Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Do people from different countries behave differently in a crisis?

Life-saving research about emergency evacuations begins at University of Greenwich

Professor Ed Galea, from the University of Greenwich in London, and a team of international colleagues have won a grant of 2 million Euros from the European Union. The University of Greenwich has a 500,000 Euro share of the funding, the largest research budget of the eight partners in the project team.

In this study, Professor Galea, an expert in fire safety engineering, will compare how people behave when fleeing from emergencies in seven countries: Germany, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Poland, the UK and the Czech Republic. They will conduct evacuation trials in each country, using people of similar age and occupation, and the same type of building.

Professor Galea says: “If fire breaks out on a plane, in a building or on a ship, how long will it take the occupants to get out? And do people from different countries behave differently in a crisis? This research asks whether culture and ethnicity play a role in determining how people respond in disasters. Our findings will give us confidence to predict how people will behave in emergencies, knowing that our computer models are based on how real people behave.

“This is important as all parts of the world are vulnerable to emergency incidents. There have been terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre, the Madrid train system and the London underground. There have been natural disasters such as earthquakes in Turkey and Japan. And devastating fires have caused deaths in many countries.”

Ed Galea is a world expert on modelling fires and how people behave in emergencies. His expertise has helped to design safer structures around the world including the Sydney Olympic Stadium, the O2 Dome, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, Airbus A380 and the new aircraft carriers for the Royal Navy. His software was also used by the US government authority charged with investigating the World Trade Centre 9/11 evacuation and he is currently completing work on a £1.5 million EPSRC project interviewing survivors of the disaster.

The Fire Safety Engineering team at the University of Greenwich, which is headed by Ed Galea, has won the Queen’s Anniversary Award for Higher & Further Education, the British Computer Society’s IT Award and the European Information Society Technologies prize.

This project, Behaviour, Security & Culture (BeSeCU) has been funded under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme. It is led by the Institute of Medical Psychology in Hamburg, Germany.

Professor Tom Barnes, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) at the University of Greenwich, says: “We are delighted that the EU is to fund this project involving our internationally-renowned Fire Safety Engineering Group. Bringing together the expertise of engineers, computer modellers and psychologists, the team takes a multi-disciplinary approach to find solutions to real-world problems – an excellent example of the research mission of this university.”

•Members of the university’s Fire Safety Engineering Group have also just won a prestigious international prize. The US Society of Fire Protection Engineers has chosen them as winners of the Jack Bono Engineering Communication Award, which recognises the research paper that has most contributed to the advancement and application of professional fire protection engineering. The winning publication from the Greenwich team appeared in the Journal of Fire Protection Engineering last year, The winning paper from the Greenwich team appeared in the Journal of Fire Protection Engineering last year, entitled "Signage Legibility Distances as a Function of Observation Angle" and was authored by Hui Xie, Lazaros Filippidis, Steven Gwynne, Edwin Galea, Darren Blackshields and Peter Lawrence.

Nick Davison | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere

25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences

Fluorescent holography: Upending the world of biological imaging

25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Etching Microstructures with Lasers

25.10.2016 | Process Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>