Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Civil Engineering

Major Professor

Edwin G. Burdette

Committee Members

Harold J. Deatherage, David J. Icove, Richard M. Bennett


The effects of fire on steel have long been noted and studied. However, a scientific connection between the area of origin for a fire and the amount of steel deformation observed at the scene has never been established. The development and implementation of this type of analysis has the potential to decrease investigation times significantly as the types of structures to which this method would be applicable are typically large, expansive structures. In order to investigate the relationship between structural steel deformations and a fire’s origin, a series of six tests were performed in a smaller size portal frame steel constructed building. The results from these tests were imported into a finite element program called “Vulcan” to investigate the possibility of recreating the conditions observed in the field using a structural modeling program with relative success. The research presented in this dissertation, directed as noted above, was successful in demonstrating the possibility of using the pattern of structural deformations as an indicator of fire origin.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."