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John Gales

Associate Professor, P.Eng


Civil Engineering


Dr. John Gales is an Associate Professor at York University in the Department of Civil Engineering in Toronto, Canada where he leads their Fire Safety Engineering Research Group and is a member of the Structures Group. Dr. Gales also performs duties as a visiting professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Boston, USA, and University of Waterloo, Canada. He received his engineering doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom in 2013. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Gales’ primary research interests include resilient structural fire design, and human behaviour in emergency situations. His research is active in various international collaborations and student exchanges related to fire safety engineering research with the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, Imperial College London in the United Kingdom, and NIST in the USA. His students have been recipients of 77 major scholarships and research awards. He has been recipient of 12 major NSERC Canada research grants in the last five years and to date he has approximately 190 scientific contributions. He is one of four Task Group Chairs in the Fire Protection Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the leading structural fire committee in the United States; voting member on the Canadian Building Code Standing Committee on Fire Protection (CCBFC); Chair of working group 10 of CSA steel structures; Chair of the committee on Fire Behaviour and Safety of Structures of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers; Associate Editor of Fire and Materials (John Wiley); Associate Editor Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (NRC research); Editorial board of Fire Technology (Springer- Nature) and was recently Chair of the 2018 Workshop on Fire Resistance of Structures for ASTM International.

Interested students in joining the Yorkufire team as graduate or undergraduate research students should email Dr Gales with a statement of relevant skills and experiences, career goals, and a note on your opinions on the topic of “Enhancing Equity, Inclusion and Diversity in Engineering”

Research Interests

See more about our team's current research at our Instagram handle instagram.com/yorkufire/

  • Structural Fire Resilience
    • Timber structures and materials
    • Steel structures and materials
    • Concrete structures and materials
    • Heritage structures (all material types)
  • Human Behaviour in Emergencies
    • Developing countries and informal settlements
    • Wildland urban interface
    • Stadium
    • Cultural centres
    • Care homes
    • Transportation infrastructure (airports, rail)
    • Evacuation modelling
  • Fire Dynamics
    • Travelling fires and large compartments
  • Engineering Education
    • EDI
    • Retention of women in engineering

Selected Publications

Graduate students in bold, open access versions of papers available on the Yorkufire.com/publications

  1. Davidson, A., and Gales, J (2021). BIM and Fire Safety Engineering – Overview of State of the Art. International Journal of High-Rise Buildings. (CTBUH). (Accepted)
  2. Arce, S., Jeanneret,, Gales, J, Antonellis, D., and Vaiciulyte, S. (2021) Human Behaviour in Informal Settlement Fires in Costa Rica. Safety Science (Elsevier). 142. 105384.
  3. 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. (In Press).
  4. Chorlton, B., Forrest, B., Weckman, W., and Gales, J. (2021) Performance of Type X Gypsum Board on Timber to Non-standard Fire Exposure. Fire and Materials (John Wiley). 45(7): 885-900.
  5. Jeanneret, C., Nicoletta, B, Gales, J. Robertson, L., and Kotsovinos P. (2021) Guidance for the post-fire structural assessment of prestressing steel. Engineering Structures (Elsevier). 235 (4).
  6. Yerushalami, A., Folk, L., Carton, H., Gales, J., Khan A., Weckman, B. (2021) Fire Evacuation Modelling of a Canadian Wildland Urban Interface Community. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (Canadian Science Publishing). (Accepted).
  7. Nicoletta, B., Gales, J., Kotsovinos, P, and Weckman, E. (2021) Experimental Thermal Performance of Unloaded Spiral Strand and Locked Coil Cables Subject to Pool Fires. Structural Engineering International (IABSE). (accepted).
  8. Chorlton, B., and Gales, J. (2021) Structural Repair of Fire-Damaged Glulam Timber. Journal of Architectural Engineering (ASCE). 27 (1).
  9. Gales, J., Chorlton, B., and Jeanneret, C. (2021) The Historical Narrative of the Standard Time and Temperature Heating Curve for Structures. Fire Technology (Springer-Nature). Invited 57, 529–558.
  10. Gatien, S., Khan, A., and Gales J., (2021) Technology and Human Factor Considerations in Adapting Airport Landside Facilities and Operations to Autonomous and Connected Vehicles. International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics. New York, USA. Accepted.
  11. Philion, E., and Gales J., (2021) An Investigation into the Numerical Modelling of Timber at Elevated Temperatures. CSCE Annual Conference. Niagara Falls, 10 pp. accepted.
  12. Espinosa-Merlano, N., Gales J. et al (2021) Engineering Student Comprehension of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity. 12th Canadian Engineering Education Association’s Annual Conference. Accepted.
  13. Chorlton, B., Gales J. et al (2021) The Effect of Experiential Engagement with Virtual Learning on Undergraduate Student Success. 12th Canadian Engineering Education Association’s Annual Conference. Accepted.
  14. Martins-Robalino, M., Gales J. et al (2021) Undergraduate Student Engagement With Synchronous and Asynchronous Course Elements. 12th Canadian Engineering Education Association’s Annual Conference. Accepted.
  15. Chorlton, B., and Gales, J. (2020) Mechanical Performance of Laminated Veneer Lumber and Glulam Beams after Short-Term Incident Heat Exposure. Construction and Building Materials (Elsevier). 263 (12) :120-129.
  16. 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.
  17. Chorlton, B., and Gales, J. (2020) Fire Performance of Heritage and Contemporary Timber Encapsulation Materials. Journal of Building Engineering (Elsevier). 201(15).
  18. Gales, J (2020) Advancements in Evaluating the Fire Resistance of Structures. Fire and Materials (John-Wiley). 44(3), 297-298.
  19. LaMalva, K., Bisby, L., Gales, J., et al. (2020) Rectification of ‘Restrained vs. Unrestrained’, Fire and Materials. 44(3), 341-351.
  20. Jeanneret, C., Gales, J., Kotsovinos, P, and Rein G. (2020) Acceptance Criteria for Unbonded Post-tensioned Concrete exposed to Travelling and Traditional Design Fires. Fire Technology (Springer-Nature). 56(3), 1229–1252.
  21. Quiquero H., Gales, J., Abu, T., and Al Hamd, R. (2020) Finite Element Modelling of Post-Tensioned Timber Beams in Ambient and Fire Conditions. Fire Technology (Springer-Nature).  56(2), 737-767.
  22. Harun, G., Huang, L., Young, T., and Gales, J. (2020) Heritage Implications in Egress and Modelling. 5th FEMTC. 8pp.
  23. Ferri, J., Young, T., and Gales, J. (2020) Authenticating Crowd Models for Stadium Design. 5th FEMTC. 8 pp.
  24. Nicoletta, B., Watson, S., Gales, J., Kotsovinos, P. (2020) Experimental Study of Unloaded Structural Steel Stay-Cables under Hydrocarbon Fire Exposure. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Structures in Fire. Australia. 10pp
  25. Nicoletta, B., Gales, J., Kotsovinos, P. (2020). The York-Arup Cable Experiments: Implications for the Fire Design of Cable-supported Bridges. IABSE conference. New Zealand. 6pp.
  26. Nicoletta, B., Gales, J., Kotsovinos, P. (2020). Experimental Fire Performance of Unloaded stay-cables for Bridge Infrastructure. IABSE conference. New Zealand. 6pp.
  27. Davidson, A., and Gales, J. (2020). Efficiency of Fire Safety Design for Timber Structures through BIM. 9th International Structural Specialty Conference at CSCE Annual Conference. Saskatoon, 10 pp.
  28. Gatien, S., Young., T., Yerushalami, A., Gales, J., Khan A., (2020) Pedestrian Modelling and Level of Service in Transportation Infrastructure. CSCE Transportation Specialty Conference. Saskatoon, Canada, 6 pp. (Accepted).
  29. Gatien, S., Yerushalami, A., Gales, J., Khan A., (2020) The Importance of Human Factors when De-signing Airport Terminals Integrating Auto-mated Modes of Transit. International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics. San Diego California, USA. 597-602
  30. Carton, H., Khan, A., Gales, J. (2020) Wildfire Evacuation Modelling Coupling Traffic and Fire Behaviour. Proceedings of The National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) 2020 Montana State University, Bozeman, MT. 11pp.
  31. Gales., J., Ferri, J., Harun, G., Young, T., Jeanneret C., Kinsey, M., Wong, W. (2020) Contemporary Anthropometric Data and Movement Speeds: Forecasting the Next Ten Years of Evacuation Modelling, SFPE Performance Based Design Conference. 7 pp. New Zealand. (Key Note)
  32. Harun, G., Gales, J., Weckman, B. (2020) Fire Performance of Heritage Timber Buildings in Toronto Canada, SFPE Performance Based Design Conference. 6 pp.
  33. Chorlton, B., and Gales, J. (2019) Fire Performance of Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Timber. Engineering Structures (Elsevier). 201. 109739.
  34. Nicoletta, B., Kotsovinos, P., and Gales, J (2019) Review of the Fire Risk, Hazard, and Thermo-mechanical Response of Bridges in Fire, Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (NRC Research Press). 47(4): 363-381.
  35. Folk L., Kuligowski, E., Gwynne, S., and Gales, J. (2019) A Provisional Conceptual Model of Human Behavior in Response to Wildland-Urban Interface Fires. Fire Technology (Springer-Nature). Volume 55(5), pp 1619–1647.
  36. Gatien S. Young, T., Hoehler H., and Gales, J. (2019) Application of Narrow-Spectrum Illumination and Image Processing to Measure Surface Char Formation in Lateral Ignition and Flame Spread Tests. Fire and Materials (John Wiley). 43(4): 358-365.
  37. Nicoletta B., Woods, J., Gales, J., and Fam, A. (2019) Post fire Performance of GFRP Stay-in-Place Formwork for Concrete Bridge Decks. Journal of Construction for Composites (ASCE). 23(3). 16 pp.