Dr. Eric GUILLAUME

General Manager | EFECTIS France

Dr. Eric Guillaume has worked in fire sciences since 1998. He formerly led the fire behaviour department of SNCF (the French railway), joining LNE (The French National Laboratory for Testing and Metrology) in 2005 as head of the fire safety studies department, eventually becoming head of research for all testing activities there. Since 2015, he has worked for Efectis France, first as technical director, and more recently, as general manager of the company, leading one of the most important fire testing and fire safety engineering companies in Europe, with a staff of 150 and a budget of 21€ million ($30 million CAD or $23 USD).

He is a fire expert involved in various missions, including laboratory development, teaching, standardization and regulation, fire toxicity, and modelling fire behaviour of materials. He is the author of more than 40 scientific publications and 15 book chapters, and has presented at more than 150 conferences on fire safety. He is technical advisor for fire safety for many French authorities, and active in standardization as chairman of the ISO TC92/SC3 committee, dealing with fire threat to people and the environment; and ISO TC61/SC4/WG2, dealing with smoke opacity and corrosivity for plastics.

Presentation:  Modelling Grenfell Façade System

On June 14, 2017, one of the largest fire tragedies of the last decades, with 71 fatalities, occurred in the Grenfell Tower in London. Along with other causes, this fire was due to a rapid vertical fire propagation via the east façade construction, and in the second stage, due to horizontal propagation clockwise and anticlockwise around the tower. Another key point was linked to fire penetration through windows. Fire events in building façades involving aluminium composite material-based claddings and various insulations have recently received attention.

To investigate the behaviour of the Grenfell fire, Efectis made a reconstruction of this disaster, using step-by-step numerical methods based on experimental data. These constructive systems are made of multi-component assemblies, and the interactions between each constituting product—as well as the mounting and the fixing conditions—lead to a high level of complexity. Dr. Guillaume will explain how the use of numerical methods based on experiment data is essential to predict the behaviour of such highly complex systems and to identify the role of one or several components of the façade system in case of fire.