye has joined us as a new postdoc fellow. He obtained his PhD from Beijing Institute of Technology, and his research area is explosion and fire suppression. Big Welcome!

Battery fair.jpeg

Attending China Int. Battery Fair

May 2023

Dr Xinyan Huang and two PhD students (Yanhui and Lei) attended the 15th China International Battery Fair in Shenzhen. The event brought together manufacturers, researchers, and investors under one roof. Many advanced battery technologies and systems were demonstrated, including next-generation lithium-ion batteries, solid-state batteries, sodium-ion batteries, etc. The fair also exhibited latest technologies across the battery chain, as well as breakthroughs in battery recycling, safety, and environmental sustainability.

Xinyan UC Berkeley.jpeg

Xinyan Visits UC Berkeley in Summer

May 2023

Xinyan will take his first summer sabbatical leave to the US. He will start his trip from the University of California at Berkeley and visit FM Global (world’s top fire insurance company) near Boston to brainstorm new research ideas and establish new research collaborations. Xinyan will also attend the coming NFPA conference and visit many other universities along the trip. 

2023 Tsinghua visit_edited.jpg

Tsinghua-PolyU SureFire Workshop

May 2023

PolyU SureFire research team co-host a workshop on Smart Firefighting with Prof. Xinzhen Lu’s group at Tsinghua University in Beijing. It is the first in-person event that SureFire team organized since the pandemic. Four faculty members (Prof. Asif Usmani, Dr Xinyan Huang, Dr Qixin Wang, and Dr Yuxin Zhang) and eight lab members (Ho Yin, Wilson, Yizhou, Yanfu, Shiyu, Yifei, Meng, and Congliang) have joined in the workshop and enjoyed the trip to Beijing. Please click "read more" for more details (In Chinese).

FT_Fire education.png

Fire Engineering Higher Education in China

May 2023

Fire safety science and engineering is an emerging and multi-disciplinary subject. It has gone through rapid development in China over the last century. This work introduces the establishment and evolution of fire safety higher education programs, engineering license, and firefighting forces in China. This invited review is led by Prof. Supan Wang (our former visiting scholar) from Nanjing Tech University and is now published in Fire Technology.

2023 HKIE.jpeg

PolyU Fire Attends HKIE Fire Symposium

May 2023

Xinyan gives an invited talk of Smart Firefighting: State of the Art and Future Perspectives at the 14th HKIE Fire Division annual symposium. Four PhD students (Yanfu, Yifei, Wilson, Yunzhu and Lei) join in the symposium. BEEE colleagues Dr Liming Jiang and Dr Anthony Yuen also join in the event. PolyU Fire Lab will continue working closely with HKIE to educate more engineers and improve urban fire safety. 

2023 Aatif paper.jpeg

Modelling Framework for Fire Investigation

May 2023

The forensic assessment of a major fire is quite challenging. Our new paper proposes a methodology to reconstruct the fire for the forensic assessment of tall buildings, using the Plasco Building fire and collapse as a case study. The framework presented in this paper can guide engineers to improve building resilience designs and reduce fire hazards. This work is led by Dr Aatif Khan (now a lecturer at the University of Canterbury) and published in Case Studies in Thermal Engineering.

Taiwan conference.png

Wilson Presents in ASPACC at Kaohsiung

May 2023

PolyU Fire lab has submitted more than 5 papers to the 14th Asia-Pacific Conference on Combustion (ASPACC) in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Unfortunately, most members cannot visit Taiwan due to the visa issue. Wilson is the only one who can attend the conference in person, and he presents his latest research on modelling smouldering fire in the atrium. It is a great experience. Hopefully, all of us can attend the next ASPACC in Singapore 2025. 

2023 EXPO.jpeg

Attending Asia Building EXPO

May 2023

Smart firefighting is a key element of smart buildings and city. HK has been actively promoting the development and application of new smart technologies in building applications. The city has organized the Asia Building EXPO annually, which provides a great opportunity for research institutes, manufacturers, building managers, and citizens to see the latest progress and further collaborate.  

2023 fuel peat fire.jpeg

Modelling 2D Peat Fire Spread

April 2023

The spread of smouldering peat fire is a complex wildfire phenomenon. We develop a new 2D model to simulate such a complex fire spread process that agrees with the lab experiments at a quantitative level. This work is led by Dr Han Yuan (former postdoc fellow) in collaboration with Imperial College London, and now it is published in Fuel.  

2023 ifma AWARD.jpeg

Ho Yin and Wilson won IFMA Gold Award

April 2023

PhD students Ho Yin Wong and Wilson Cheung received the Gold Trophy in the Asia Pacific Inter-Institutional Competition on Facility Management Project Presentation hosted by International Facility Management Association (IFMA). Their project is “Revolutionary Evacuation and Management System (REMS)”. Big Congrats!

2023 ISTSS.jpeg

Xiaoning Presents at ISTSS 2023

March 2023

Xiaoning gives a talk of “An AIoT-based smart digital twin for real-time tunnel fire safety monitoring” at the 10th International Symposium on Tunnel Safety and Security (ISTSS 2023) in Stavanger, Norway. It is the most prestigious conference in the tunnel fire safety area, and the papers are selected with a strict review process. In the latest 2021 conference, Tianhang won the best presentation award. 

2023 JES Shakeel.jpeg

Novel Hybrid Battery Thermal Management

March 2023

The safety of Li-ion battery becomes a major issue of electric vehicles and massive battery energy storage system, and how to cool the battery more effectively is the key. We investigated the combination of fin, airflow, and phase change material to cool the battery cell, showing exceptional cooling performance. This work is led by Dr Shakeel Ahmad and is now published in the Journal of Energy Storage.  

SFPE EU.jpeg

Attend SFPE EU conference and ITB Visit

March 2023

Four PhD students, Zilong, Tianhang, Zhuojun, and Xiaoning, have attended SFPE European conference and presented their latest work. They have also visited Prof. Wojciech Węgrzyński at ITB in Poland. Now, they are all exchanging overseas: Zilong at King’s College London; Tianhang at the University of Edinburgh, Zhuojun at the University of Queensland, and Xiaoning at Lund University. 

Junior research program.jpeg

Junior Researcher Mentoring Program @ AirLab

March 2023

PolyU has launched a Junior Researcher Mentoring Programme to attract secondary school students with a good academic background to do research projects with professors. PolyU Fire Lab hosts one talented student Edward to develop a smart robotic firefighting system. This project will be conducted jointed with the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Lab (AirLab), assisted by PhD students Meng and Wilson.

Rain & Tunnel fire.png

Can Rain Affect the Tunnel Fire?

Feb 2023

The risk of casualties and infrastructure damage is serious in the event of a tunnel fire. In reality, the tunnel fire can be influenced by environmental factors. Our latest work investigates how the heavy rainfall affects the dynamics and hazards of a tunnel fire. This work is led by Ms Luan, a visiting student from Central South University of China, and is published in Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology and International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer

2023 Wilson.jpg

Wilson and Gulzan win HKIE Awards

Feb 2023

Wilson Cheung and Gulzhan Aldan have received the HKIE awards (both Building Services and Fire disciplines) for their excellent undergraduate research project supervised by Dr Xinyan Huang. Wilson is now doing PhD with a full fellowship at PolyU, and Gulzhan is now doing PhD with a full fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.  

Research student conference.jpeg

PolyU Research Student Conference

May 2023

The Graduate School is launching the first PolyU Research Student Conference (PRSC 2023) on 8-9 May 2023. Aiming at promoting innovative and high-quality research, PRSC is the flagship research student conference, providing research students in PolyU with the opportunity to present their research work and findings. All PhD students in PolyU Fire Lab attend the conference and present their research orally or on a poster.

south China Grid.jpeg

Visit Battery System at South China Grid

May 2023

Xinyan led the fire lab members on a visit to a battery energy storage station in Guangzhou, fostering discussions with engineers from the China Southern Power Grid. The visit aim was to strengthen firefighting facilities and smart emergency management systems in the energy storage station, enhancing the fire safety of battery systems by integrating research expertise and practical applications. 

2023 Siyan visit.jpeg

Former Member Siyan Wang Visit PolyU

May 2023

Our former member Siyan Wang visits PolyU and shares her latest research during her summer trip. Siyan was doing her undergraduate final year project on smouldering spot ignition, which was published in Fire Safety Journal and won the HKIE student award. Currently, she is doing her PhD at the University of California at Berkeley on wildfire emission under the supervision of Prof. Michael Gollner.

2023 Wang Meng.jpeg

Wang Meng Receives PolyU Micro Fund

Jan 2023

Our 1st year PhD student, Wang Meng, proposed and developed a winning project titled “Autonomous Firefighting Robot”. The team will receive a HK$1.3 million start-up grant from the PolyU Micro Fund and Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (HKSTP) over a period of three years. The three-year HKSTP Incubation Programme aims to help technology start-ups specializing in deep tech research to develop innovative solutions.

Pre-charring Wood.png

Pre-charring improves Wood Fire Safey

Jan 2023

Once heated in a fire, the wood will get charred and release flammable gases, while the char layer also prevents further flame heating. We study how much char layer is needed to generate an effective fire retardance for wood and how much the ignition delay increases. This work is led by Shaorun and in collaboration with UC Berkeley, and it is now published in Fire Safety Journal. 

2023visit Japan.jpeg

Xinyan Visits Tokyo University of Science

Jan 2023

As invited by Prof. Kazunori Kuwana, Xinyan visited the Tokyo University of Science (TUS) and its Fire Research Facilities. TUS is the only university in Japan that has a Department of Fire Protection Engineering with more than 10 faculty members. It also has a unique English-taught international master's program in fire safety engineering that provide scholarships to overseas students. Xinyan’s visit strengthened the future teaching and research collaboration between PolyU and TUS. 

Battery safety project.png

Battery Safety Project from MOST

Jan 2023

Dr Xinyan Huang, as a Co-PI, received a grant “Key Technology Development of International Li-ion Battery Energy Storage Safety Evaluation”. This project is funded by the National Key Technologies R&D Programme from the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST). The project is led by Tianjin Fire Research Institute (TFRI). Other collaborators include the University of Science and Technology of China, the China University of Petroleum, China Energy Storage Alliance, etc. Together, we will develop new national and international standards for battery thermal safety.


Xiqiang Starts a Professorship at Southeast University

Jan 2023

Dr Xiqiang Wu, former postdoc fellow (2019-2020) at PolyU Fire Lab and Research Assistant Professor (2020-2022), starts his new position as an Associate Professor at the School of Transportation, Southeast University, Nanjing, China. Xiqiang got his PhD from University of Hong Kong and was a core member of our SureFire smart firefighting project. Southeast University is a top-10 university in China and part of the “985” university program.


Caiyi Starts a New Position at SCUT

Jan 2023

Dr Caiyi Xiong, former postdoc fellow (2019-2022) at PolyU Fire Lab, starts his new position as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor and PhD supervisor at the Department of Safety Engineering, South China University of Technology (SCUT), Guangzhou, China. Caiyi got his BEng and PhD from the University of Science and Technology of China. SCUT University is a top-20 university in China and part of the “985” university program.

2023 President visit.jpeg

PolyU President Visits Fire Lab

Feb 2023

Fire lab hosts the group visit of Prof. Jin-Guang Teng (PolyU President), Dr Miranda LOU (Executive VP), Prof. Christopher Chao (VP of Research and Innovation), and Mr Simon Wong (VP of Campus Development). Xinyan introduces the latest fire safety research and the development of smart firefighting to presidents and receives great encouragement and support from the Senior Management Team.


New concept: Safe Firefighting Time (SFT)

Feb 2023

Current design and regulations have addressed occupants’ evacuation in fire, but insufficient effort is made to ensure the safety of firefighters. To fill this gap, we propose a new concept of safe firefighting time (SFT) in fire safety design, combining the features of firefighting and evacuation. This work is led by Dr Yuxin Zhang and now published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.  

2023 Fire investigation.jpeg

PolyU Fire Lab Conducts a Fire Investigation

Feb 2023

Xinyan has led a team to investigate a recent fire incident in a high-rise building on Hong Kong Island, as requested by the property owner committee. The investigation aims to identify the cause of the fire, the level of fire damage, and the environmental hazard caused by the fire. Visiting a real fire scene also helps students understand the principles of fire dynamics and quantify the fire hazards. 


Aatif Starts as a Lecturer at University of Canterbury

Jan 2023

Dr Aatif Ali Khan, former postdoc fellow (2021-2022) at PolyU Fire Lab, starts his new position as a Lecturer at the Department of Civil and Natural Resources Engineering, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Aatif got his PhD from PolyU, supervised by Prof. Asif Usmani and Dr Xinyan Huang. The University of Canterbury has one of the world’s renowned fire engineering programs and State-of-the-Art fire research facilities.

Wang Meng.png

Winning Digital Future Challenge Ideation Gala

Jan 2023

The entrepreneurial team of Wai Kit (Wilson) CHEUNG (PhD student) and Meng Wang (Research assistant) won 1st place in the Innovation Award at the Future Digital Challenge Ideation Gala with their Firefighting Metaverse project. This project has been admitted into the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation(HKSTP) IDEATION Programme for up to 100,000 HKD Financial grants.

We congratulate them on the excellent achievement and wish them continued success.

Lei Zhang.jpg

New Member Join in PolyU Fire Safety Lab

Jan 2023

This spring, we have a new PhD student joining the lab. Mr. Lei Zhang received his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Jiangnan University (2021) and master's degree from Imperial College London (2022). His research interests include the structural resilience and thermal failure of Li-ion batteries.


Big welcome!

bottom of page