Rory Hadden

Self-sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR)

STAR is a new approach to clean up contaminated sites with the potential to combine technical effectiveness, quick treatment and substantial savings relative to currently available techniques. STAR is based on the principle of self-sustaining smouldering combustion – controlled, flameless burning similar to how charcoal burns in a traditional barbecue – that destroys liquid contaminants trapped underground while generating enough energy to propagate unassisted through the contaminated soil. This project will focus on the scale-up of STAR technology for application to real contaminated sites and seek to understand the fundamental challenges of running STAR across multiple scales and dimensions.

Personal Background

Rory joined the RESTORE group in October 2011 as a Post-doctoral Research Fellow. He completed a PhD in Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh specializing in self-sustaining reactions in solids and smouldering combustion (link). This work was sponsored by International Fire Investigators and Consultants which gave him the opportunity to work closely with real-world application. Prior to his doctoral studies, he gained an MEng in Chemical Engineering (1st class) from the University of Edinburgh.


Book Chapters

  • Hadden, R. M. and Rein, G., Burning and Suppression of Smouldering Coal Fires, in: Coal and Peat Fires A Global Perspective, Volume 1, Chapter 18, Editors: Stracher, G. B., Sokol, E. V., and Prakash, A., Elsevier, 2010

Journal Publications

  • Belcher, C. M., Yearsley, J., Hadden, R. M., McElwain, J., Rein, G., Baseline in- trinsic flammability of Earth’s ecosystems estimated from paleoatmospheric oxygen over the past 350 million years, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi:10.1073/pnas.1011974107
  • Hadden, R. M., Rein, G., Small-scale experiments of self-sustaining decomposition of NPK fertilizer and application to events aboard the Ostedijk in 2007, Journal of Hazardous Materials (2010), doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2010.11.047
  • Hadden, R. M., Scott, S., Lautenberger, C., Fernandez-Pello, A. C., Ignition of Combustible Fuel Beds by Hot Particles: an Experimental and Theoretical Study, Fire Technology, doi:10.1007/s10694-010-0181-x
  • Hadden, R. M., Alkatib, A., Rein, G., Torero, J. L. 2010. Radiant Ignition of Polyurethane Foam: the Effect of Sample Size, Fire Technology (submitted)

Conference Papers

  • Hadden, R. M., Scott, S., Yun, A., Lautenberger, C., Fernandez-Pello, A. C., Ignition of Combustible Fuel Beds by Hot Metal Particles, International Congress Combustion and Fire Dynamics, Santander, October 2010
  • Hadden, R. M., Rein, G., Ignition, suppression and CO/CO2 emissions of subsurface coal fires at laboratory scale, Second International Conference on Coal Fire Research, Berlin, May 2010
  • Hadden, R. M., Alkatib, A., Rein, G., Torero, J. L., Radiant Ignition of Smouldering Combustion in Polyurethane Foam: The Effect of Sample Size, Proceedings of the 6th International Seminar on Fire and Explosion Hazards, Leeds, Apr. 2010.
  • Hadden, R. M., Rein, G., Ignition and Suppression of Smouldering Coal Fires in Small-scale Experiments, Fall meeting of the Western States Section of The Combus- tion Institute, Oct. 2009, Irvine. Management Policy Branch, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, 2001, 536p.
  • Hadden, R. M., Rein, G., Small scale extinguishing experiments of coal subsurface fires, 6th Mediterranean Combustion Symposium, Ajaccio, Jun. 2009
  • Hadden, R. M., Jervis, F. and Rein, G., Investigation of the Fertilizer Fire aboard the Ostedijk, International Association of Fire Safety Science 9, Karlsruhe, Sept. 2008, doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.9-1091


  • Travel scholarship, Royal Academy of Engineering. (2010)
  • Institute of Physics Travel award, Institute of Physics. (2009)
  • JM Lessells Travel Scholarship, Royal Society of Edinburgh. (2008)
  • Best Poster – Audience Choice Award, 9th Symposium of the International Association of Fire Safety Science, Karlsruhe. (2008)