Predicting core temperature for emergency services workers wearing encapsulating clothing

Study level

Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Associate Professor Chris Drovandi
Associate Professor
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Professor Ian Stewart
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Health


Clothing worn by firefighters is vital for protecting the wearer from the threats associated with doing their job. However, the barrier it creates between the wearer and the environment, as well as the weight and bulk of the clothing, both impair body heat loss and increase metabolic rate leading to a warmer deep body temperature.

Consequently, firefighters experience elevated cardiovascular and thermoregulatory strain that impairs their tolerance to work in the heat. Accurate measurement of deep body temperature is invasive (rectal or oesophageal probes) or not immediately valid (gastrointestinal telemetric pills). Non-invasive indirect methods to determine deep body temperature are required for emergency first responders eg firefighters.

Research activities

Perform statistical analysis of data sets generated through USA Dept of Defence funded projects within the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences that have measured numerous physiological and psychological variables during activities in simulated environmental extremes while wearing chemical and biological protective clothing to predict deep body temperature.


  • Ability to accurately predict core temperature without invasive techniques
  • The research could be extended into an honours or MPhil project, and eventually the research findings can be published in a relevant journal.

Skills and experience

  • regression modelling
  • interest in applied statistics and machine learning



Contact the supervisor for more information.