Fire Fighting training

Exactly one month has passed since our last exam. Now it’s time to recall one of the memorable moments of the last semester – our fire fighting practice lesson. As a part of the elective course of FSE based Fire fighting, we had a practical training in PBO East Flanders Fire department (Brandweerschool).

Our professor Karel Lambert is an acting fireman, and as a concluding part of his course on Fire Fighting, he takes students to the real fire fighting training.

When we reached the place, after detailed instructions we were given a real firefighting equipment. The heaviest part was wearing air cylinders. However, we were cooperating very well in helping each other to get ready. We looked so alike in these outfits, so we were permanently asking: “Hey, who are you?”/ “Hey, are you Silvia? Oh, sorry, it’s you, Ayyappa”.

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When we finally coped with the task of wearing full firefighting outfit, we were divided in two groups. Each group accompanied by a professor goes to the container, where some wooden cribs are set on fire. While the fire went through all the stages, we were sitting in the container, analyzing and experiencing all the processes happening there (e.g flashover). After getting out of the container everyone was very excited!

First of all, we were full of emotions after completing this training! It’s not an everyday thing to be part of fire fighting process! So huge thanks for fire department, our professor and IMFSE program for this challenging and fascinating experience! We feel really lucky for having an opportunity to have FSE based firefighting as our elective course.

Now the new (the last!) semester is on. And these remarkable moments will always have a special place in our memories!

P.S. After posting my picture on Social media, one of my friends sent me this meme with the “disaster girl”. Well, sometimes a “disaster girl” has to become a “disaster fighting girl” ūüôā

 

 

 

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Industrial visits and why we love them

We already shared our experiences of industrial visits in Lund (DBI,¬†MSB College Revinge¬†and¬†RISE). Now it’s time to tell about our amazing excursions during the 3rd semester in Gent.

As a part of the Passive Fire Protection course, we had a visit to PROMAT facility. PROMAT is a market leader in passive fire protection, they are presented in 43 countries and Belgium is one of them.  PROMAT develops new products, new generation of existing products and improves the quality of products manufactured in different factories around the world.

We had a lecture on the Compartmentation as a part of our Passive Fire Protection course and after it – a tour around the PROMAT facility.

We were guided through the quality lab and the industrial building, where we’ve seen some products manufacturing and also we witnessed some products testing. One of these tests was the use of intumescent paint for the fire fighting. Two tubes were set on fire. One was completely protected by carbon intumescent material. The material swallowed up when the ignition inside the tube started, preventing the tube from burning down. Uncovered tube totally burned.

For the Active Fire Protection I: Detection and Suppression class we had two visits in one day. In the first half of the day we have visited LANXESS Рa leading specialty chemicals company.

The purpose of this visit was to see and to understand how gas extinguishing systems work in the facilities of such scope. Pictures were not allowed to be taken in that facility, but for your understanding we looked somehow like this:

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After chemistry facility we went to the Katoen Natie, a factory to conserve and restore drawings. The protection of the pieces of art is always a challenge for fire safety engineer. For this storage water mist extinguishing system was chosen to prevent the fast spread of fire and destruction of drawings by water.

Unfortunately, pictures were also not allowed there. That is due to the fact that in the storage we have visited, paintings of such famous artists as Rubens are stored and museum workers do not want people from the outside see them.

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So, why do we love industrial visits so much? Well, I would say that it is due to good organization of these trips (transport and lunch are provided in the most of the cases), atmosphere of the “school trip” and full immersion in the industrial process.

These trips are one of the things I will desperately miss after the end of IMFSE program.

 

 

FSE – wait for it – Day!

The day everyone was waiting for finally came! Months of preparations and organizations have finally led for this event to happen. Special thanks to Professor Grunde Jomaas and Lies Decroos for enormous efforts they put for this event.  And also many thanks to BRE that kindly accommodated us!

This year Fire Safety Engineer Day was hosted in Watford – a city, 20 minutes away from London. Most of us came to the capital of Great Britain 2 days before the event. And the reason was – reunion with other IMFSE classmates!

After our legendary semester in Lund, when we were spending most of our time together, splitting to teams Ghent/Edinburg was tough. And finally we all gathered together again, in London! And most of the free time there we spend visiting museums and looking for some good food to eat ūüôā

This year FSE day was special for us, because now we are students of the 2nd year! We met 1st year students from Ghent and Edinburgh and we were super excited of telling them how lucky we all of being part of IMFSE family!
Also, I found a regularity that 3 years in a row there is a girl from Kazakhstan in IMFSE class, who starts from Edinburg and who is IMFSE blogger! I think it’s a good tradition, hope it will go on ūüėČ

Me (IMFSE’19) with Kunsulu (IMFSE’ 18) and Adina (IMFSE’ 20)

This FSE day was as great as previous one! We had a lab tour in BRE! We had an opportunity to talk to the people who lead the fire protection industry! So many things we learnt during this hours! Presentations of the 5th FSE day were mainly focused on Post-Construction Fire Safety. Speakers from such well-known companies as ARUP, Kingspan, BRE, FESG, GAE, Rockwool were having their talks that day. Each presentation ended with a round of applause, because all of them were so motivating, so enlightening and so thorough! Many thanks for all the presenters for putting so many efforts and passion not only to the presentation, but to all the things you are doing for Fire Safety Engineering.

During FSE day we had several coffee breaks. That was a very good opportunity for us to have a talk with speakers, industry members and IMFSE graduates. Thanks to the program office, we had our new business cards! So we could share them with each other (to never lose our bonds) and with industry representatives.

During one of this breaks, I had a talk with Professor Bart Merci and I mentioned that this year FSE day is totally different for us, now we really can understand how the industry works and we do really understand from the presentations more! Professor replied that it would be strange if we understood less ūüôā

So, yes, reunion with other classmates was a very remarkable moment. Sadly, next semester we all will scatter to different countries. But that is one of the main reasons of Fire Safety Engineering days, right? To gather together with people from all over the world with the same views as yours, to discuss and to share thoughts, to feel like we are big community united with one goal.

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P.S During the conference by the end of the event there was a question from the auditory: “What if being a visitor, you see that building is not safe from fire safety point of view? Is it okay to complain to the administration about its insecurity?”. The answer was that even if you are not responsible person, if you feel that something is not okay with the design, it is so easy nowadays to take a picture and send it to the administration with a request to fix the problem. The picture, that may save someone’s life.

So one of the most import thoughts that I took from the conference was that we are responsible persons, now or in the near future. And we are doing or will be doing great! We are Fire Safety Engineers. We should care and we do care. And if not us, then who?

Real Fire Test

The September finished with new adventures for IMFSE treasury of memories. My classmates and I spent an amazing day near Antwerp, being witnesses of car park fire imitation!

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IMFSE students were invited to attend the IMFSE sponsoring company FESG fire tests regarded safety level in sprinkled underground car parks. Even knowing that the site where the experiment will take place is quite far from Ghent, many of us decided to go. Because it is not an everyday opportunity to see the real fire test!

FESG is currently working on sprinklers efficiency in small car parks. Some of IMFSE graduates working in FESG were telling us the subtleties of their work, explaining the course of experiment and patiently answering all our questions.

The most common reasons of fires in car pars are overheating of engine and arsons. So several types of cars and various air and pressure conditions were tested to understand the spread of fire and sprinkler efficiency in different cases. We could say that there are three things you can watch forever: water flowing, clouds moving and the cars burning! It was really an incredible scene seeing vehicle is burning in the flames!

Of course, for security reasons we were standing quite far from the fire, so there are no good pictures or video of it… But¬†but take our word for it – that deserves to be seen live!

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Summer Internship

A small prehistory: during my last year of undergraduate study, I’ve decided that I won’t start working right after graduation and I will continue my education as a Master student. I have chosen not to follow my major (Radiophysics), but to select a different field for graduate studies. So, right after getting my diploma I became a part of IMFSE. Therefore,¬† having a practice in fire safety engineering was crucial for me, because I had no job experience in this field. In the beginning of the 2nd semester I started my searchings for summer practice.

To find an internship I followed the standard procedure РI have sent my CV and completed the required task. By the end of May I got a positive feedback and- voila! Рin August I became an intern in FESG company.

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Some of my classmates also did their summer internship there, though we have started and finished in different times – working together, even for a quite a short time, was very fun.

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I can say that I found this internship very beneficial for me – I’ve seen how the real fire safety consultancy works, I’ve met a lot of IMFSE graduates there and I’ve got my very first work experience ever!

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During my internship I had an opportunity to work with evacuation software and later with risk assessment of various SHC systems. It is funny that exactly these topics were covered during Lund semester, they were still fresh in my mind and I applied my knowledge to the job. I have been performing the fault tree analysis of the systems and calculating their reliabilities.

One of classmates, Ayyappa, also shared his summer internship experience.

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Ayyappa was working on simulation of pyrolysis in Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) in Cantene company. The main objective of his study was to understand pyrolysis and its simulation in FDS. He considered different case studies (solid and liquid pyrolysis) and analysed each one in detail. 

My other classmates, Farah and Gerard, who did summer internship as well, will share their summer internship experiences in their own blogpost, I guess ūüėČ

So, for the 1st year students who is looking for summer practice I would recommend not to delay with searches and start looking for internship as soon as possible, using LinkedIn or by e-mailing companies directly. However, there will also be an opportunity to find an internship position via IMFSE office during the second semester.

I can summarize that summer practice though is not obligatory, but highly recommended, especially for those who also never did job related to fire safety before. I wish everyone a good luck! Hope you will enjoy your internship as I did.

 

 

 

 

 

Back to school

First of all, a warm welcome to the IMFSE newcomers! Very soon the classes will start and you will be able to fully feel like Fire Safety Engineering Master students.

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This year we are welcoming 20 freshmen who join our program. And thanks to the significant financial support of the IMFSE sponsors, this year there are 12 scholarships  granted to the students! (as opposed to our generation with 5 ones). That is the good news because the increasing number of scholarship encourages more student to apply to IMFSE program! More students -> more good fire safety engineers -> safer the world.

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And also let’s not forget that IMFSE is a part of¬†Erasmus+ framework, and Erasmus Joint Master Degrees programs are financed by the European Commission which primarily based in¬†Brussels. During the summer recess, Gerard and me had a chance to visit Brussels and we have spent the day in the European Parliament. We can say that the exposition is mostly entertaining – you can take funny selfies, watch the movie about¬†European Parliament work and visit¬†Europaparlamentet hemicycle where all important sessions happen. This part of Brussels which includes the Parliamentarium itself and a very informative museum exposition of House of European History – definitely deserves visiting!

To conclude, the first year was full of hard work, discoveries and joy. I am so thankful for this incredible chance to be part of this European Masters. Now the second year of studying is on the way. I am full of hopes and expectations, I think my classmates and freshmen are too.  By this short and may be not so informative blogpost I just want to open the new series of posts dedicated to the new 2018/2019 school year.

So let’s get it started!

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DBI visit

Weeks passed after we went to Copenhagen to visit¬†The Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology (DBI). It was¬† a fantastic and informative trip which closed the sequence of IMFSE visits to Swedish Fire Protection facilities (S√∂dra √Ąlvsborg‚Äôs Rescue Service Federation and¬†MSB College Revinge)

DBI¬†is Denmark’s leading knowledge centre in the field of fire safety and security. Our day there¬†started with a talk by the former IMFSE student¬†Karlis¬†Livkiss. He presented us the company and introduced us to current DBI employees who gave us lectures about DBI. During the lectures we were informed that DBI does not offer any fire related products, but offers various services that help people to deal with fire safety regulations.

Typical customers are architects, engineers and entrepreneurs who come with various inquiries to the DBI office. For example, one of the DBI services is product development center Рthe company may offer fire simulations, tools for simulations, certifications and expert opinion about the product. For the clients who need advice for the constructions DBI offers service of third party view and tools for self-assessment for further independent use. The facility management options (inspection, optimization, trainings) are also presented in DBI.

We were very pleased to know that DBI has a lot of projects with Lund University and has options for the internship and future career for Fire Safety Engineers. After the lectures set we had a lab visit where a lot of facilities such as test facility for roof, marine relevant equipment, cone calorimeter were shown to us.

That was a remarkable day which commemorated the end of the first year studying period and led us directly to exams.  The half of the summer has already passed and I cannot wait to start the new semester and reunite with the IMFSE family!

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