Geoff Thomas

Dr Geoff Thomas profile picture

Building Science Programme Director School of Architecture


Teaching in 2019

Research interests

Fire safety in buildings, fires after earthquakes, earthquake resistance of domestic dwelling foundations. Building Codes


BE (Hons), ME & PhD (Fire Eng), Cant

Research interests

My current research interests include:

  • post earthquake fires
  • impact of fire safety on building space planning
  • fire resistance of timber structures
  • earthquake resistance of light timber frame domestic dwellings
  • development of performance based building codes, in particular in regard to fire safety in buildings.

Current research projects

My current research projects explore:

  • fire safety and sustainable building features
  • fire fatality and injury rates in residential and short term accommodation
  • earthquake resistance of light timber frame structures
  • performance of houses in the Canterbury earthquake sequence
  • history and development of performance based codes for fire safety.

Research partnerships and collaborative work

I have been working with the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ) on assessing the performance of houses in the Canterbury earthquake sequence.

Contributions to the profession

  • practice Area Assessor of fire engineering candidates for registration of Chartered Professional Engineers (C.P.Eng.) in New Zealand.
  • review of Practice Area Guidelines for Fire Engineering for C.P.Eng in New Zealand.

Selected publications

Thomas, G.C. ‘Timber Structures’ in Beer, M., Kougioumtzoglou, I.A., Patelli, E., Au, I.S.-K. (eds),Encyclopedia of Earthquake Engineering. Springer, Berlin (in print) Springer.

G.J. Beattie, R.H. Shelton and G.C. Thomas,Structural Performance of Houses in the Canterbury Earthquake Series. BRANZ Study report SR327, Building Research Association of New Zealand, Judgeford, 2015.

Mohammad Al-Janabi, Geoff Thomas and Mike Donn, Sustainable Building Features and Fire Safety, Building a Better New Zealand Conference, Auckland, September 2014.

Thomas, G and Harding, D. Fire Safety in New Zealand Accommodation Buildings, Building a Better New Zealand Conference, Auckland, September 2014.

Phung Le, Geoff Thomas and Michael Spearpoint, Assessment of Fire Safety for Mezzanine floors Compared with Acceptable Solutions Requirements, IPENZ Transactions, Vol. 39, pp 1-9, 2012.

Geoff Thomas, Jim Cousins, David Heron, and Mairéad de Róiste, Modelling and Predicting Post-Earthquake Fire Spread, Earthquake Spectra, 28(2), pp 795-810, May 2012.

Thomas, G.C. (2010, May). Modelling Thermal Performance of Gypsum Plasterboard Lined Light Timber Frame Walls using SAFIR and TASEF. J. Fire and Materials. Published Online: May 13 2010. DOI: 10.1002/fam.1026, hard copy in print.

Full list of publications.


Teaching in 2019