Sept. 21, 2022

068 - Human walking speed and factors that influence it with John Gales

068 - Human walking speed and factors that influence it with John Gales

What factors influence the walking speed of an occupant? Is it just their physiology and crowd density? It seems it is more complicated than that (as most things are in fire science...). Dr John Gales of York University takes me on a journey through their extremally interesting research on anthropomorphic data and movement speeds, which they have been extensively carrying through the last years. You will learn why the crowd at a football match will have a different characteristic than one attending American football (handegg?). Why evacuation is quicker in torrential rain than in fire, and how stimuli may drive the walking speeds as well. And how a beer tent helped uncover that!

John has mentioned a lot of resources that may be of interest.

The online course mentioned by John is available at: and a course outline may be found here.
Learn more about the York Fire Engineering group at
The  SFPE Foundation report cited in the episode can be found here.

A list of relevant papers is available below:

  1.  Chin, K., Young, T., Chorlton, B., Aucoin, D., and Gales, J., (2022) Crowd Behaviour in Canadian Football Stadia - Part 1 - Data Collection. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (Canadian Science Publishing). 49 (7)
  2. Chin, K., Young, T., Chorlton, B., Aucoin, D., and Gales, J., (2022) Crowd Behaviour in Canadian Football Stadia - Part 2 - Modelling Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (Canadian Science Publishing). 49 (7)
  3.  Yerushalami, A., Folk, L., Carton, H., Gales, J., Khan A., Weckman, B. (2022) Fire Evacuation Modelling of a Canadian Wildland Urban Interface Community. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (Canadian Science Publishing). 49 (1) 
  4.  Arce, S., Jeanneret, C., Gales, J, Antonellis, D., and Vaiciulyte, S. (2021) Human Behaviour in Informal Settlement Fires in Costa Rica. Safety Science (Elsevier). 142. 105384. 
  5. Young, T., Gales, J, Kinsey M, and Wong W. (2021) Variability in Stadia Evacuation under Normal, High-Motivation, and Emergency Egress. Journal of Building Engineering (Elsevier). 40 
  6.  Folk, L., Gonzales, K., Gales, J., Kinsey, M, and Carratin, E. and Young, T. (2020) Emergency Egress for the Elderly in Care Home Fire Situations. Fire and Materials (John Wiley). 44(4): 595- 606. 

[00:00:00] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Hello, everybody. Welcome to the Fire Science Show session 68. Recently I've discovered that scientific conferences are not only great places to learn new stuff. build your social network and a. cater friendships, but they're also fantastic hunting playgrounds for podcast And yeah, that's what I did when I was in Brno last week at the foreign and evacuation modeling technical conference, which aligns very, very well with my. Uh, usual scope of topics. so.

[00:00:29] Wojciech Wegrzynski: You may be sure there will be a lot of guests coming who shown up there because I found some really intriguing. Subjects that would need expansion. And the podcast and actually immediately after the conference that it was not even immediately after conference immediately after he stock. When I saw John, Gail's talking about evacuation of airports.

[00:00:52] Wojciech Wegrzynski: I immediately sent him an email. he owes A podcast interview and we've quickly set up for a session.[00:01:00] in which we could expand on what he was showing at the FEMTC. And I think. This material here is a much more complete version because we were talking about his all complete project

[00:01:11] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Anthropometric a measurement of people and movements speeds that he has performed for the SFP foundation And his further work in airports, museums. Kara houses and other types of facilities. So I've invited John. He's a great speaker. He's a great engineer. He's a great scientist. I knew that he is, researching evacuation among. Other topics, but it really blew my mind how, how deep they went into figuring out the movement speeds in York university, how much they've invested in research.

[00:01:45] Wojciech Wegrzynski: How vast data base they've collected and really how big variability there is between buildings. It's the most intriguing part of this interview,

[00:01:54] Wojciech Wegrzynski: That's four different buildings. You will have completely different, pedestrian walking [00:02:00] speeds, you will have completely different behaviors. That are driven, not only buying the characteristics of people. But also by the environment around them and the stimuli that they are subjected to.

[00:02:12] Wojciech Wegrzynski: So I think it's, um, really interesting talk. The topic is much, much, much bigger than just the podcast interview. So John told me there's two resources that are the most complete dead that he would like to refer you to. And I usually do that at the end of the episode, but there's no point in waiting. I'll just tell you upfront.

[00:02:31] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Next year, they're having a book on egress modeling of pedestrians for the design of contemporary stadia. In Springer and, that's, that's gonna show the complete stadium study, which we talk excessively in this podcast. So I'm very looking forward to. That book. Going online. And Joel also mentioned the online curse at York university.

[00:02:55] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Where they combine human behavior. Uh, Structural fire [00:03:00] engineering, fire engineering altogether. Two. Provide a little different view on how to. Care for people evacuating in buildings. I think this may be very interesting. It's online. It's doesn't I think 17th, October. And 2022 this year. I don't know when you're releasing, so there's a good chance. It's not there, but, uh, he said it's cyclical. So I leave links in the show notes. A handful now, I think you will get quite a lot of knowledge and value. From from the dock itself because I did

[00:03:30] Wojciech Wegrzynski: I hope you enjoy Dr. John Gales from York university, let's go.


[00:03:58] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Hello everybody. [00:04:00] Welcome to the fire science show. I'm today here with Dr. John gales. Hey John. Good to see you here.

[00:04:05] John Gales: Hello. Thanks for having

[00:04:07] John Gales: me.

[00:04:07] Wojciech Węgrzyński: thanks for answering my emails as it was very kind of you, you've had a great talk at the FEMTC conference and, uh, you didn't want to share everything.

[00:04:15] Wojciech Węgrzyński: So I thought I, I have my own ways of extracting

[00:04:19] Wojciech Węgrzyński: data from people

[00:04:21] John Gales: we're up to a lot of, as I call mischief.

[00:04:24] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Let's let's do this. Let's extract some, uh, useful data from you. I hope it goes well. John, uh, you were presenting. Interesting. Talk about, Evacuation studies in airports, but I know that, in your rich curriculum you have much more studies related to human behavior in, in fires, especially the movement.

[00:04:42] Wojciech Węgrzyński: And, uh, one thing that always caught my attention was the project you you had on On anthropometric data and movement speed done for the SFP foundation. That was a hell of work. So I, I would like to start, uh, there, how did you end up like, uh, winning this project and, [00:05:00] why did you even, uh, pursue this?

[00:05:02] John Gales: Okay. I'll, I'll give you a short story and, and if we have time, a longer version, um, so I've always had. A fascination with history. And one thing that's always kind of bothered me is when people say, this code clause definitively comes from this source. And so people have talked about this two and a half minute, three minute rule, or however you wanna call it for, uh, evacuation and.

[00:05:28] John Gales: Constantly have said that it goes back to, one of the Edinburg theater fires where people in 1911 stood up, ushered out to the, the Anthem.

[00:05:38] Track 1: coincidentally was,

[00:05:39] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Yeah. I've heard that

[00:05:40] Wojciech Węgrzyński: story too.

[00:05:41] John Gales: was two and two and a half, three minutes. However, if you really try to piece the literature back to 1911, it doesn't necessarily go there entire.

[00:05:51] John Gales: So, a lot of the egress and, uh, building codes when they were starting to merge around that time, [00:06:00] tended to cite the triangle shirt, waste factory, fire.

[00:06:04] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Okay.

[00:06:04] John Gales: So,

[00:06:04] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Wh when, was that fire?

[00:06:06] John Gales: In 1911 around that time, the same time.

[00:06:08] wojciech_wegrzynski: time.

[00:06:08] John Gales: and the interesting thing about that fire when you read the papers that were published around that time.

[00:06:15] John Gales: So there's a number of ones that talk about it. They actually cite. an incident that occurred in that fire where the exterior stair frame collapses at around that time two and a half to three minutes, and then the engineers in New York for their own building codes start saying two and a half, three minutes as the time that you need to get people out before exits become, compromised.

[00:06:41] John Gales: And I always thought, I always thought that. Really fascinating to look at the history point of view. And then I started to speak to Steve Gwynne and fortunately, when I started my academic career, there was an archive of pre-recorded or recorded, video lectures from Guylenne [00:07:00] Proulx when she taught human behavior at Carleton university.

[00:07:04] John Gales: And. I just kind of watched them excessively over, period of, uh, the winter and then started to think, okay, what, what kind of research could I do here? And then that just ballooned to looking at different building types. And at the time I was in Ottawa, you had stadiums museums, and we just started.

[00:07:24] John Gales: Doing a lot of data collection. The early stuff was really bad , but as we spoke with people, we tended to upgrade our equipment. We tended to upgrade our procedures and the students just kind of loved the types of projects we were doing. Like if eight of us were doing a stadium study, we would, eight of us would go see a football match and record and watch the game at the time.

[00:07:48] John Gales: So.

[00:07:49] Wojciech Węgrzyński: the bad circumstances. Yeah.

[00:07:50] John Gales: so the short answer there is, we had a lot of data at that point collected for stadiums museums and [00:08:00] of, you know, different types of populations, but we didn't have the resources to, to analyze it, So then the SFP had to call, we put in and said, look, we have this video footage. But, you know, some financial support would actually help us get through the video footage a lot faster, to get that data out there.

[00:08:20] John Gales: and that's basically what happened. There is, uh, uh, we ended up collaborating a bit with luon university as well, learned to a ton of new techniques that could also be used, within what we're doing in Canada. And, Yeah. And that's that's that's your long answer.

[00:08:35] Wojciech Węgrzyński: we, I guess we came to some sort of medium long answer and

[00:08:39] Track 1: yeah.

[00:08:39] Wojciech Węgrzyński: mean, you've covered 1911, a very, uh, in great detail. But further like 90 years were you, you kind of rushed through that, but I

[00:08:48] John Gales: Well, I've Al I am putting together another history paper right now uh, that, that that's not based in the early 19 hundreds, but more based in the last 50 years. And, I'm [00:09:00] hoping I finish it not in 10 years from now.

[00:09:02] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Looking forward to that. Uh, the last one, the one on history of fire resistance was, really cool. And I, I enjoy it thoroughly and we even had a podcast episode. Didn't hear about that. So if, if any, one of you hear, are not familiar with that story, it, it's also quite, quite a story about how we came up to test our, uh, building elements to a certain curve.

[00:09:23] Wojciech Węgrzyński: And, and where

[00:09:24] Track 1: Yeah.

[00:09:24] Wojciech Węgrzyński: and what, uh, what, what were the missing puzzles in the story? We didn't know.

[00:09:28] John Gales: But it, but in Canada, just to add to that it's become a huge issue because what what's happening right now. And one of the things I'm wrestling with is there's a lot of people who like to use fire resistant time the time for egress,

[00:09:44] wojciech_wegrzynski: Okay.

[00:09:45] John Gales: is not compatible at all.

[00:09:48] wojciech_wegrzynski: we had

[00:09:48] John Gales: that. We'd had

[00:09:49] Wojciech Węgrzyński: that happen too. I literally had buildings where we were designing, um, evacuation from a skyscraper and anyone dealing with evacuation of skyscrapers, you probably end up figuring [00:10:00] out very quickly that the staircases in these buildings are not meant to evacuate everyone at the same time.

[00:10:04] Wojciech Węgrzyński: They're pretty much well to handle like two, three floors at the time. But if you drop everyone from the building into the staircase and tell them go, and there's a building with like 5,000 people. They're gonna spend a whole lot of time in the staircase. And this is, uh, where we got our optimization target. Guys. We have 90 minute structure. We need to evacuate these people in 90 minutes. And it was craziness because it was so incompatible with, the the optimal way, how to evacuate them, like, uh, you know, selective

[00:10:32] Wojciech Węgrzyński: evacuation phase evacuation,

[00:10:34] John Gales: But, but even what we're seeing is with care homes as well. And was one of the early topics that we were looking at with, the human behavior studies is we were looking at elderly persons and, care homes and we were encountering, a lot of. This within their, written plans of saying how much time do they have to actually evacuate an elderly person?

[00:10:52] John Gales: And they would say, okay, well there's 15 minutes for this 60 minutes for that. And then they conclude 80 minutes or whatever.[00:11:00] And that, you know, there's so many case studies of long-term care, home fires where smoke becomes. A very big issue that's just not a good

[00:11:10] wojciech_wegrzynski: Hmm.

[00:11:11] John Gales: approach. And, so it, it's something I've kind wrestled with too, but coming from a structures background, it also, you know, helps with that discussion.

[00:11:19] John Gales: Cuz you can tell people a little bit what this number actually means and what it doesn't mean and what it should be used for. And you know, it's, it's a structural

[00:11:28] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Absolutely. Especially the, the assumptions for that are, are nowhere presentation of a real fire. And, uh, the whole episode we did is, is a very good

[00:11:35] John Gales: that's, the that's the big thing is, is that, and, and especially when you consider, if somebody's trying to say 15 minutes

[00:11:42] John Gales: from a member or something like that, and you understand that standard fire at 15 minutes, what it's actually representing is not what it, the actual real fire may be in that environment.

[00:11:53] Wojciech Węgrzyński: So you've mentioned elder elder care homes, and I understand it correctly, that was the point of the, [00:12:00] study to, to figure out um, different groups of people, how different types of people. If I, if I make hold like that, uh, would, um, evacuate, how would different building types affected? Like When you start at a very basic you learn that human speed at horizontal pathway is this, it changes to, to this on a, on a staircase, on a slope. It is this, and when they are irritated by smoke, it goes down to this. And, uh, that's pretty much the very basic conception about how we treat and this is, uh, very awkward because we're talking about, about an average human.,

[00:12:41] John Gales: and this, the, the environment, because like, like I'll, I'll use, I'll use sporting events an example, is, is that let in Canada, at least you have, we, we call it football and we call it soccer as well, or a D a different sport. So try for

[00:12:59] Track 1: the [00:13:00] international viewers to.

[00:13:01] Wojciech Węgrzyński: uh, kicking a ball with your foot and the other

[00:13:03] John Gales: And one's just knocking people down And, uh, I'll, I'll refer to that, the sport where you knock people down, appeals to demographics of about 18 to 45, uh, uh, of people at that age group. And there's a lot of drinking,

[00:13:18] John Gales: uh as well. in Canada with soccer or where you're kicking the ball. you're really appealing to youth. In terms of you have a lot of children attending these, events specifically in Canada, because for, uh, the sport where you kick the ball is growing in a lot of,

[00:13:35] Track 1: yeah

[00:13:36] Wojciech Węgrzyński: cold football. Yeah.

[00:13:37] John Gales: really, they should call it

[00:13:39] Track 1: football.

[00:13:40] John Gales: Uh, but, uh, That's growing in Canada at a very F fast rate and children are, attending these games in large numbers now. They're not gonna move at the same speeds as, the older demographics. And they're also gonna have very specific needs. We have a video, we showed a while [00:14:00] back where, a mother waits until everybody's left the stadium to begin taking their child up the stairway.

[00:14:07] John Gales: And the child is kind of tripping basically. On the stairs. so you get these demographics that like the design may not fully account for these types of people. And in that sense, and then with the, um, American football where people are. intoxicated the level intoxication during the egress at the, the stadium can affect how they're moving outta the stadium, uh, especially within the crowd and, uh, and such, and that is very poorly studied because it's so hard to study.

[00:14:43] John Gales: cuz how do you, accurately. You know, scientifically assess the degree of intoxication on the person from an ethical point of view, because you, you are putting people in harm's way, uh, if you are trying to control and experiment in that sense. yeah, so the, [00:15:00] the type of building can have various things and then different events like, uh, singers concerts can also bring in different demographics.

[00:15:06] John Gales: So it becomes really important to understand what each of these demographics are gonna do in these space that.

[00:15:11] wojciech_wegrzynski: mean,

[00:15:11] wojciech_wegrzynski: it's interesting what, what you say, because in a, in a way it is obvious, uh, like you can have, uh, I don't know, uh, uh, some kind of, even religious event where you could attract, for example, other population that would happen in

[00:15:25] Wojciech Węgrzyński: PO

[00:15:25] Track 1: Yep.

[00:15:25] wojciech_wegrzynski: So, so one building, one space, the same sitting, uh, array the same. Walking past the same evacuation exits completely, potentially completely different And it's not even about assessing a distribution within the population. It is like entirely different populations to start with

[00:15:45] John Gales: I don't wanna knock designs too much out there, but it it's as if we've kind of decided we have a universal design, but it's not really a universal design. and that tends to be, uh, one of the things that we're trying to research is moving

[00:15:59] John Gales: towards.

[00:15:59] Wojciech Węgrzyński: [00:16:00] you were also investigating for example, um, transport infrastructure. So I guess you also

[00:16:05] Track 1: Yep.

[00:16:06] Wojciech Węgrzyński: the impact of bags, the impact of, child's cards, right? That, that tell us about, about more, more of the factors because I, Think, you know, uh, common knowledge is, is diversity.

[00:16:15] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Is this, and maybe a standard deviation of that is, is this. And that's how I would design. I would love to learn, uh, how, how diverse and, and how big differences are actually

[00:16:25] Wojciech Węgrzyński: these

[00:16:25] John Gales: Yeah, well, well, again, it's still, it's also the environment. So we've been studying a commuter airport. and there's ear early on me and the students were going back and forth about, you know, how universal is the data to apply to other airports. And we have a community airport. We have mostly the same demographic going through it in terms of age, you do get some kids.

[00:16:49] John Gales: So you do get some, elderly persons as well, but it's mostly that, uh, adult demographic that's going through, but what's interesting is the. Luggage types [00:17:00] and the different, items that they're carrying, which then, uh, start to impact their travel through that space. so we've seen quite a bit of that, but also with the commuter airports, the speed that we were seeing people move through that space was.

[00:17:16] John Gales: A lot higher than what the, uh, design, well, the, the commonly accepted speeds that people would use, uh, from it, I don't wanna call it legacy. Last time I called it legacy at conference. People were not happy with it, cuz

[00:17:28] John Gales: they're saying

[00:17:28] Track 1: it

[00:17:29] wojciech_wegrzynski: can

[00:17:29] Track 1: from

[00:17:30] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I I'm cool with that. No, but you, you mean this, this speed? The usual, I, I would put like 1.2 meters per second or something

[00:17:36] Wojciech Węgrzyński: a as a

[00:17:37] John Gales: The people use like 1.3 or, or or so, and some. People do use some, more appropriate ones that, that, that go with it But I mean, the, speeds we saw analyzing over like a thousand people, uh, we were above two, um, with that, but mind you, it, wasn't very large crowding, which is a whole other thing we need to study is the [00:18:00] fundamental diagrams that associate to this, But, even getting access to an airport is not, uh, is not something you commonly,

[00:18:08] John Gales: uh, commonly get.

[00:18:09] John Gales: So.

[00:18:09] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Skimming through your reports. Like there's a lot of tables with numbers, for different, uh, spaces, different, ages, uh, different disabilities as well, different baggages. It is it's. Um, the report is available. I'll I'll link to it in, in show notes. So take a look at the numbers that are there, but, uh, what strikes me is. How scattered the data is like this, this 1.3 meters is not truly present to anything. Like, in some cases you, you have speeds around 1.5, 1.6 with, uh, not that huge standard deviation, but then again, in other tables, you, you have like scatters from oh 0.3 to five meters per second, and standard deviation of, oh seven five for, for a mean of 1 45.

[00:18:54] Wojciech Węgrzyński: So That

[00:18:55] Wojciech Węgrzyński: is a crazy

[00:18:56] Wojciech Węgrzyński: scatter.

[00:18:56] John Gales: I think with the report too, like one thing that isn't within the [00:19:00] report, cuz I mean like a report isn't meant to. 200 pages, uh, at this point it's just meant to give, this is the outcome. And then the peer review papers afterwards kind of present more of the detail that, that goes into it.

[00:19:12] John Gales: The statistical analysis on some of the, uh, the speed profiles, like you can spot some that you might be like, okay, you know, there's a lot of deviation here. So this one may be not, uh, as certain as another one. But, you can do a number of tests on the data to see if you are getting a level of statistical significance.

[00:19:31] John Gales: Um, and I think with the airport study that we did for, FMTC that that's out there, the, the student has put together. We only presented luggage and non luggage but the actual breakdown of different profiles is we, we did compile the profiles for here's somebody with light luggage, here's somebody with a heavier luggage.

[00:19:54] John Gales: Here's this demographic here's that demographic. And then this statistical, uh, [00:20:00] significance. Each profile is, is considered. And some of them, there's just not enough data to conclusively say that this profile will have this effect, whereas others, where we do have, you know, low deviations, if you wanna simplify it to that.

[00:20:16] John Gales: And, uh, high sample numbers, we kind of have a good, uh, overview as to, uh, what that is.

[00:20:23] Wojciech Węgrzyński: sorry. And what, what if we, um, From a designer point of view, would you say that the differences between these environments were so significant that you should like have an individual approach to I dunno, airport versus stadium versus, uh, care home, like, the, the data sets are so different or, or you can come

[00:20:41] Track 1: Yeah.

[00:20:42] Wojciech Węgrzyński: again, a generalized average human with a reasonable standard deviation.

[00:20:46] Wojciech Węgrzyński: That will be good enough for design.

[00:20:48] John Gales: I don't think so. Not at this, not, not what, not with where human health is, trajectory in my view, uh, with things, like you really need three hours for these things to, to [00:21:00] talk about everything.

[00:21:00] wojciech_wegrzynski: Yeah.

[00:21:01] John Gales: uh, I think what we have is is that in the 1970s and eighties, where we started.

[00:21:08] John Gales: Use flows, and not really think beyond, well, some, some people were, but it wasn't really pushed too much. There's still people who will say, okay, I'm gonna use those, that, that data. And there's other people who say, okay, yes, that's, that's great. But that data, is representative of a population from 1970 in this particular space and under these, under these conditions.

[00:21:32] John Gales: And we know that, you know, people are, we have more elderly persons. Now we have, we have all those, People may not be as fit people. I mean, people are heavier. I mean, even last night, I, I made an Uber order to McDonald's, so , we're, we're, we're not as healthy.

[00:21:49] John Gales: Um, but what worries me to is it's, it's going beyond just, you know, like our, there, there's a number of health elements.

[00:21:58] John Gales: Are happening, uh, to [00:22:00] people which are invisible, you know, in terms of like, you may look at somebody and you may say, Hey, that that person ha is six foot tall. Their legs are clearly gonna move out of particular speed based on some, uh anthropometry, but you can't see that they may, you know, they may have had a stroke in the past They may not move at that speed and fine. Maybe that's one note of a thousand people in space or whatever. I don't quote that number, but I'm just using it as a arbitrary example to then say, let's consider a long term care facility now where we know the population is 99%. with, uh, a level of invisible diff uh, disability, then you know that, you know, if you are designing for that, you need to be paying careful attention to the care that's going to have to happen to moving them.

[00:22:52] John Gales: Uh, if they can't move on their own and the resources. That that are required to that. But if you try to use a [00:23:00] universal approach, you're on a very slippery slope in some cases. And I think that's why you see sometimes in Canada, the fire resistance rating being used is somebody says, okay, 15 minutes adds 60 minutes to that.

[00:23:12] John Gales: And that's the number, but you then arrive with a long-term care facility where somebody's arguing that they have 85 minutes to escape and. you know, that's not going to work out so well,

[00:23:25] Wojciech Węgrzyński: When you were looking at these data sets, was there like. Anything that that surprised you that would like go completely against our understanding intuition. Like the, I guess the example of the distal person might have had a strong is, is a very, graphical one on, on how may be different from our preconceptions.

[00:23:46] Wojciech Węgrzyński: But, But, like go going through this, uh, were there some things you, you found like that.

[00:23:51] John Gales: Yeah, I think think some of the, the speed differences were, We're higher than we thought because, and, and the one that I thought was really [00:24:00] interesting was the alcohol study, um, with the stratum, that one, that one's really interesting and funny in a way is that

[00:24:09] wojciech_wegrzynski: yeah.

[00:24:10] John Gales: sometimes, actually, if you really look at the data, you start to see that people speed up moving into a beer tent.

[00:24:16] John Gales: Obviously you can understand that they would speed up and, but the drop off in speed that would, that would occur after they leave. I think that, that's important. And, and, and it makes sense is that a lot of these speeds are not just, okay, this is a population traveling through a space.

[00:24:34] John Gales: This is a population influenced by stim.

[00:24:37] John Gales: and then their urgency to get some more, just like in the airport, the community airport, where they're really trying to move fast, uh, to catch their plane there's stimuli that affects these numbers. And if you just raw take the numbers and say, here's the numbers, but not really talk about what is happening in the environment around them.

[00:24:57] John Gales: Then, you get, you know, different speeds. So you [00:25:00] could. You could buy rod, like use these in a pedestrian model, but they may not be appropriate for an emergency case either cuz that's a whole other stim. And I think that starts to make things really interesting is, is the, the range of, differences even in the same space based on stimuli.

[00:25:18] John Gales: And that you may think that. You're getting a worst case scenario, but you're actually not. Um, because like, I'll give an example, fire

[00:25:28] wojciech_wegrzynski: Yeah.

[00:25:28] John Gales: in the stadium. A lot of people like to whip out their cell phones start taking photos of it and they're not E egressing or, or so they're, they're, they're trying to gather more information and you can explain why

[00:25:41] John Gales: they're doing that.

[00:25:42] Wojciech Węgrzyński: process it later. That's good.

[00:25:43] John Gales: Yeah. It, well, you can see how they're, you can see that they don't, that there is a percentage of that population that doesn't leave. Now let's say the same stadium has a rain event, a torrential downpour of water. That's unexpected through the day. can actually be [00:26:00] worse than a fire

[00:26:00] wojciech_wegrzynski: Mm-hmm.

[00:26:01] John Gales: at that point, not just a group of people in one part of the stadium are leaving.

[00:26:06] John Gales: Now you have the whole stadium trying to leave at the same. And trying to find shelter and then clogging the interior portions of the stadium as well, causing a, a larger crowding event. And for us, that was probably the most interesting collection of data that we found with Um, the stadium work was monitoring a rain event.

[00:26:32] John Gales: Uh, like I wouldn't say controlled way is we set up at the stadium for over a week, cuz there's events every day. And we were able to position cameras in corridors and, and locations to get flow densities and speeds of which people would move. And, cuz you can find lots of videos of people in stadiums and rain events and know that they're moving fast.

[00:26:53] John Gales: But if you wanna actually quantify the numbers, you need to write angles. and that was pretty alarming, what people were doing. [00:27:00] the video show some very quick movements and, there was one with a lady who had a cane. Who in your normal circumstance, you would say that that person would be, would fit the dis say one of the elderly person's profile, but she was moving very fast and, that king was clearing away for her.

[00:27:20] John Gales: But you know, you gotta, when you, when you're looking at it, you do have to look at, okay, what is the certainty of everything that you're putting together? But I will say that stim has a huge. on, uh, movements for people who are coming outside of human behavior and just think you can just apply one number to it.

[00:27:35] John Gales: There's a lot going on.

[00:27:37] Wojciech Węgrzyński: it's super interesting how you frame that the threshold rain could be like a more immediately cause than to evacuate and fire. And, uh, if I think about it now, it's quite logical. I, I also would like to. Take a picture though, for me, it's scientific, scientifically justified. If I do that for everyone else, it's not,

[00:27:55] John Gales: it was something that early on, we were, we were talking amongst ourselves. Like we couldn't do, [00:28:00] we can't like for, through the ethics reviews that we do on these studies, we can't do the action. We can't set an alarm. We can't, um, cause a fire or something like that. You just can't do that.

[00:28:11] John Gales: What you can do is you can wait for an event to occur, which may take some time to do. and, in our case the year before we were at the stadium, when it rained, but we weren't collecting data and we saw what was happening.

[00:28:26] wojciech_wegrzynski: huh?

[00:28:26] John Gales: And then the, and the next year we said, okay, for this year, we're gonna try to make sure we can capture a rain event.

[00:28:33] John Gales: And one day outta the week, it's got a rain. So we were monitoring the stadium for the whole.

[00:28:39] Wojciech Węgrzyński: long as it takes to right now,

[00:28:41] John Gales: and the, the funny bit was, is myself and, uh, Tim, one of the graduate students decided to go visit the students at the stadium during, uh, just to see how they were doing. And then we had the torrential rain and there was only two umbrellas.

[00:28:55] John Gales: So, uh, unfortunately for Georgette, she lost her [00:29:00] umbrella.

[00:29:00] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Oh, however evil. Uh, when you say you cannot, uh, trigger any event, know I had this funny, one thing in my career we are doing a lot of hospital tests. I've said it on the podcast a lot of times, but then one time we were commissioning a new railway station in Cracow uh, they've planned, uh, some sort of evacuation. It was not even an equation drill. It was more like, a drill for all the emergency services of the city like, like coordinated, coordinated stuff. So we, we sat, we were, we knew that like, two minutes before noon, we, we set up the fire. Then after some time that they will either must be detected, firefighters will come and they will put it down.

[00:29:44] Wojciech Węgrzyński: And then there, there, there were people pretending there are casualties and, you know, all, all the, this interesting things that happens at, at big drills and obviously. on the rail, on the station itself, they, they were announcing communicates. Okay. In 10 minutes we begin an [00:30:00] emergency,

[00:30:00] Wojciech Węgrzyński: test, please, uh, follow the messages and evacuate immediately.

[00:30:03] Wojciech Węgrzyński: And it was repeated multiple times now what they didn't, uh, think through. I, I guess maybe they did think through, but. We started the fire and then a train arrived from Waro with like 200 people exiting it. So they've just

[00:30:16] Wojciech Węgrzyński: literally

[00:30:17] John Gales: know,

[00:30:17] Wojciech Węgrzyński: didn't know. And they literally just

[00:30:19] John Gales: uh,

[00:30:19] Wojciech Węgrzyński: the burning, a burning

[00:30:21] John Gales: see.

[00:30:21] Wojciech Węgrzyński: station.

[00:30:22] John Gales: That where your data is, in things.

[00:30:24] John Gales: But yeah,

[00:30:25] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I wish I had 40 go pros, you know, because I would have captured that. And, and we, we, at this point we, we were doing our job as, uh, the people who, who

[00:30:33] Wojciech Węgrzyński: did this

[00:30:34] Track 1: well,

[00:30:34] Wojciech Węgrzyński: it was interesting.

[00:30:35] John Gales: it's a good point to, to make too about collecting the data is. That in a, in a lot of those cases, like you get some information and there's ingrained training that's happening with it. But because people would know that they're in a training exercise, opposed to the real thing, which is why our group hasn't, you know, there's people who can do that really well, who, who can create a lab experiment and, and get [00:31:00] good quality data from that, our group has tended to focus.

[00:31:03] John Gales: Let's do field work. Um, and from that field work, if people know. that they're in a drill. They're not really going to take that very seriously if they don't know that they're in a drill, they're going to display, you know, other types of behaviors and such. So it's really important to kind of categorize, you know, what is the context of what the data collection actually is?

[00:31:27] John Gales: The museum study that we did was. Along those lines is we had, we had a false alarm and then they did the annual drill, over the course of, uh, the cuz you can, you can observe every building has encounter, has to do annual drills, so you can observe that. And then these are, you know, they're not informed to people and, uh, you can get some more realistic data, but there's no smoke.

[00:31:51] John Gales: There's. Visible fire, uh, or anything like that. but you do, you can get some useful information, but you're not gonna get the exact emergency,

[00:31:59] wojciech_wegrzynski: [00:32:00] Yeah.

[00:32:00] John Gales: uh, re response to it.

[00:32:02] Wojciech Węgrzyński: And,

[00:32:03] Track 1: so,

[00:32:03] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I, I wondered, do you have AC like accidents happen? There's CCTV everywhere. Do you have

[00:32:10] Wojciech Węgrzyński: access to that?

[00:32:11] John Gales: But that's where things get tricky is in many cases where an accident does happen, those videos become part of a legal, process. So you're not gonna get access to them. What has been really good on our team for the students that have worked on us, especially early on. A lot of our initial students, were already practicing engineers.

[00:32:32] John Gales: And we were very fortunate that one of our graduate students was an authority having jurisdiction and was able to do, uh, a study. And we did this study in 20 15, 20 16, but we couldn't publish it until last.

[00:32:46] wojciech_wegrzynski: Mm.

[00:32:47] John Gales: so the release time was still a factor of the, uh, of the information, but you can sometimes be fortunate to get.

[00:32:56] John Gales: Some of the, the, these video footages, but it comes [00:33:00] with a lot of time. and it has to be in a circumstance where there isn't, that legal thing. And then you get the second thing in the university setting is you have two procedures happening, you have ethics, and then you have the, the disclosure agreements that to occur with, with the structures and.

[00:33:16] John Gales: Many times the disclosure agreement is a lot more severe than the ethics, uh, requirement. And you're finding yourself working in that, and it becomes a really important relationship with the organization to get to a state where you can actually publicly talk about it, which to answer your question earlier.

[00:33:38] John Gales: Why we don't talk about what we're doing. Uh, and you only see our work three or four years later, is quite, quite a, quite related to that. we can't just go out and say to people, you know, we're, we're doing something here or we're doing something there, it, or takes time to be able to release it.

[00:33:54] Wojciech Węgrzyński: And must be quite challenging to, to even categorize your, your agents in [00:34:00] your, um, observations, because it's not that you can go into a person at the end of the airport. Hello.

[00:34:06] Track 1: And tap them and say, how old are you?

[00:34:08] Wojciech Węgrzyński: since you exited from the plane from

[00:34:11] Track 1: yeah,

[00:34:11] Wojciech Węgrzyński: you please tell me, do you have any disability?

[00:34:13] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I mean, you, you, you don't know, so it was based

[00:34:15] Wojciech Węgrzyński: on your

[00:34:16] Track 1: no, you.

[00:34:16] Wojciech Węgrzyński: how you.

[00:34:16] John Gales: You won't. And in some cases, if you have time, so like some of the stadium studies do have those surveys where we have gone up to people afterwards, because we've had a year to plan it and we've been able to put stuff together with. That type of study with the airport. The most we can do is just say, Hey, you're being recorded as you go through this corridor.

[00:34:39] John Gales: but there's no survey that follows it, uh, or, or something like that. If you tried to do that, it would probably tack on another. I mean, for us, maybe other people have different procedures, they have to follow, but for us, it would tack on probably about another year or two on the study

[00:34:54] wojciech_wegrzynski: Mm,

[00:34:54] John Gales: be able to even get clearance, to, to talk to the.

[00:34:57] wojciech_wegrzynski: of course.

[00:34:58] John Gales: Who are going through it. [00:35:00] So, answer also is, is they probably wouldn't want to talk to uh, at the end anyway, because they're trying to catch their flight.

[00:35:07] Wojciech Węgrzyński: that there's like, uh, in one of your studies, uh, maximum walking speed was seven meters. That's like 14 seconds for 100. That's

[00:35:16] Track 1: like somebody running or something like that. If you probably looked at it,

[00:35:20] Wojciech Węgrzyński: that's. That's

[00:35:20] Wojciech Węgrzyński: that's, that's really decent time.

[00:35:23] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I don't think I would make it. So I I'm impressed by, by the numbers in your study. Um, we've touched a little on, on the CTV. I, I would, uh, if you are comfortable talking about it, I would like to love how you do these measurements because there's a lot of,

[00:35:37] Wojciech Węgrzyński: uh, years listening to the podcast, people

[00:35:39] Wojciech Węgrzyński: doing their, their experiments. So let's share the, the, the best practices. How, how do you

[00:35:44] John Gales: the, the little bit of the magic. Okay. Well, first off. Some of the CCTV footage that you're gonna get is gonna be a very, very low frame rate. And if that's the case, it may not be as easily usable. So there are tracking softwares out there [00:36:00] that you kind of need to adapt a little bit to the frame rate of what you're doing.

[00:36:03] John Gales: You also have the resolution. So some buildings may not have very high resolution, uh, footage either for us. I mean, if you can get into an environment where the organization is doing the recording and providing the footage after the ethics clearance is a lot easier to do. If you're trying to put up cameras yourself, then you run into a lot more barriers, uh, with it.

[00:36:28] John Gales: At least that's been our experience. In some cases you have to, because the footage is just. Suitable for the software to be able to do that. The second thing is, is which I think is actually the fun and more relaxing part is the surveying of the environment. So you go back and because your angle of your footage may not be.

[00:36:48] John Gales: Perfect to, to like, say like the airport data is a linear path. So it's very easy to say where everybody is, but you may have a, a space where it's not linear and people can move in different [00:37:00] trajectories. So you may need to have, an extensive survey done so that you can calibrate points, throughout the area.

[00:37:07] John Gales: so, but it's kind of relaxing doing that, cuz you're just going out to the site for the day and popping things around doing measurements. It's, you know, it's, it's nice. and then that data goes into, these, these types of, uh, softwares, you get a grid formed and then you can start to track the trajectories.

[00:37:26] John Gales: So what we've then done is we, we do it with the software, but we also do it manually to confirm that the, the path is actually what is being, you know, that we're, that we're getting the same thing as if we try to do it manually. And when you do it manually, the time it takes to make even one profile is just, it's so taxing on people, especially if you have a student doing it for three hours.

[00:37:50] wojciech_wegrzynski: mm-hmm

[00:37:51] John Gales: Trying to come up with these, they, their, their brain just can't can't stay focused. So you try to make automative approaches. And that's actually where our group [00:38:00] is moving towards is developing ways to do automation for data collection. And, uh, that's, what's hidden underneath of our lab right now is a number of technologies that we're working with, uh, to come up with ways of converting the raw footage directly into, Uh, data, but it's not using cameras it's, you know, was more or less using 3d mapping.

[00:38:23] John Gales: If you want to simplify,

[00:38:24] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Okay.

[00:38:25] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I mean

[00:38:26] Track 1: some of these technologies

[00:38:27] Wojciech Węgrzyński: disturbing big brother style videos where cameras on the STR on the street would, would, immediately pick you up, do face recognition on you and

[00:38:36] Wojciech Węgrzyński: and do yeah.

[00:38:37] Wojciech Węgrzyński: they, they seem to be, do doing that. I mean,

[00:38:39] Wojciech Węgrzyński: it's

[00:38:39] John Gales: Every time somebody shows me where that is, I'm saying I'm just wasting my time trying to come up with this technology cuz some proprietary company has already done it. So

[00:38:47] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I, I, I actually had this idea in my mind, like, uh, seeing the struggle with the ethical approvals of all of this stuff. If you could actually, um, develop a camera. uh, some sort of raspberry PI computer [00:39:00] that would do all the processing. And in the end, the output of this of this, device would be just data on, on movement with no images.

[00:39:08] Wojciech Węgrzyński: That would be like the

[00:39:09] Wojciech Węgrzyński: perfect But you would lose

[00:39:10] John Gales: And I.

[00:39:10] Wojciech Węgrzyński: to supervise it, right?

[00:39:12] John Gales: Well, you also can't say who, who is who, so you get speeds, right? You, but you don't know, anything about what this individual, was,

[00:39:21] Wojciech Węgrzyński: you're government and

[00:39:22] Wojciech Węgrzyński: you know, everything like from the face

[00:39:25] John Gales: I, I think. A lot of that is kind of where it's heading, cuz because it's so different from one area to another, what you're allowed to do and what you're not allowed to do.

[00:39:35] John Gales: So if you go to the United States and you're trying to collect data, even if you wanted to use a camera, you're just not gonna be allowed. And it doesn't matter what ethics procedures you go through, it's just not gonna happen. and then you're in a different environment where. You know, using CCTV footage is okay, but it's very tricky, um, to, to that, but I think it would, it does have a lot of [00:40:00] benefit to spend time on technology that can do these things in much more ethical ways.

[00:40:06] John Gales: And, uh, and I think a lot of that technology is there. And as I said before, I think a lot of people have already done it. It's just, it's very proprietary. Not so much used for research questions, right? Like we, we wanna study science, right. We, we wanna be able to understand, these types of things.

[00:40:24] John Gales: So it becomes a bit tricky, in that sense. But I think from a academic point of view, I think we can move, uh, if we wanna develop something that's freely available for people to use. And I think that's kind of our goal.

[00:40:37] Track 1: it's.

[00:40:38] Wojciech Węgrzyński: done this piece of work, of over the last years. how would you see the impact of that on, on the community? How do you see the future use of that? Or maybe the

[00:40:48] Track 1: Well it,

[00:40:49] Wojciech Węgrzyński: research.

[00:40:50] John Gales: we are very, um, Like our industry partners, we work very closely with them and we report, quite a bit, uh, with them. So, um, [00:41:00] for example, I was talking to you a bit, a little bit before boat traveling. So what we used to do each year, um, before COVID was, is we did a trip to the UK and Europe or so with the students, students presented their work to the industry.

[00:41:14] John Gales: Partners showed them what they're working on to get the information into the system. One. Critical thing about Canadian academia is our licensure procedure for the student trainees that we work with is they need to be doing, uh, at least it's encouraged if they want to become a consultant or a practicing engineer that they are doing applied research.

[00:41:39] John Gales: That's being used by a company. So if they're not, then they can't really claim the research, but if they are. Then they can say, okay, my research is being used for this particular project. uh, that really elevates the training for the students. And that also helps motivate the students doing the work because they see that their work is going to be used.

[00:41:59] John Gales: And, [00:42:00] you know, they're seeing it's happening on a real project.

[00:42:02] Wojciech Węgrzyński: that's a worked out case study that you can present afterwards, which is, which is.

[00:42:07] John Gales: For the most part. And they get the experience of actually talking to, consulting engineers about what, what they're actually doing. So we've been. fortunate to have these relationships with companies to, to allow the students. And that's where most of our students end up working is they'll integrate into consultancy afterwards.

[00:42:22] John Gales: and not trust mu much of the evacuation modeling that they're asked to review, but , that's, uh, that's what, comes from that. But yeah, that's something that. Uh, has been an emphasis, in terms of getting the data out. There is a lot of the data is communicated directly to the companies that are, uh, funding it.

[00:42:40] John Gales: And then also uh, the buildings that we're studying, a lot of that data is used. Towards improving the operations of, uh, of these, uh, facilities. Uh, so you, you tend to see, and, and that's, that's why I mentioned is, is that we've been fortunate that some of our students have been HJS or authorities [00:43:00] having jurisdiction that, that has allowed buildings to become safer after the work that we've done.

[00:43:06] John Gales: And, uh, I think that's been a really neat impact to, You know, back to some of these places and, and just see how things have, have changed. And it it's sometimes kind of funny, cuz one times we were talking to one of our consultancy partners and they're like your student, can't say that your, your student, isn't a practicing engineer and he's not an authority having jurisdiction.

[00:43:24] John Gales: He can't say that. And like, well, knowing he's actually in charge this, this building.

[00:43:30] John Gales: So he needs to say it.

[00:43:32] John Gales: So. But, uh, yeah, no, it it's been great. We, we have a super team at York, , with, the students that have come in and it's just, uh, fantastic to work with them.

[00:43:41] Wojciech Węgrzyński: How often do you see, we should, come back to this study, like your observations. Uh, you started with the data from eighties, nineties, and you've said a lot of, a lot has changed. Is it like how often you recommend to get yourself a million dollars to revisit that

[00:43:58] John Gales: Oh, you don't [00:44:00] get a

[00:44:00] John Gales: million dollars for this

[00:44:01] Wojciech Węgrzyński: a million dollars.

[00:44:01] Wojciech Węgrzyński: So

[00:44:02] Wojciech Węgrzyński: snap,

[00:44:03] John Gales: no, no, no,

[00:44:03] Wojciech Węgrzyński: road

[00:44:03] John Gales: we,

[00:44:04] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I chose the

[00:44:04] John Gales: we, we, no, here, I, I think that's the problem in human behavior research is, and I complain, I don't complain about it, but I. I think there's a misunderstanding. Sometimes that people think that there's, you know, lots of money in this in terms of there should be.

[00:44:20] John Gales: But a lot of people studying this are not, you know, like there, there, you might get a SFP grant, but that's not a huge grant. You might get a, another one. Whereas in the structural field, There's larger, funding, uh, packages that come in.

[00:44:38] wojciech_wegrzynski: Mm.

[00:44:39] John Gales: A lot of the human behavior research we've we've done is we have, we can get a bit of consultancy funding, but we're able to leverage it.

[00:44:49] John Gales: To support, a student, which, which works out pretty well, but the technologies that we're using actually come out of the structural domain. So [00:45:00] like the camera systems that we use. Are ones that we were using for structural fire experiments. So we have high resolution cameras that can do the, the, these types of, data capture.

[00:45:13] John Gales: and as you mentioned about the GoPros in your email, things like that, we have all these tools that can be multi multi-use, which is, uh, What's worked really well for us is that we are a structures group, but we do human behavior and we've kind of adapted technologies that were used out elsewhere into this field.

[00:45:34] John Gales: And, uh, that's one way we've been able to not need a million dollars for equipment. but it's yeah, but to answer your question about how often you want to go back, I think right now, my outlook is this is, I think it's exciting about collecting data pre COVID, but I think post COVID or whoever, wherever you are feeling where we are with with COVID right now, it, it doesn't [00:46:00] matter too much.

[00:46:00] John Gales: In that sense, it matters that we have a society that is not only aging, but we have concerns about health. And other, influences they're occurring. And I think it's starting to become really necessary to understand these implications a lot more on our built infrastructure. And I think that's where some things are gonna go.

[00:46:23] John Gales: And I think it would be very interesting you could obtain older video footage from 1970s and 1980s, but most of it is discarded and then go back to some of these buildings and see how different. Demographics actually

[00:46:38] Track 1: are in speeds, actually are

[00:46:40] Wojciech Węgrzyński: when you were saying that, I also thought that, We may be better at recognizing the diversity. We

[00:46:47] Track 1: mm-hmm.

[00:46:48] Wojciech Węgrzyński: in the disabilities. Many years ago, I would just put all the disabilities underneath the umbrella of my safety margin in my evacuation study. [00:47:00] So whenever someone would ask me, like, have you considered the disabilities in 2010?

[00:47:04] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I would say, oh yeah, yeah. They're, they're you see this multiplied by 1.3? They, they are all there. I have hidden them in my safety factor. The same for the, the population bias. even cultural differences in, in a way how people will dress will, will affect this. there's gonna be a hell lot of difference if you evacuate in, in, in Florida or in Northern, uh, countries.

[00:47:29] John Gales: we, we had a, we had an evacuation in a snow storm that we were monitoring time and , and nobody wanted to leave the building. So, yeah, no, there there's a lot that, that goes there. I think it all just comes down to how certain you are about what, what you have in, in the mall and how you can justify that certainty.

[00:47:47] John Gales: but, uh, it's, it's exciting. It'd be nice if the community could grow a lot larger,

[00:47:53] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Hmm.

[00:47:53] John Gales: um, because there's so many questions that can be looked at and it's just like, you don't have time to, to [00:48:00] go through them all. Some of these studies take years to begin with. but they're, if you look at what are the most commonly used services in, in some of these in fire engineering, probably, you know, human behavior is gonna be used a lot more than structural fire in some cases, in, in some places cuz of the, the challenges

[00:48:20] Wojciech Węgrzyński: We also need like simple models, you know, we also, um, you also need to be calculate this, this flow of people very quickly to, to give a robot's estimation of what the required civil evacuation time would be for a building sometimes. Uh, when you go into complex scenarios, like understanding what you said about the, the football match, like if you would like to know, uh, a whole image of the stadium, you would need to do a hundred simulations each for a different, uh, type of

[00:48:48] Track 1: Yeah.

[00:48:49] Wojciech Węgrzyński: with different, scatter of your input parameters,

[00:48:52] John Gales: and and then each model, how long it takes

[00:48:55] Track 1: to run two is.

[00:48:56] Wojciech Węgrzyński: sometimes you just need a, a quick, robust information. So, so there's also a [00:49:00] future for, for this average meters. And we also need to have basic understanding in that of of course, right.

[00:49:05] John Gales: Well, and that's a huge problem with it because people. People don't have a basic view about human behavior and fire. And that's why you see all these myths that are thrown, uh, all over the place. And if you go on Twitter or wherever you want, there's always a discussion of trying to educate the news networks to use different words.

[00:49:25] John Gales: And we're still stuck with general populations believing in 1911 theories. And We need a lot more dissemination of what this actually is for people to understand. You know, even when they're in an environment, like most people go in a stadium and they're going up and down stairs, they don't understand that there is rules for the threads.

[00:49:49] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Hm,

[00:49:49] John Gales: Of the stairs and they just may say, oh, this is a really badly designed stairway. And, you know, they, they don't know that there's actually a serious problem here and until somebody trips and falls, and there's a huge lawsuit [00:50:00] that, that, that follows that

[00:50:01] Wojciech Węgrzyński: of course. Yeah. Well,

[00:50:02] Track 1: uh, yeah,

[00:50:03] wojciech_wegrzynski: as you said, it can take three hours

[00:50:06] Wojciech Węgrzyński: discuss this,

[00:50:07] John Gales: you, you can, or you could take my

[00:50:09] John Gales: course.

[00:50:10] John Gales: uh, that I, uh, that I do have a course. It is, uh, taught online

[00:50:15] John Gales: actually Um,

[00:50:17] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Does

[00:50:17] Wojciech Węgrzyński: it cost a million uh,

[00:50:18] John Gales: I don't know how much it costs the university determines the time Um, but it's, is taught, it'll actually be running next month at university of Waterloo uh, annually.

[00:50:28] John Gales: It's at Waterloo. and we do host it at York and then occasionally I've done it at WPI. so it's eight modules and, uh, very different than. Most of the other courses in the sense that we spend more time on the behavioral theory than we do on the modeling. So trying to understand what is the, the basics of the model.

[00:50:49] John Gales: So, it's a pretty good one. Uh, so if you like to know how fire dynamics and, uh, structures and fire integrate into human behavior and fire course, uh that's, [00:51:00] that's the one, so.

[00:51:01] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I I'll take a look. I may, may actually send someone your way it's online. Right? It's it's uh,

[00:51:05] John Gales: Yeah, it's online. It's fully, it's fully online and yeah, I think it's running the week of October 17th.

[00:51:11] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Okay. That's

[00:51:12] John Gales: So

[00:51:13] Wojciech Węgrzyński: I'll make

[00:51:13] John Gales: there's

[00:51:14] John Gales: assignments though. There's assignments.

[00:51:16] Wojciech Węgrzyński: so, so that's why you agreed so easy to this podcast episode should have told me I would plug it in,

[00:51:21] John Gales: Well, you don't have advertisements in your thing, do

[00:51:24] John Gales: you.

[00:51:24] Wojciech Węgrzyński: no, no, not yet. I, I was also curious, you've mentioned the, the course by Guylenne Proloux is, is this also somewhere available or this was in the

[00:51:32] John Gales: no, no, that, that one is still if we were to make it available, we we should go through the family. And, um, but the, we just haven't decided what to do with the, the footage we do have the lectures, they are preserved. It's just deciding what to ultimately do with them.

[00:51:49] John Gales: They are public. Recordings, uh, that were made of, a version of the course in 2004, 2005, uh, or so they're really [00:52:00] interesting Um, it would be,

[00:52:01] Wojciech Węgrzyński: do that. Come on.

[00:52:03] Track 1: it

[00:52:04] Wojciech Węgrzyński: yours

[00:52:04] John Gales: would. It would be really nice to get them out, but I think it needs a lot of delicate,

[00:52:10] John Gales: conversations and things like that. But, they were used heavily to influence, the curriculums that, we were using for even our own.

[00:52:18] John Gales: And when you look.

[00:52:20] wojciech_wegrzynski: The.

[00:52:21] John Gales: impact that course had. And I was talking to the folks at WPI a couple years ago, like even their curriculum was, inspired by what she developed. Like, she was a huge, huge influence on human behavior and fire, and it was really unfortunate, of her passing and, and then in Canada, how afterwards the field just kind of was stagnant then, uh, uh, Steve came over.

[00:52:44] John Gales: Started telling people to study it and people began to study it again, in, uh, in high numbers. So

[00:52:51] wojciech_wegrzynski: That?

[00:52:52] John Gales: our, our, our, as you know, our history of fire engineering is not really well

[00:52:56] John Gales: documented. And we,

[00:52:57] Wojciech Węgrzyński: is. It is absolutely not. And [00:53:00] uh, me having this podcast is, is one way to provide an open access archive, maybe, uh, your, uh, future self, you know,

[00:53:09] John Gales: you're up to 60, some odd episodes

[00:53:11] John Gales: now,

[00:53:11] John Gales: or.

[00:53:11] Wojciech Węgrzyński: be 68. I think so. Yeah.

[00:53:14] John Gales: That's great.

[00:53:14] Wojciech Węgrzyński: know, I hope in a hundred years, the, the new John Gilles, uh, the next Indiana Jones of fire will, uh, with the passion for history will, will uncover

[00:53:22] Track 1: Yeah.

[00:53:22] John Gales: I just kinda gotta show up to, uh, to one of these conferences with, uh, one of those hats or the fedora hat, and just say

[00:53:30] John Gales: that study belongs in

[00:53:32] John Gales: a

[00:53:32] John Gales: museum

[00:53:32] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Yeah. I, I, I have, if you have one minute, I have a joke about Indiana Jones in, in UK. Like there's, uh, these RAF panels and, uh, Indiana Jones has just founded, uh, I know, foundation of the author, whatever. And then he goes into to ref panel and there's like people asking him Dr. Jones, could you please, uh, provide like the impact of your RG and the novelty? can you please

[00:53:57] Wojciech Węgrzyński: comment? Can comment on that?[00:54:00]

[00:54:00] John Gales: I, I, I've watched a few shows sometimes that have tried to portray academia and I've just been like, I watch this, that, that this would never be allowed to happen. And so I'm gonna stop it right here and walk

[00:54:15] Track 1: away too,

[00:54:16] Wojciech Węgrzyński: John.

[00:54:17] Track 1: many.

[00:54:18] Wojciech Węgrzyński: Okay. Thank you so much for coming,

[00:54:19] Track 1: Yeah.

[00:54:20] Wojciech Węgrzyński: the

[00:54:20] Track 1: Yeah, no worries.

[00:54:21] Wojciech Węgrzyński: pleasure and, I guess I'll see you around in here.

[00:54:24] John Gales: All right.

[00:54:25] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And that's it. Thank you. John leads was a pleasure to talk to you as usual. my takeaways from this interview are that human behavior is driven not only by your own characteristics, but largely do you do environment and also due to stimuli the. Beer tent studied at John. Told them how to, when people were accelerating towards the tens and decelerating. When they were living it or.

[00:54:51] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Or the study where they have measured immense speed of people who were running late for airplanes. It just shows that, yeah, it's not so [00:55:00] simple. You cannot average humans into one. Walking speed with the standard deviation of this. It's a much more complicated matter. I guess for some aspects of engineering,

[00:55:12] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Of course, depending on the world, uncertainty, you're aiming for what modeling accuracy you're aiming for. How rough is your assumption? I guess there are cases in which just having an average walking speed and. And simple. Uh, Top of the head estimation of the evacuation time in which this, this assumption of just having numbers would be.

[00:55:34] Wojciech Wegrzynski: Would it be okay. But when you really want to do engineering, when you really want to understand the structure you are building, I guess. Making an individual approach. Like John mentioned. It's really, really powerful. And, uh, I think I will follow that path more in the future. I cannot say I did that a lot in the past, but Hey, I'm.

[00:55:57] Wojciech Wegrzynski: I'm learning just like you guys. I'm improving my engineering. [00:56:00] I want to be the very So. Like no one's ever been, so yeah, I have to learn I like that he's presented data outside of the book that will be published next year. There's plenty of research papers.

[00:56:13] Wojciech Wegrzynski: That really go deep into the subject. John mentioned the way, how they measure the results. There's a SFPE foundation report, which I'll link in the show notes, which has a summary of all the measurements they have done for the foundation. And it has really good, data useful data for, for modeling different types of buildings. You definitely should look that up.

[00:56:33] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And there were other studies in the literature that also. Tackle, for example, the pre movement time in different spaces. And these are also very useful combined with this new measurements of velocities that they give you a completely new way. Two. Design the evacuation process for your structure. This is very nice development in fire safety engineering.

[00:56:57] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And again, as John said, Evacuation. Modeling's [00:57:00] probably more competent than structural fire safety engineering. This is something we use almost every day. So it touches almost every of us. So very nice to learn that. Very nice to have resources. Thank you very much, John, for all of your research. Thank you for building a fantastic for engineering group at York university. You sound like you're having a blast there researching fire and that's.

[00:57:23] Wojciech Wegrzynski: What I love. And do you listeners I'm still a little low on the five-star ratings, you know? I would really appreciate if, if you like the show, you can drop me a rating that helps me way more than you think. And, It would be very nice to. To see these. This coming. Because it builds confidence in the podcast.

[00:57:44] Wojciech Wegrzynski: It builds credibility. It helps the podcast. Show up in search results for people On the various lists of what listen. So yeah, you have more power than you think. And I really appreciate if you could use it dropping me a five star on [00:58:00] maybe writing It takes 10 seconds of your time and it will be greatly helpful

[00:58:06] Wojciech Wegrzynski: And that is it for today. I guess I see you in next Wednesday with another interesting episode. Cheers.