Dr Bal. Email sent by Dr Welch on 21/08/2012 -----
It is my pleasure to inform you that Nico Bal has successfully defended his PhD thesis in the viva exam today, subject to minor editorial corrections. His studies were sponsored by the BRE Trust and supervised by Guillermo Rein, the thesis title was:
The external examiner was Chris Lautenberger, Principal Engineer, Reax Engineering (Berkeley, USA); Tim Stratford chaired the exam committee and I was again the internal (fourth time for Guillermo's students!).
By the end of the viva Nico had filled the white board with equations and graphs and we were in no doubt that there is a lot of both uncertainty and complexity in pyrolysis modelling. But out of this complexity Nico has established significant new insights, a great achievement and a platform for lots more interesting work in the field.
Many congratulations to Nico!
Dr Jervis. Email sent by Dr Welch on 02/07/2012 -----
The external examiner was Prof. Xavier Viegas, forest fires expert from Coimbra University (Portugal)*; I was the internal.
Freddy did an amazing job investigating the intricacies of pine needles combustion using the Fire Propagation Apparatus, with extension to assessment of the effects of leaf morphology on flammability (which has implications for historical changes in fire activity arising from climate-driven floral changes!). At the other extreme his study also looked at the impacts of oxygen and heat flux on burning of chipboard, of relevance to fires in buildings.
Well done Freddy!