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 (Södra Älvsborg’s 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 – the 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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Valborg or Walpurgis Night in Lund

Walpurgis Night is celebrated in many European countries on night of 30 April and the day of 1 May. For example, in Estonia, Volbriöö is an important and widespread celebration of the arrival of spring in the country. It is celebrated throughout the night of 30 April, and 1 May is a public holiday called “Spring Day” (Kevadpüha).  In Finland, Walpurgis night (Vappu) is one of the four biggest holidays along with Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. Walpurgis witnesses the biggest carnival-style festival held in Finland’s cities and towns. In Czech Republic huge bonfires are built and burnt in the evening, preferably on top of hills to celebrate coming spring.

Valborg, as this celebration is called in Swedish, also marks the arrival of spring. The forms of celebration vary in different parts of the country and between different cities. Walpurgis celebrations are not a family occasion but rather a public event. Celebrations normally include lighting the bonfire, choral singing and a speech to honour the arrival of the spring season, often held by a local celebrity.

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IMFSE students also joined evening celebration in Lund and we were feeling as we are a part of the big friendly community, participating in the huge gathering in Stadsparken. That day park was visited by around 30,000 people. The police and the municipality have been working on the preparations since the turn of the year. People were celebrating coming spring from the early morning, and the festivity epically finished in the evening by the huge bonfire.

In one of her blogs, Farah has already told that though fire can be a source of joy and celebration, we as Fire Safety Engineers know about the danger of it. So usually we are always highly concerned about fire safety in the public places, and and this time we also paid a lot of attention to adherence of safety rules. Discovered that everything is fine, everyone is standing at the good distance from fire, and fire extinguishers are on their place, we started celebration of our first Valborg in Sweden!

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMFSE Easter Break

During this semester, we had big Easter holidays and most of IMFSE students decided to dedicate this time to traveling. Norway, Spain, Italy, Poland, Iceland, Slovakia and many other countries were visited by my groupmates. Some of them agreed to share photos of their trips for my blogpost.

So, Tanveer, Ayyappa and Farah have visited Poland and Slovakia together. As I know from their stories, they are highly inspired and impressed by what they have seen in these countries.

Dheeraj, Balsa and Jaime have visited Poland, Czech Republic and Germany. And though they did not have much time to spend in each city, they also enjoyed.

What about me, I have visited Oslo with Gerard and by the end of the break I joined Farah in her Italy trip. Together we visited Milan and lake Como. My journeys were full of good moments and kind memories shared with my IMFSE soulmates.

Now we all are  back to Lund, we are full of energy and ready to work hard for the rest of the semester.

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Kemerovo Fire Tragedy

On Sunday of 25th of March, the tragedy has occurred in a Russian city Kemerovo. Almost 70 people could not escape from the mall and died from the fire and suffocating smoke. Most of the victims were children.

_100567761_tass_25982775The cause of fire is still unknown, it may be either the defect of electric wiring or an arson.

The real reasons and causes that led to the fire will be investigated soon. However, the most terrifying fact is the negligence on basics of fire safety regulations of the mall.

  • The person responsible for the fire safety was a cook.
  • The building passed all inspections and was allowed into operation.
  • The last inspection was in June 2016 and took 20 minutes instead of prescribed 2 hours.
  • No sprinklers, no heat & smoke vent systems were implemented.
  • Emergency exits were blocked.
  • No alarm or notification about fire was made. On one account the guards turned it off to prevent panic, on another one – the alarm system was broken or absent at all.
  • Many people tried to escape jumping out of windows and breaking doors in attempt to escape from the rapidly spreading fire and smoke.
  • Some people were trapped on the roof, waiting for the arrival of rescuers for 40 minutes.
  • Group of children accompanied by a teacher came to the mall for the premiere of the cartoon. The teacher left pupils during the movie alone in the cinema hall to do shopping. She asked cinema employees to close the doors not to let children to go out. During the fire, all cinema staff escaped left children in the blocked room. They all died unable to get out. Some children were able to call their parents and say that they cannot breathe and they cannot leave the hall. The teacher was able to escape.23-keme.jpg

No words to express bitterness and sorrow. But this tragedy learned me something and  reminded me of what we are doing here, why we are studying and what role fire safety engineer decisions plays on human lives.

I would like to finish this text by Mónica’s quote:

Let’s not forget as fire safety engineers that best practice guidelines are required for a reason, we should carefully analyze the assumptions and the design characteristics with a clear goal, life safety of innocent lives. Let’s not forget our role in the whole process, not only on the initial design but also the reliability that our fire safety solution can have in real life.

Awesome Fire Lab Experience

As many of you may known, in the first semester in Edinburgh we didn’t have any laboratory  hours, but thanks to Prof. Grunde Jomaas we had a guided tour in the fire lab of the University of Edinburgh. Because of this, we already had some idea of how the fire tests are carried out in the real life. However, our expectations of the approaching laboratory work were far from reality, in a good way.

In the Lund University, within the course on Advanced Fire Dynamics, we finally got the opportunity to make our own experiments on fire. My team and I were a little bit scared, because we never worked together as a team for this kind of tasks and the level of responsibility supposed to be very high while working with real fires rather then modeling or solving fire problems on paper.

The first laboratory work was dedicated to the Heat Release Rate measuring. We took three different types of fuel – propane, heptane and wooden cribs to obtain HRR and mass loss rate values. Most of the lab time we spent on the familiarization with equipment and preparing samples.

Our mentor during lab session was Prof. Stefan Svensson who looks like Dr. Heisenberg from “Breaking Bad” series. Find the differences below 🙂


Andrei also made a comparison, he presented their team on Instagram as the characters of “Misfits”, and their supervisor as … guess who? Sure, Heisenberg.

We enjoyed doing the lab experiments very much! We had so much fun while working and investigating, so that, hopefully, we will never forget knowledges and experience obtained through this 2 hour session.

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“Jenga” never was so difficult! (preparing wooden cribs for fire)

So, experimental part is done. Ahead there are hours of calculations and analyzing results. Hope that we will enjoy further lab calculations in the same degree 🙂

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Team-building in Science Center

During the Orientation Week, there were a lot of interesting and entertaining activities. But the most funniest one was time spent in Vattenhallen Science Center of Lund University.

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All IMFSE students were divided to 5 groups randomly for better interaction between Ghent-Edinburgh teams. Each group has the same plan for scientific experiments, but the order was different. The task of each group was to collect as many points from each job as possible.

My team started from the game called Digiwall. The aim of that funny game was to keep “the egg” from falling to the ground. And it was really-really hard! We barely gained a few points.

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Then we continue our curios scientific competition, trying to “accelerate the proton”. Here we succeeded and understood the principle of CERN Hadron Collider in France.

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The next step was Puzzle. We needed to collect the letter T from the scattered wooden details. I don’t know the letter of which alphabet we collected with my team, but it certainly was not the Latin T. So we failed 🙂

Then there was challenge to identify and to name human’s organs using some kind of MRI device. And, no, Giorgos, you were not supposed to lay there :).

In the Waterfall Room we needed to arrange plastic dams in such a way to achieve higher level of electricity as it happens in hydroelectric station.

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After solving puzzles, there was a scientific presentation , which is designed for schoolchildren. But future fire safety engineers almost squealed with delight when the “wizard-presenter” showed us tricks with fire, liquid nitrogen and marshmallows!

Despite the fact that after the presentation the results of our competitions were summed up, no one was sad, because the aim of such kind of event was the real team-building and strengthening of already close ties of IMFSE family!

And our adaptation to Sweden has been improved by invitation of BIIF, the student association for fire engineers in Lund, to play Pool with Swedish Fire students. It was also awesome, funny and enthralling evening!

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So, to conclude, team building is very important and an incredibly useful thing if you want to know your teammates from another angle and to spend time with pleasure and benefit.