Researcher

Dr Maryam Ghodrat

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Computational Heat Transfer, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Fire Management

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Biography

Dr Maryam Ghodrat is a Senior Lecturer and leader of Adaptive Design for Resilient Infrastructure research group at School of Engineering and Technology, UNSW Canberra. Her research is interdisciplinary and broadly focused on development of robust, scalable, and adaptive solution techniques for computational fluid dynamics, error estimation, parallel computation and design under uncertainty.  

As for experimental research, Dr Ghodrat...view more

Dr Maryam Ghodrat is a Senior Lecturer and leader of Adaptive Design for Resilient Infrastructure research group at School of Engineering and Technology, UNSW Canberra. Her research is interdisciplinary and broadly focused on development of robust, scalable, and adaptive solution techniques for computational fluid dynamics, error estimation, parallel computation and design under uncertainty.  

As for experimental research, Dr Ghodrat established and lead Pyrometric Laboratory at UNSW with several dedicated flame behaviour testing equipment to unravel the fundamental behaviour of materials,products and systems exposed to direct and indirect flame and radiative heat fluxes.

Dr Maryam Ghodrat has also designed and built a modular subsonic wind tunnel for visualisation of flame propagation in Wildland Urban Interface Scenarios at UNSW.  

Maryam's research also focuses on the development of accurate physical and CFD models to advance new energy technologies for renewable fuels such as hydrogen and biomass. 

 


My Grants

External

  1. Garratt, M., Kasmarik, K., Miroschnichenko, A., Hattori, H., Ghodrat, M., Plested, J., Anavatti, S., Solnstev, A., Bishop, D., Tran, T., Alcock, G., Gooding, D., (2024-25) Heterogeneous Robot Teaming and Sensor Enhancements for Active CBRN Threat Modelling, Defence Innovation Network Strategic Investment Initiative, $498,931
  2. ARC Research Hub for Fire Resilience Infrastructure, Assets and Safety Advancements (FRIASA) in Urban, Resources, Energy and Renewables Sectors, (IH220100002), $4,999,700, (2024-28), Solo Chief investigator from UNSW Canberra 
  3. ARC Research Hub for Nanoscience-based Construction Material Manufacturing, (IH150100006), $5,000,000, (2018-22), Chief Investigator
  4.  Ghodrat, M., “CFD Simulation of fire-wind interaction and its effect on buildings in bushfire prone areas”,1000 KSUs equivalent to $25000, Australia National Computational Facilities, National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme, (2024)
  5. Ghodrat, M., “Improved modeling approach for fire-enhanced wind load on building structures”,1000 KSUs equivalent to $25000, Australia National Computational Facilities, National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme, (2023)
  6. Ghodrat, M., “Improved modelling approach for wildland-urban interface fire spread”, 1000 KSUs equivalent to $25000, Australia National Computational Facilities, National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme, (2022)
  7. Ghodrat, M., “Numerical tool for bushfire modeling and its impact on building resilience design and firefighter's safety”, 500 KSUs equivalent to $12500, Australia National Computational Facilities, National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme, (2021)

Internal 

  1. Abpeikar, S., Ghodrat, M., Frankcombe, T., Wang, M., (2023), Li-Ion Battery Fire Risk Mitigation using Deep Learning approach, AI Hub Seed Funding, $50,000
  2. Ghodrat, M., Klein, H.,  Simeoni , A., (2023), Visualisation of wind-driven wildfire spread into Wildland Urban Interface, UNSW@ADFA Silverstar Grant, $40,000.
  3. Talluru, Murali K., Kramer, M., Ravi, S., Liow, L., Niven, R., Ghodrat, M., Gai, S., (2023), Velocity and Temperature anemometry for Hydro-Aero-Pyro flows in the SEIT experimental facilities, $143,000.
  4. Ghodrat, M., Sharples, J., Kasmarik, K., Abpeikar, S., Plested, J., Hattori, H., Miroshnichenko, A., (2022), Using AI in modelling bushfire propagation in complex environments, AI Hub Seed Funding, $45,000
  5. Ghodrat, M., Kleine, H., Tahtali, M., Kramer, M., Talluru, K., Escobedo-Diaz, J,. ( 2022), Bushfire modeling research Group, SEIT Self-Forming Research Grant Bid, $27,563
  6. Lee, Chi King., Ghodrat, M., Mohotti, D., Al-Deen, S., Wijesooriya, K., Weerasinghe, D.,Shill, S., (2022), Resilient Infra-structure, SEIT Self-Forming Research Grant Bid, $37,313
  7. Ghodrat, M., Kleine, H., Tahtali, M., Kramer, M., Talluru, K., Escobedo-Diaz, J,. ( 2021), Bushfire modeling research Group, SEIT Self-Forming Research Grant Bid, $38,500
  8. Lee, Chi King., Ghodrat, M., Mohotti, D., Al-Deen, S., (2021), Resilient Infra-structure, SEIT Self-Forming Research Grant Bid, $47123.45
  9. Ghodrat, M.: (2020) ,Fundamental aerodynamic analysis of fire effects on wind velocity in Bushfire Prone Areas using CFD modeling , UNSW@ADFA Rector's Start-Up Grant, $50,000.

My Qualifications

 

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South  Wale, UNSW Sydney  (2014)
  • Master of Engineering ,University of New South Wale, UNSW Sydney (2010)

My Awards

  • School of Engineering and Technology Publication award for outstanding research outcome  in 2022. 
  • Recognized as one of the top 2% of highly cited research scientists in the world by Stanford University and Elsevier (2023).
  • Goldstar award for 2022, ARC-DP placed top 10%
  • Best Paper Award, International Conference of Flow Dynamics (ICFD) conference, 2023
  • People choice award for my pitch on "Pyrometric Lab" , UNSW Pitch Night, 2023 
  • Researcher Development Awards for gender equity (WSU)

 


My Research Activities

Current research activities cover three broad and interdisciplinary fields :

Design for Extreme Environment

  • Fire Dynamic Modeling
  • Application of data assimilation to risk and disaster management.
  • Fire Safety and Smart Building
  • Infrastructure and community resilience
  • Fire modeling including CFD and zone modeling;
  • Building Fire Dynamics and Safety 
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of the atmosphere fire behaviour
  • Improved Fire Safety in the Wildland-Urban Interface through CFD simulation and Smart Technologies
  • Wind Engineering

 

Numerical simulation (CFD modeling)

  • Solution Verification
  • Mesh Adaptation
  • Shape Optimization
  • Code coupling
  • High-performance computing 
  •  

Emissions and pollution Transport Physics 

  • Numerical models in predicting atmospheric dispersion of pollutant.
  • Computational Fluid dynamic simulation of plume dispersion in Urban areas
  • Carbon Monoxide transport and hazard from smouldering 
  • Particle emissions from different sources in the environment

 

Decarbonization of Energy Sector

Focused on application of CFD modeling and thermodynamic analysis in design and optimization of energy-efficient technologies

  • Hybrid renewable energy systems for net zero energy buildings (Thermodynamic analysis)
  • Co gasification of biomass and EVA from end of life solar panels (Numerical modeling and thermodynamic analysis)
  • Thermodynamic analysis of multi generation power system based on Hybrid renewable energy configurations

 


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

  • Computational methods in environmental fluid mechanics
  • Design for extreme environment
  • Numerical methods for coupled fluid flow, heat transfer and stress analysis 
  • Atmospheric Contaminant Transport
  • Physics Informed Machine Learning
  • Adaptation and transformation of building and infrastructure to natural and man-made disasters

Currently supervising

Current PhDs: 

  • Mojtaba Ajorloo (Main supervisor)
  • AmirHossein Sabouri (Main supervisor)
  • Osman Eissa (Main supervisor)
  • Mahmoud Wally (Main supervisor)
  • Ali Edalati (Joint supervisor)
  • Mohamad Sadeghi  (Joint supervisor)
  • Dinelka Somaweera (Joint Supervisor)

 

Honour thesis as Main supervisor:

  1. Rohnan Scott 
  2. Josh Lowth 
  3. Elise Kate Swann 
  4. Matthew Hordern 
  5. Jonathan Lu 
  6. Philip L. Davies 

 

Post Doctoral research fellow:

  • Dr Ao Li (current)
  • Dr Anan Du (past)

 

HDR completions (as main supervisor): 

  1. Juan Alonso
  2. Alvaro Alvarez
  3. Nirosh Nuwan Nammuni
  4. Olaoluwa Daniel Dawodu

 

Accepting PhD students.  

PhD positions are available for highly motivated candidate in materials , civil or mechanical engineering .  Knowledge and experience in working with OpenFOAM software is highly desirable.

Ideal candidates should have:

  • A four-year Bachelor's and two-years MSc degrees with high WAMs (minimum of 87%) and research experience from top institutions in the field of Mechanical or civil engineering
  • A track record of publications in top-ranked scholarly journals and presentations in peer-reviewed conferences; and,
  • Good interpersonal, communication, presentation and writing skills in English.

If you are interested in doing a PhD in my group , please send a copy of PDF combining your CV, Transcripts and English Test Results to m.ghodrat@unsw.edu.au 


My Engagement

  • Executive committee of Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc. (MSSANZ)
  • Scientific committee member of  International Conference on Fire Safety Engineering Research and Practice (iCFSERP-2024)
  • Scientific committee member of 5th Asia-Oceania Symposium on Fire Safety Materials Science and Engineering
  • Scientific committee member of  Australian Combustion Symposium, 2023, Darwin ,NT 
  • Scientific committee member of Australian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Sydney, 2022

 

In the Media:

UNSW Canberra pyrometric laboratory sets fire to protective clothing, car parts, building materials in bid to make them safer - ABC News

New 'fire lab' to help researchers develop better flame-resistant products (unsw.edu.au)

Urban Bushfires (youtube.com)

Warman returns to UNSW Canberra

Australia's healthcare industry battling 'devastating' level of waste, nurses and doctors say - ABC News

 

Memberships

Member of :

  • Australian Fluid Mechanics 
  • International association for fire safety science
  • International Association of Wildland Fire
  • Combustion Institute
  • Australian Institute of Energy
  • Women in High Performance Computing (WHPC)
  • Woman in Science and Engineering (WisE)
  • Science & Technology Australia
  • Women in Engineering @ UNSW 

My Teaching

I have taught in over 12 undergraduate and graduate courses, currently at UNSW and in previous academic roles at other universities

 

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Location

Building 17, Room 130

Contact

+61 2 5114 5153

Research Activities

Lab head: Dr Maryam Ghodrat

The CFD Lab's research is focused on investigating fundamental phenomena within complex turbulent flows. Emphasis is placed on understanding how these flows interact with solid surfaces, leading to the generation of aerodynamic forces, species mixing in the fluid, and heat transfer. These phenomena have broad applications, ranging from turbulent drag in commercial airplanes to the aerodynamics of small flyers, and from atmospheric…

Lab head: Dr Maryam Ghodrat

Leading by Dr Maryam Ghodrat, Pyrometric lab is UNSW Canberra’s’ fire testing laboratory offering state of the art facilities and expertise to evaluate the fire performance of materials, products and systems under direct and indirect flame and radiative heat fluxes. 

The Pyrometric Lab is currently being used to investigate various fire phenomena such as ignition, heat release rate, and compartment fire based on actual testing. Multiple small- and intermediate-scale experimental apparatus…

 

Research Group lead: Dr Maryam Ghodrat 

"Adaptive design for resilient infrastructure" research group at School of Engineering and Technology, UNSW Canberra, is contributing new theories, models and computational tools for  accurate engineering design of vulnerabilities of buildings and infrastructure to natural hazards and man-made disasters"

 

Videos

New 'fire lab' to help researchers develop better flame-resistant products


UNSW Canberra’s Pyrometric Lab is the first of its kind in Australia and will allow researchers to study how different materials burn.

Published on the 04 October 2023 by Elliot Williams

After entering UNSW Canberra's mechanical engineering workshop and walking past the benches covered in lawnmower engines, you'll find yourself at the entrance to the university's brand new 'fire lab'.

The Pyrometric Laboratory (to give it its proper name) is the first of its kind in Australia. It’s chock full of brand new, state-of-the-art equipment that will allow researchers and students to set fire to all manner of materials - safely of course.

By observing these objects burn and measuring how they respond to fire, researchers hope to eventually develop a range of materials that are more flame resistant. This includes eco-friendly building materials and more protective uniforms for firefighters.

The lab’s lead researcher and senior lecturer in engineering, Maryam Ghodrat, said the lab’s main focus is to help save homes, businesses and, most importantly, lives from fire.

“We’re expecting to see bigger and more destructive bushfires as we continue to feel the effects of climate change,” Dr Ghodrat said.

“That means more homes and businesses will be impacted by fire and we want to make them as safe and resistant to fire as possible.
“By testing different materials in the Pyrometric Lab we can see how they respond to fire and which are the safest. Eventually, we hope this research will lead to the development of new materials that are more flame resistant than anything currently available.

“This research can inform Australian building standards so that homes built in bushfire prone areas are as protected as they possibly can be.”

But the lab won’t only focus on building materials.

Engineering honours students, Jonathan Lu and ADFA Navy Sub Lieutenant (SBLT) Matthew Hordern, are currently undertaking two research projects in the lab that could have far-reaching benefits for firefighters and the automotive industry.

UNSW Canberra students Jonathan Lu and Matthew Hordern in the Pyrometric Lab.
UNSW Canberra honours students Jonathan Lu and Matthew Hordern are among the first people to conduct experiments in the Pyrometric Lab. Image: UNSW Canberra
Jonathan’s research involves him burning a selection of fabrics from firefighter uniforms in the ‘burner box’; one of the new pieces of equipment that is the size of a large oven and can expose materials to direct flame.

He is testing fabric from a 2013 NSW Rural Fire Service jacket and also a current Fire and Rescue uniform, one that would be used in metropolitan firefighting.

“I’m observing how the different materials respond to direct flame, and I’m interested to see how that might have changed in the years between when these uniforms were manufactured,” Jonathan said.

“If we can get a better understanding of how quickly the fabric ignites and how fast the flame spreads, it will hopefully lead to being able to produce better, more fire-resistant uniforms.

“Firefighters go into extremely dangerous situations, so if we can do something to help keep them safer and potentially save lives then that’s an awesome achievement.”
Concurrently, SBLT Hordern is setting fire to different plastic car parts he salvages from wrecking yards around Canberra. He’s looking at an entry-level car (Honda Jazz), a mid-level (Ford Focus) and a high-end car (Range Rover).

“I’m taking plastic bits from inside the car, such as centre consoles, dashboards and ‘pleather’ seats, anything that might be in the immediate vicinity of people inside a car in an accident,” SBLT Hordern said.

“If a car catches fire in an accident, that’s obviously really dangerous considering the fuel and other chemicals. But I’m interested in what happens if the plastics catch fire, and what chemicals they emit when they burn that people could be exposed to.”

Jonathan Lu sets up an experiment in the burner box.
Jonathan Lu sets up an experiment in the burner box where a piece of firefighter clothing will be burned. Image: UNSW Canberra
In addition to the ‘burner box’, the lab is also stocked with a smouldering test device, an oxygen index analyser and a structural cohesion tester. It is the only lab in Australia to have all of this equipment in one location.

Jacob Ross, the laboratory technician overseeing the lab, said it had been a challenge to get up to speed with the new equipment.

“We acquired the equipment over the past 18 months and commissioning the different machines was a challenge that required a lot of research,” Mr Ross said.

“We had to ensure we met the specific requirements of each machine so we can have confidence in the results they produce. And all the relevant safety measures had to be put in place before the students and researchers could work with them.

“It’s been a great experience to work with such high-end equipment and support the important research that will be undertaken in this lab.”

Read more about the equipment in the Pyrometric Laboratory here: https://research.unsw.edu.au/projects/pyrometric-laboratory