This summer most of us are doing internships all over Europe and the USA. I’m doing mine at Fire Engineered Solutions Ghent, one of the sponsors of IMFSE. The internship lasts six weeks, and now that I’m halfway through it I can say I am very happy I chose to spend part of my summer getting some experience in the field of fire safety engineering. I get to apply in practice what I have learned so far during this first year of the masters; and of course, I get to learn new things as well. Many things I have learned in class so far have been very useful, especially when it comes to the courses of risk assessment and fire dynamics. The second week of the internship I also got to go to Amsterdam for a workshop about a software used when doing risk assessment, and, as you can see from the picture, I also had some time to walk around the city (of course I had to stop by the I amsterdam sign!).
This is my first internship experience, and I am so glad I decided to do it! I would definitely recommend a summer internship to all future IMFSE students, because you learn so much and you get great working experience.
As in all other things, the work of this master programme has to be managed quite well in order to be a successful programme. The administration of IMFSE consists of one main office and additional two sub offices; one in each partner university.
One of the useful things that the administration provides is the student guide for the students. This guide contains all necessary information from each university besides the general information about the master itself.
The office in Gent University is the main administration as it is the coordinator of the programme. This office is currently run by Lies and Elise. They are responsible for all the work of the programme during the whole period of the master. In addition, they organise the work for IMFSE students during their stay in Gent. Lies and Elise are helpful, whenever a student needs anything from the office, they are always at the expectation.
On the other hand, the office in Edinburgh is newly run by Anna. Previously, it used to be run by Nathalie who is leaving the office for one year. Nathalie was really helpful and friendly to all IMFSE students studying in Edinburgh. As I spent the first semester in Edinburgh, I remember that she helped us a lot as new students there.
The office in Lund is run by Lykke, she is very active and she responds quickly to all requests. She usually helps a lot in visa issues as the process of the visa in Sweden takes longer time than other countries.
In addition to the three main offices, associated partner universities have their own local administrators. I spent the last semester in the University of Maryland; Sharon was the person who helped me in paperwork before and during the semester. She is very friendly as well.
I have to say that the administration of the programme is a significant addition into it, and it is a distinguish success in this master.
In the summer between the first and second year, right after Lund, there is a possibility for us to have an internship in the companies, which are sponsors for the master.
This summer, most of us got an internship in Belgium. Good opportunity to keep in touch and meet up as often as possible.
Andres and I are having an internship in Promat, one of the biggest companies in Fire Safety Engineering in the world. Our internship will last 8 weeks, almost for the whole summer. Even if we will not enjoy our summer or get to go home, this sacrifice is paid off with the experience and the knowledge that we are achieving during these months.
Working in the Research and Development Department, we are working with engineers that have great experience and knowledge of the field. Every day we are trying to learn from all the new informations and practical ways to deal with problems in this field. We noticed that this master has helped us a lot with the basic preparations for the future job.
On Wednesday, we had the great opportunity to join in an experiment, in where a new duct was going to be tested according to the new European Normative. After two hours of experiment, unfortunately, the product didn’t pass the test. But for us it has been a great experience, where we learned a lot and met Malaysian Promat employees, who were there to join the experiment.
Here is a picture of Andres and I with our new Malaysian friends.
Six of us are doing an internship in Belgium, so right after the exams we moved from Lund to Gent and Brussels. Our internships take place in two of the sponsoring companies of IMFSE, Promat and FESG, as well as at the University of Ghent. Our first week in Belgium flew by so fast! For Rohan, this was the first time in Ghent, so one evening we had dinner together and walked around Ghent for a bit. Of course, we had to have a Belgian waffle as dessert! We also tasted a few Belgian beers, but the list is so long that we won’t be able to try them all by the end of the internship. But we will be back in September for our third semester, so we’ll get another chance for sure. At the end of the week all of us who are doing an internship in Ghent met up for dinner. We had a great time, ate a lot and talked about our new adventure. It is great to still get to spend a part of our summer together, since many of us will not be together in the third and fourth semester.
Here is a picture of Rohan and I eating a famous Belgian waffle.
In the third semester in Gent University there is a course called Active Fire Protection 1 in which we learned about fire suppression systems and their applications.
This course is taught by people from industry. As a part of this course, we had a visit into two sites where fire suppression systems where applied.
The two companies are located in Antwerp, therefore, a bus took us from Gent. It took almost an hour to reach the first location. The site was inside a factory in which we saw an inert gas suppression system applied in the electrical room of the factory.
In these systems, the gas is stored in cylinders located in an adjacent room. The guide illustrated how the system works and he showed us the control panel and explained the various indicators on it. When these systems are applied, the controlled room has to be tight and a special ventilation system should be installed to remove the gas after suppression.
After we finished the visit to the first company, we went into another site where water suppression systems are installed. The place was an art gallery in which paints are produced and stored. In order to protect the paints, water mist systems were installed in different locations. The guide illustrated the various parts of the system and he showed us a test of a nozzle used in water mist suppression.
Then, we took the bus again to Gent to continue our classes there. This was the last visit we had during the third semester.
A picture of water nozzles above the paints.
After almost six months, IMFSE students have finished the second semester in Lund. This semester has been the longest semester of the master. Unfortunately, this one was the only semester that we were all together.
Our class is by far the smallest one among all the IMFSE classes so far. This is probably also the reason why we had only one big group, all as a big team. During this semester new friendships were born and old bonds got stronger.
As you probably already knew, we will be divided into two groups. The ones who have already been to Edinburgh will go to Ghent and the ones who started from Ghent will go to Edinburgh. It has been sad to say goodbye to all the classmates, especially because we will probably not see each other’s anymore. But the master has to go on, and new adventures will come.
During this summer, many of us will have an internship in Belgium and it is glad to know that we have a possibility of meeting up for a reunion during the summer. I am sure that no one will forget about this semester in Sweden and everyone feels sad to leave, but at the same time I hope no one of us needs to come back for the retakes of exams.
This year has gone by too fast, but it was full of new experiences and friendships that made this past year worthy.
This past week was quite stressful, since we had three exams. The weather in Lund was so nice, but we couldn’t enjoy it as much as we wanted to, since we had to study. Our last exam was on Saturday morning, and afterwards we decided to hang out in the city center. Summer vacation had finally started! We decided to have lunch at Max, a local fast food restaurant, to say goodbye to its great burgers, and we were invited for dinner at Nemer’s place. He and Mohamed had prepared for us a Palestinian and an Egyptian meal. It was really good! I love the fact that we get to try different meals from all over the world.
The dinner was the last occasion to be all together, since we will be split again between Edinburgh and Ghent for the third semester, and then we will all go to different universities to do our thesis in the fourth semester. After the dinner we had a “goodbye party”, even though most of us will be in Belgium for the summer, to do our internships, so we will definitely see each other soon.
Here is a picture of all of us after our last exam.