FIRE TAKES NO VACATION #2: When history burns

25. Mar 2023, Ig, Slovenia

With many timber buildings and structures of cultural importance in Europe and the frequent and high-profile fires, both scientists and firefighters wonder whether they have survived over the centuries despite or because they are made of wood...

Fires of buildings repeatedly call for research of construction materials, fire safety planning and the transfer of knowledge to those who deal with them - state authorities, fire safety designers, architects, insurance companies, researchers and, ultimately, firefighters who fight fires out in the field. The transition from fire research to fire control itself is the intention of the upcoming consultation, which is also a meaningful continuation of last year's professional association with firefighters entitled "Fire takes no vacation".

Recently, with the new and modern Fire laboratory of the Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute (ZAG) and close cooperation with Slovenian and international experts, we have already conducted a lot of interesting research. The inclusion of various interest groups means upgrading efforts in the field of sustainable and fire-safe buildings, which is why the Firefighters' Association of Slovenia and the Department for Research of Fire Safe and Sustainable Built Environment (FRISSBE) at ZAG are organizing an expert consultation on the design and extinguishing of timber buildings and cultural heritage buildings "FIRE TAKES NO VACATION #2: When history burns", which will take place on the last Saturday in March at Ig, Slovenia. Fire knows no vacation and neither should fire safety. We invite you to join the presentations and the discussion, despite the weekend.

The central topic of the expert consultation will be insights of some major fires, especially the fire of the historic building of Notre Dame in Paris, which will be presented by prof. José Torero. Special emphasis will be placed on the protection of cultural heritage buildings and timber constructions, as timber is a frequently used material in the construction industry due to the green transition.

Below is the program of the event and a more detailed description of the lecturers. Because of the international experts, most of the lectures will be held in English, followed by a short summary in Slovenian. The moderator of the event will be the head of the Department for Research of Fire Safe and Sustainable Built Environment (FRISSBE) at ZAG, prof. Grunde Jomaas.

The registration fee is 40 €, and participation is free for members of the Firefighters' Association of Slovenia. The number of places is limited. Please send your application for the event to the e-mail address no later than March 22, 2023 in which please inform us of:

  • title and address of your organization
  • question(s) you would like answered at the event
  • wanted meals




08:30 – 09:00



09:00 – 09:10

Welcome speech of the two organizers


09:10 – 10:00

Prof. José Torero (UCL): Fire safety in heritage wooden buildings – Lessons learned from the Notre Dame fire in Paris

Slovenian abstract: dr. Aleš Jug


10:00 – 10:20

Dr. Andrea Lucherini (ZAG, FRISSBE): Fire safety and firefighting challenges in tall timber buildings

Slovenian abstract: dr. Aleš Jug


10:20 – 10:40

Friderik Knez (ZAG): Fire testing of timber – experiences and lessons learned


10:40 – 11:10

Coffee/snack break


11:10 – 11:30

Prof. José Torero (UCL): A brief overview of the Public Inquiry on the Grenfell Tower fire

Slovenian abstract: dr. Aleš Jug


11:30 – 11:50

Dr. Aleš Jug (ZAG, FRISSBE, Gasilska zveza Slovenije): The change in the organizational culture – London Fire Brigade Example


11:50 – 12:40

Panel discussion lead by prof. Grunde Jomaas (ZAG, FRISSBE)


12:40 - 12:50

Conclusions by prof. Grunde Jomaas (ZAG, FRISSBE)


12:50 – 13:30

Networking and sandwiches




Prof. Grunde Jomaas is a well-recognized fire safety expert throughout the world. His PhD at Princeton University was focused on fundamental aspects of flame propagation at elevated pressures, and he has written more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles covering topics such as PV fire safety, oil burning on water, spill fires, maritime fire safety, spacecraft fire safety (including numerous parabolic flights funded by ESA and in-orbit experiments funded by NASA) and construction product fire safety. He has also more than a decade of experience in academic leadership, with a particular expertise in educational leadership. His contribution to fire safety eduction has been recognized by two awards from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE): the John L. Bryan mentoring award and the David A. Lucht Lamp of Knowledge award (co-recipient). Dr Jomaas has carried out consulting work as a expert in legal disputes, and is known to be ingenious in designing and carrying out experiments to provide solutions to complex, open problems. His largest consulting job was to develop and manage a specialist education on fire science and scientic methods for the entire Fire Investigation Team in the Danish National Police.


Prof. José Torero is a worldwide leading expert in fire safety science. His research career started with a PhD research project at UC Berkeley related to fire safety for the International Space Station and he has since written more than 250 scientific articles. He has also held many high academic management positions in Europe, Australia and in the USA. He has participated in the development of both fire protection systems and their design methods that are used worldwide. As a consultant, he has also provided corporate, government and academic training worldwide, as well as contributed to the development of codes and standards in numerous countries. José has participated in the investigations most major fires of the last decades, such as the collapse of the World Trade Centre, the Sago mine explosion, the Grenfell Tower fire, the Buncefield oil storage explosion, the disappearance of 43 Mexican students, the fire of the historic building of Notre Dame. He is the recipient of the Arthur B. Guise Medal from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (USA) and the Rasbash Medal from the Institution of Fire Engineers (UK), both for exceptional contributions to the field of fire safety.


Friderik Knez has 30 years of research experience in the field of building physics. In his work, he focuses on the concept of sustainable construction, also in connection with fire. He studies fire response, fire release toxicity, renewable energy, life cycle assessment, radon health risk prevention, and radon mitigation in buildings. He participates in many European projects and national industrial projects. He is the president of the expert council of SRIP Smart buildings and a home with a timber chain, which was established by the Slovenian government as a mechanism for implementing the strategy of smart specialization. He is also a member of the expert group SiEnE, where he is responsible for the field of energy-efficient and sustainable construction, and a member of the working group for quality management of the European group of organizations for testing and certification in the field of fire - EGOLF. He is a member of the European Organization for Technical Assessments, chairman of the technical committee of TGO at the Slovenian Institute for Standardization (SIST) and representative of SIST in CEN TC 350. He is (co)author of more than 30 scientific and professional publications.


Dr. Andrea Lucherini is a Senior Researcher within the FRISSBE project. In 2013 and 2016, he completed his BSc and MSc in Structural Civil Engineering in a joint programme between the University of Bologna (Italy) and the Technical University of Denmark (Denmark). In 2020, he attained his PhD in Structural and Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Queensland (Australia). Between 2020 and 2022, he has been working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Ghent University (Belgium). Andrea’s field of expertise is construction materials engineering, with a specialization in fire safety science and engineering. To date, Andrea’s research interests primarily focus on the performance of advanced construction materials and systems during and after a fire, material behaviour at ambient and elevated temperatures (heat transfer and structural mechanics), advanced experimental fire methodologies, fire protection (intumescent coatings), and fire dynamics for performance-based design of fire-safe structures, including CFD modelling. Andrea’s academic experience also includes teaching, mentoring and supervision of students (BSc, MSc and PhD) and researchers at world-leading universities.


Dr. Aleš Jug is a professional research associate at FRISSBE. He brings over 20 years of experience and passion for fire prevention and risk management. He is also a qualified and experienced business continuity expert. Dr. Jug holds a Ph.D. in Transport and Logistics with an emphasis on Fire Safety Engineering from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and an MSc. in Fire Protection Engineering and a  Ph.D. in Business Administration, both from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA. He often teaches fire safety, risk management, and business continuity-related undergraduate and graduate topics in Slovenia, Croatia, and the US. Dr. Jug serves as a vice president of the fire prevention commission, which operates as a part of the Firefighters' Association of Slovenia, and as a member of the board of directors of the Slovenian Fire Protection Association. Previously, Dr. Jug has served as a chair for CTIF Fire Prevention Commission. His research interest covers the field of fire safety and risk management, plus fire prevention.