School of Civil Engineering


José L. Torero joined The University of Queensland in 2012 as Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of School.  a BSc from the Pontificia Universidad Catolice del Peru (1989) and a MSc (1991) and PhD (1992) from the University of California Berkeley. Prior to joining UQ, Professor Torero held the position of the Head of the Institute for Infrastructure and Environmental, the BRE Trust/RAEng Professor of Fire Safety Engineering and Director of the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering. During his time in Switzerland, he was Landolt & Cia Chair in Innovation for a Sustainable Future at École Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne. Additionally, Professor Torero was an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland (USA) and Charge de Recherche at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (France). He is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Building Research Establishment.

In 2008 Professor Torero was awarded the Arthur B. Guise Medal by the Society of Fire Protection Engineering and, in 2011, the Rasbash Medal from the Institution of Fire Engineers (UK) for eminent achievement in the advancement of the science of fire safety.

Professor Torero has received numerous education related awards and in 2010 he received the Tam Dalyell Prize for Excellence in Communicating Scientific Knowledge to the Public. His work on bringing technology to the Fire Service was the subject of the April, 2007 BBC Horizon show: “Skyscraper Fire Fighters” that has been shown in more than 30 countries.

He is the author of a book and more than 500 other technical documents for which he has received multiple awards. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Fire Safety Journal and was the Associate Editor of Combustion Science and Technology (2005-2010). He is a member of the Editorial Board of Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, Fire Technology, Journal of Fire Protection Engineering, Fire Science and Technology and the International Journal for High-Rise Buildings. He is the vice-Chair of the International Association for Fire Safety Science, chair of the Fire Safety working Group of the International Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat and a member of numerous influential committees and standards development bodies.

Professor Torero is a consultant to many private and government organisations around the world, having participated in landmark projects such as the Buncefield, Sago Mine and Texas City Explosions, the collapse of the World Trade Centre and the design of complex infrastructure.  He is recognised for leading edge research in a broad arrange of subjects associated to fire safety and for the development of many innovative educational programmes in several countries.

  • Fire safety of complex environments (mines, tall buildings, bush fires, urban wild land interface, tunnels, aircraft, spacecraft, etc)

  • Sanitation, waste management and contaminated land remediation


Professor Torero developed novel educational programmes in integrated design, architectural engineering, fire safety engineering, structural behaviour in fire, energy management, heat transfer, combustion and fluid mechanics

  • Real fires for the safe design of tall buildings.

  • SAFE Cosmos – International consortium studying fire safety strategies for spacecraft.

  • Aircraft Fire – International consortium exploring next generation composite based aircraft.

  • Toronto Toilet – International consortium working on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Reinvent the Toilet Challenge

  • STAR – Contaminated land remediation strategy using self-sustained underground smouldering

  • FireGRID – Sensor assisted emergency response

  1. Torero, J.L. “Scaling-Up Fire,” Proceedings of the Combustion Institute, 34, 2012.

  2. Torero, J.L. “Forensic Analysis of Fire Induced Structural Failure: The World Trade Centre, New York” ICE Journal of Forensic Engineering, 164, 2, 69-77, 2011.

  3. Cowlard, A., Jahn, W., Abecassis Empis, C., Rein, G. and Torero, J.L. “Sensor Assisted Fire Fighting,” Fire Technology, 46, 3, 719-741, 2010.

  4. Torero, J.L. “The Risk Imposed by Fire to High Rise Buildings,” Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings, VDM Publishing, 1-16, 2009.

  5. Torero, J.L. “Flaming Ignition of Solids Fuels,” SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering, 4th Edition, Chapter 2-11, pp. 2-260-2-277, 2008.