Researcher biography


Dr Juan P. Hidalgo is a Senior Lecturer in Timber and Fire Safety Engineering within the School of Civil Engineering. Juan joined The University of Queensland in 2016 as the first of the three academic appointments in the Centre for Future Timber Structures to lead the research and teaching on the fire safety of engineered timber structures. His background is in fire safety engineering, building systems and timber construction. His research to date has primarily focused on the performance of building materials for sustainable and durable construction exposed to fire conditions. Juan's field of expertise comprises material thermal degradation and flammability, heat transfer, and fire dynamics, highlighting his vast experience in multi-scale fire testing. Juan is actively involved in multiple research projects focused on sustainable construction such as timber, insulation materials, or composites, and studying the fire dynamics in modern buildings. He has become a key researcher in the ARC Future Timber Hub, currently delivering the most critical research project on fire safety of mass timber structures and acting as the interface between UQ and the main industry partners with a strong interest in fire research.

Juan completed his BEng-MEng in Industrial Engineering at the Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain), a five-year degree equivalent to Mechanical/Civil Engineering in the UK with a final year specialisation with a particular focus on structural engineering. He also attained an MSc in Industrial Construction and Installations at the same University. During his MSc, Juan joined PBD Fire Consultants S.L., a Spanish company specialising in fire safety design for the built environment. He worked for this company for two years as a consulting fire engineer in multiple national and international projects. Following the completion of his MSc in 2011, Juan joined the University of Edinburgh (UK) to pursue his PhD in Fire Safety Engineering sponsored by Rockwool International A/S, which was completed in 2015 with the thesis entitled "Performance-Based Methodology for the Fire Safe Design of Insulation Materials in Energy Efficient Buildings". He continued his academic career at the University of Edinburgh as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering, being involved in numerous research projects such as the FireComp project, and other projects focused on the fire performance of facades, timber construction, concrete and diverse construction systems.

Teaching and Learning

Dr Juan P. Hidalgo contributes to the teaching of Civil Engineering Bachelor and Masters programmes, including the BE-ME in Civil and Fire Safety Engineering (EA-accredited) and the MEngSc in Fire Safety Engineering. He is involved in the following courses:

  • Introduction to Fire Safety Engineering (FIRE3700).
  • Fire Engineering Design: Solutions for Implicit Safety (FIRE4610).
  • Fire Dynamics (FIRE7620).
  • Fire Dynamics Laboratory (FIRE7640).
  • Structural Fire Engineering (FIRE7660).
  • Fire Engineering Design: Explicit Quantification of Safety (FIRE7680).
  • Research Thesis (FIRE7500).
  • Design of Timber Structures (CIVL4334).