UCL Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Prof Jose Torero Cullen

Prof Jose Torero Cullen

Professor & Head of UCL Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

Dept of Civil, Environ &Geomatic Eng

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st Dec 2018

Research summary

Professor José L. Torero works in many aspects of fire safety engineering, remediation and sanitation. He has developed novel methodologies for the safe design of complex buildings such as tall buildings, historic architectures or timber structures.  He has studied major environmental problems such as oil-spills or large underground coal fires where he has developed unique approaches towards impact mitigation.  He is co-inventor of STaR a technology for soil remediation that has been extensively commercialized and also extended to sanitation and the efficient management of waste water.  He has conducted extensive research in engineering education that has resulted in the development of successful educational programs in Fire Safety Engineering worldwide.

Teaching summary

Professor José L. Torero teaches extensively in many areas of fire safety engineering and building design.


Professor José L. Torero is Professor Civil Engineering and Head of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at University College London. He works in the fields of fire safety, combustion, environmental remediation and sanitation where he specializes in complex environments such as developing nations, complex urban environments, novel architectures, critical infrastructure, aircraft and spacecraft. He holds a BSc for the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (1989), and an MSc (1991) and PhD (1992) from the University of California, Berkeley. He received a Doctor Honoris Causaby Ghent University (Belgium) in 2016. José is a Chartered Engineer (UK), a Registered Professional Engineer in Queensland, a fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK), the Royal Society of Edinburgh (UK), the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (Australia), the Institution of Civil Engineers (UK), the Institution of Fire Engineers (UK), the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (USA), the Combustion Institute (USA) and the Royal Society of New South Wales (Australia).  José joined UCL following appointments as Professor of Civil Engineering and Head of the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Queensland, Australia, the Landolt & Cia Chair in Innovation for a Sustainable Future at Ecole Polytechnique Fédéral de Lausanne, BRE Trust/RAEng Professor of Fire Safety Engineering at The University of Edinburgh, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland and Charge de Recherche at the French National Centre for Scientific Research. He has been involved in landmark designs such as the tallest timber office building in the world, the Space Shuttle hangars in Cape Canaveral or the 2011 temple for “Burning Man.” He has been part of the World Trade Center collapse investigation, the Organization of American States Human Rights investigation of Ayotzinapa, Mexico, the Chilean investigation of the San Miguel prison fire and currently, he is serving in the Grenfell Public Inquiry. His work on the reformulation of engineering education led to six influential think tanks supported by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the Ove Arup Foundation.