Prof. dr. ir. Bart Merci


Name: Bart Merci
Title: Prof. dr. ir.
Function: Professor
T +32 9 264 98 46

Mrs. Marijke Reunes (T + 32 9 264 55 35)


Bart Merci is senior full professor in Combustion and Fire Safety Science and Engineering (FSSE) at Ghent University (UGent) since 2004. Since 2010 he is the Director of the International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering on behalf of Ghent University. He is on of the academics of theFire Safety Science and Engineeringresearch group which consists of about 15 researchers (PhD and postdoctoral). For more information on his research group you can visit the webpage Compartment fire dynamics.

Bart Merci obtained his MSc (1997) and PhD (2000) in electro-mechanical engineering at Ghent University, after which he carried out postdoctoral research and became academic at Ghent University. His main expertise is fluid mechanics aspects in turbulent reacting flows. He is particularly specialized in fluid mechanics aspects related to fire and smoke dynamics.

Research activities

  • Numerical modeling of fire dynamics in enclosures, including the impact of natural and mechanical ventilation and automatic suppression systems
  • Detailed CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations and model development for fire related flows
  • Fire and smoke dynamics in tunnels, including the impact of natural and mechanical ventilation and automatic suppression systems
  • Modeling of extinction and re-ignition in fire flames in CFD simulations
  • The use of BIM in the context of fire safety of buildings


Scientific career


2012 –            Full Professor (100%) at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (FEA), Dept. of Structural Engineering and Building Materials (EA14), Ghent University, Belgium

      2015 –            Full Professor (10%) at the Faculty of Engineering, Dept. of Chemical Engineering, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium


        2016               Otto Monsteds Guest Professor at DTU, Copenhagen, Denmark.

        2009 – 2012  Senior Lecturer (100%) at FEA, EA03, Ghent University, Belgium

        2004 – 2009 Lecturer (10%) at FEA, EA03, and Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (90%) at FWO, Ghent University, Belgium

        2001 – 2004  Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (100%) at FWO, Ghent University, Belgium

        1997 – 2001   PhD Researcher (100%) at FWO, Ghent University, Belgium [PhD defended Dec. 2000]



        2016               Otto Monsteds Guest Professor Fellowship at DTU, Copenhagen, Denmark

        Personal Awards

        2019               Fellow of The Combustion Institute

        2015               Officer in the Order of Leopold, Belgian Government

        2014               Laureate of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium – Category Technical Sciences, Belgium

        2013               Ghent University nominee for the Prometheus Award for excellence in research

        2011, 2013       FireForum Award, Belgium

        2004              Biennial Award Iwan Akerman, Belgium

        2004              Best PhD thesis 'Driejaarlijkse AIG-prijs', Belgium

        Awards as supervisor

        2018               SFPE David Leucht Lamp of Knowledge Award for the IMFSE programme

        2017               PhD Zihe Gao: Best PhD Award, issued by IAFSS

        2013               IFV – VVBA Best Thesis Award on the 6th National Fire Safety Engineering Congress  (MSc thesis Brecht Debrouwere), The Netherlands

        2011                Best Student Poster Award on 10th IAFSS Symposium (Nele Tilley), US

        2009              Best Paper on Turbulence, Heat and Mass Transfer Conference (Ivana Stankovic), Italy

        2007               Jozef Plateau Award (Best MSc thesis, Nele Tilley), Ghent University, Belgium

        Scientific Committees

        • Member of the International Fire Safety Consortium (since 2019)
        • Co-Chair of the IAFSS Working Group ‘Measurement and Computation of Fire Phenomena’ ( (since 2015)
        • Member of the Management committee of the International Association for Fire Safety Science (since 2014)

        Editorial tasks

        • Editor-in-Chief of Fire Safety Journal since 2015
        • Member of the Editorial Board of Fire Technology since 2013

        Teaching activities

        At Ghent University (current teaching activities): see

        Outside Ghent University:

        • Guest professor at KU Leuven (‘Fire Protection and Building Safety’) since 2015.
        • Guest lecturer at:
        • 1st Combustion Institute Summer School on Fire Safety Science at University of Maryland (2022)
        • ETH Zürich (2020)
        • 1st Asian-Pacific Combustion Institute Summer School (2019)
        • DTU (2016)
        • Lund University (2016)
        • University of Queensland (2014, 2015)
        • Delft TopTech
        • Hanzehogeschool Groningen
        • NIFV (The Netherlands)