On the 30th of April, in Sweden, Valborg is celebrated to welcome the arrival of spring. Lund is quite known among students, because the city organizes a big celebration. In the morning the park was full of people, and there was a main stage where a DJ was playing. We arrived around 11 am, and we barely could find a spot on the grass, because it was very crowded. We were so far from the main stage that we couldn’t even hear the music, but fortunately some people next us were equipped with their own music! We spent our morning and early afternoon just hanging out in the park, and then we decided to go to Nikhil and Shelly’s house to grab a bit to eat. In the evening we went back to the park to see the bonfire. Before the fire was lit, we listened to the performance of a local choir, who sang traditional songs of spring. Then the ceremony to lite the bonfire began. Once it was lit, we stayed in the park for a while, enjoying the warmth of the fire, and then went back to Delphi, where we live, to continue the celebrations.
Here is a picture of us in front of the bonfire.
Delphi is one of the housing areas for students in Lund. It contains many buildings and occupies a large area to the north of the city. It has been a practice for the majority of IMFSE students to choose this area to stay in during the semester in Lund.
As the weather was becoming warmer at the end of the semester and it has been a while since we did a common activity, we decided to have a party at one of the backyards in Delphi as most of us were staying there.
Having different food culture among IMFSE students is natural, but none of the cultures says no to a barbecue party. Therefore, we confirmed on a weekend day to do a major party.
As we were a lot of people who needed a big amount of food, we started the preparation for the party a day before. Some went to buy meat, while others bought vegetables for salad. We also got a big grill and a lot of beverages.
On the day of the party, the weather was awesome. Surprisingly, it was a sunny day which is something untypical for Sweden! We started gathering at noon and each group got something to do. Some were chopping vegetables, while others were setting on the fire in the grill. The preparation of the table was done by late comers. On the other hand, people who didn’t find anything to do, preferred sitting in the sun.
The most important thing for us was starting to eat at the same time, so it was essential to have a guard for the ready food to prevent anyone hungry from starting to eat! It took around two hours to prepare everything and when we started to eat it took less than 15 minutes to finish everything.
After that, we enjoyed the rest of the day sitting in the sun and talking. When the sun was about to set, we started to clean everything and then everyone left home after a long enjoyable day.
During my studies, I always heard about evacuation of people but I always wondered how it is possible to predict the time needed for people to leave the building. Here in Lund my classmates and I became aware of a software called “STEPS”, which gives you the possibility of running a simulation which helps you predict future evacuations by calculations made by the programme.
Our teacher Enrico taught us how to use this software and try to make us understand the advantages and disadvantages of it. In the positive view, this helps us in our future careers as we will be able to run the simulation and to use the results in an almost proper way. But also in the negative point of view, even if this is such an advanced software, it does not give really reliable results. It is almost impossible to predict human behaviour and the reactions in such dangerous situations.
In this field, there are different softwares that are able to give you reasonable results. However, every software has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it is up to the engineer to know which one to use and how to use the results from the software. Every engineer has to weigh the results, thinking if they are reliable, true or false.
Hopefully, one day a new software is able to give us usable results, ones that can even take into account people’s behaviour during evacuations. This is something almost impossible to create but maybe one day the technology is even more advanced than what it is now. When that day comes, our job will be a lot easier.