There are plenty of benefits from studying a program such as IMFSE, but one of them is certainly quite important for all the students – having regular and well-tailored contact with industry throughout the studies. It’s being done in various ways – organizing special fire safety events, conferences, talks, guest lectures, visits to companies and institutes etc.
It is known that one of the most common questions being asked to students around the world is: “How employable will you be after obtaining your degree?”. After seeing how IMFSE alumni are doing, and what chances are being brought to us, current students, I realized that all of us can happily answer to the employability question with just one word – Great!
One of the anticipated events during our 2-year program is certainly Fire Safety Engineering Industrial Engagement Evening organized at the University of Edinburgh each autumn.
It was a chance to get in touch with the real-world industry and academia, meet in person professionals from some of the most renowned companies and potentially find an internship, a full-time job or even a PhD.
The event started by professor Luke Bisby’s introduction speech presenting the timetable and explaining the details of the event.
Representatives from 6 companies were present in the room ready to meet all the interested students, tell them about what companies have been involved in and answer any possible questions. To name them, we had the honor with engineers from BRE, Arup, Olsson Fire and Risk, Trenton Fire, BB7 and Design Fire Consultants. Apart from those six, we also had the opportunity of talking to guys from Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and hearing their side of the fire story. It was really nice meeting all those inspiring people, learning about how our knowledge can be implemented in solving real problems, and basically already envisioning ourselves in near (or far) future. Listening to experiences from the people working in big companies, or in very tiny ones, or from the people that switched from a big to a small company or vice versa, was really helpful and gave us a good idea of all the advantages/disadvantages of each option. It was quite exhilarating finding out about great variety of options and paths waiting for our careers, and again the good employability thesis was proved!
Another really good thing about the whole event was that it was organized in an informal way, with food, wine and beer provided, which certainly allowed all of us to be more relaxed and enjoy it even more.
After the first block of the evening was over, it was time for University of Edinburgh Fire department PhD students to present their works. As some of us are quite interested in continuing academic careers after masters and pursuing PhDs, this was an excellent opportunity to get deeper insight into our elder colleague’s fire researches. As the University of Edinburgh is highly ranked in both structural and fire engineering, there is a lot research done in Structural & Fire Safety Engineering, which is definitely an extremely important topic and a big field of interest for many IMFSE students.
After some time spent with the industry representatives, it was also nice chatting to the PhDs and hearing their stories and getting some wise advices.
As expected, the event ended up being very beneficial for everyone involved. A day of valuable networking, brainstorming and many new ideas and plans created!