Field trip to DBI

Field trips can be very useful as they give an insight into the industry and increase awareness about career opportunities along with developing network of contacts. Last week, we had our first field trip: a visit to Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology (DBI) located in Hvidovre, a suburb of Copenhagen. We were kindly welcomed by Karlis, an IMFSE alumni currently working at DBI. He had planned a program full of activities to introduce us to DBI.

First, we were welcomed by Mr. Damgaard, the Head of the Research and Development Department at DBI, which is one of the important divisions at DBI as many resources are invested into research to meet the needs of clients. After that Karlis introduced us to a number of DBI services related to fire safety and prevention such as consulting, certification, fire testing, inspection, and fire investigation. However, non-fire related services including safety and security consulting  are also provided by DBI.

After familiriazing ourselves with DBI services, we were given a short presentation about Fire Safety Consultancy at DBI: one of the projects was introduced where performance-based design had been used to ensure that appropriate level of fire safety can be achieved without the code compliance. Then, during the next presentation we were introduced 2 important questions that should be asked to deal with the challenges of fire safety: What is the problem? Who has that problem?

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After delicious lunch, we had a visit to Fire Testing facilities at DBI. We were impressed with the scale of fire resistance laboratory which is well-equipped to determine specimens compliance with the required test standards. The laboratory has two furnaces for classification tests and a model furnace for exploratory tests. Doors/windows, coverings, horizontal dividing structures, and even the ship components up to 4.48 meters high can be tested at DBI.

The presentations about Facade Fire Safety and Modelling of Pressurized Staircases with FDS were in particular interesting as they correspond to some of the thesis topics offered by universities and sponsoring companies.

Overall, we had a great day with full of activites, and on behalf of first year IMFSE students, I want to thank the Fire Safety Engineering Division at Lund University and DBI for arranging and organizing this interesting and informative field trip.

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Short vacation: eat,(pray),travel

Exams can be stressful, and after studying intensively, for me, as for a student, the feeling of relief after exams is the best feeling. So, after the Advanced Fire Dynamics exam, we decided to treat ourselves with a good food and visited Africa Daily Market which was recommended by our friends who visited that place before. It incorporates a small restaurant with traditional African food and shop where you can find various African style souvenirs and even clothing. The food was really delicious, the best I have eaten recently, as it is more homemade food rather than restaurant food. We enjoyed not only the food, but also friendly and warm atmosphere, so I highly recommended this place to everyone in Lund. You can see our happy well fed faces from the photos below. I hope that we will have same expression after the grades will be released…

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Africa Daily Market and African Food

Since we had no class next day, we decided to go to Copenhagen for a day trip, as we had not visited it yet. It is very easy to go there since there is a direct train from Lund. Because it is not very big, we just wandered around and visited the main attractions. As in many historic cities, in Copenhagen you can find imposing palaces and churches such as The Marble church standing next to modern buildings such as Copenhagen Opera House.

Copenhagen is also a green city with a number of parks and gardens, and the garden of Rosenborg Castle, which is also known as King’s Garden, is the oldest and most visited among tourists. Since spring has just come, flowers are just starting to bloom, so we agreed to come back later to fully enjoy the beauty of the garden.

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Nyhavn

I want to mention that we had a little adventure while visiting the Rosenborg Castle. If you have been there, you may know that, since Danish Crown Jewels are displayed in the castle, it is guarded by armed soldiers. After walking around the castle for a while we wanted to see Nyhavn with its famous colourful houses, and we were just heading to the exit when suddenly the guards started to run and shout. The entrances and exits were closed, and we were gathered in one place, while people inside the castle were not allowed to go out. Nobody explained anything, and we just stood outside. In the beginning, we thought that it is some kind of training, but when I heard the sounds of people shouting from the streets, I got scared. But, luckily, the girls standing next to us told that they saw hockey fans on the streets before, and that it must be them cheering outside. After about 20 minutes, we were finally released. The sigh of relief passed over the crowd as we started to move, but still nobody explained the reason why all of this had happened. We were curious, so we asked people who were stuck in the castle, and they told us that someone just touched the glass and alarm went off. Curtains fall…

So, I want to advise all not to touch the things that are not allowed to in the Rosenborg Castle or any other place guarded with armed soldiers. On the other hand, because of that person I have a story to share with you in my blog. Everything happens for a reason…

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Rosenborg Castle

So, after studying hard for the exam, we had our short ‘vacation’, and now we are ready to start the second half of the semester with a new course of Human Behaviour in Fires which seems to be very interesting and useful for our future career as a Fire Protection Engineer.

“A year with thirteen months”

As I have mentioned before, this year is 350th anniversary of Lund University, and a number of activities have been organized  starting from December 2016 till January 2018 to celebrate this important jubilee. Thus, according to the event programme, it is “a year with thirteen months”. Some events are part of the scientific theme weeks, and some are associated with culture weeks.

This week, for instance, was a Science Week, and it was launched with the discussion if “the world is becoming a better place”. The panel consisting of the professors from different departments of Lund University tried to answer this question by concentrating on global issues including democracy, energy crisis, gender inequality, poverty and risks.

In between, we enjoyed a magnificent choral performance by the Palaestra Vocal Ensemble whose beautiful voices filled the grand Universithusets aula. Interestingly, all performed songs were related to the discussion theme. Especially, I got goosebumps when the choir sang a small sentence-“When I close my eyes, I dream of peace”-spoken by an eleven years old Crotian boy during the Yugoslav war. It was sung in 12 different languages by different choral groups, and I was excited when I heard it in Russian.

The discussion was concluded that even though it can be said that the world is becoming a better place by considering the advancement of science and technology, there are many social, political, and environmental problems that need to be resolved. The evening ended with a small reception where we enjoyed the chocolate with the university logo.

This Science week was not the last one, as three more Science Weeks will be held with the focus on the digitalisation, neuroscience, and education with the following topics: The Digital Society, The Amazing Brain, and The University of the Future. We can also enjoy the activities which are part of the upcoming Global Week and Sustainability Week. Thus, it can be seen that the university offers an extensive programme of activities and events. So, check them out and take part in celebrating the jubille of one of the most prestigious universities in Northern Europe.

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Kulturen Lund or one day before a ‘viking’ virus attack

It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog, and the reason for this was catching the flu or a ‘viking’ virus. We gave it such a name because it started unexpectedly and knocked us out completely. So, as I missed the opportunity to talk about the Fire Day, which was the main event in the past couple of weeks, there is not much I can write about, unless you want to know about all the ‘perks’ of being sick. However, luckily, one day before the ‘viking’ virus attack, I went to Kulturen which is a museum in Lund, consisting both conventional  and an open air museums.

With over 30 buildings, Kulturen is considered as one of the biggest open air museums in Sweden. Some of the buildings were brought to Kulturen from different places, while the others stand on their original sites. The complex includes both urban and rural buildings from the Medieval period to the twentieth century. Although some of the old buildings were reconstructed, they give authentic feel. Personally, I was really impressed how Bosebo wooden church from 1652 is amazingly preserved.

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Bosebo church

Another building that I found interesting was two floor Thomanderska huset with its elegantly decorated rooms with wooden furniture and a personal library. It was built in 1814, and Johan Henrik Thomander, a professor and member of parliament, lived there with his family. His daughter bought the house and gave her childhood home to the museum.The various rooms were restored as she remembered them, partly with her own furniture.It can be seen from the photo below that the facade color of Thomanderska huset differs from the surronding buildings. It was painted by using carbon black, a pigment widely used in 19th century.

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Thomanderska huset

Another interesting building in the open museum is Locus Peccatorum on the corner of Adelgatan and St. Anne Street, which served as a student barrack during the XVIII-XIX centuries. Locus Peccatorum means “Sin house” in Latin, and there is a story behind this name: in 1829, the son of the university dean killed fellow student in a fight and was sentenced to death. From that time, the building has such a mysterious name.

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Locus Peccatorum,”Sin house”

In the center of Kulturen, there is a large building, Herrehuset, with Baroque facade, pond and garden. In the past, it was used for residential purposes, but now it hosts a ceramic collection which is among the largest in the Nordic region. There are many other buildings that contain various collections including glass,silver and textiles.

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Herrehuset

So, I am glad that I was able to visit such an interesting place before being knocked out by the flu. Wishing a fast recovery for fellow sick IMFSE students in Lund, and hoping that as spring has officially started a ‘viking’ virus will not attack us again.

Lund Cathedral

Although Lund is a small town, it has a rich history. It was founded around 990, and became cultural and religious center of this region. One of the main sightseeings in Lund is grand Lund Cathedral. Twin towers with pyramidical roofs are the major features of cathedral’s architecture. The university organized free guided tour to the cathedral where we found out about the history of the cathedral. Lund Cathedral is the oldest Metropolitan church in the Nordic regions,as it was built around XI-XII centuries. Cathedral has a number of artefacts including 7 century-old magnificent astrological clock, Horologium mirabili Lundense, which is still working. The clock chimes twice a day, and you can see rotating mechanical figures of three wise men and their servants passing and bowing before the figures of Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. Since the clock was built before heliocentric model was developed, in the upper part it is depicted that the Moon and the Sun circle the Earth. There is a calendar in the lower part of the clock, and you can find out weekday of any date. Oak choir stalls with craved figures illustrating the scenes from the Bible, imposing altar both dating from 14th century, and mosaic of the Resurrection on the apse vault are another historically important features of the cathedral.

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There is also a crypt with densely packed pillars where the oldest altar of the cathedral, numerous chests and grave slabs can be found. One pillar has a statue of a man embracing it, and according to a local legend, it is a figure of Giant Finn, who built the cathedral, but was fooled and tried to destroy it, and turned into a stone. The guided tour was very informative, as we found out so many interesting facts about the cathedral. I recommend everyone to visit this magnificent place with beautiful architecture and well-known artefacts.

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Second semester mode is on

Second semester of our IMFSE journey has already began, and Lund, which is a small university town in the south of Sweden, will be a home for us for the upcoming five months. Studies are held in Lund University, one of the oldest and prestigious universities in Northern Europe. It was founded in 1666, thereby celebrating its 350 years anniversary. Lund university is well-known for its research activities, for instance, did you know that diagnostic ultrasound and Bluetooth technology were invented based on the research in Lund University?

All international students arrived on specified Arrival day, and I want to note how this event was well-organized with the help of both administraton and local students. Shuttle service run from the train station to the Arrival day venue, where we registered, received a welcome package which included not only useful informaton about university and student life,but also sim card for a cell phone and JoJo travel card. We were even able to buy bedding set including pillow and duvet. So, I highly recommend students coming to study at Lund University to arrive on the specified date, as it is extremely helpful.

All first year students spend second semester in Lund, so we finally met Ghent crew during the introduction session. Our group has become even more diverse than before, and I think it is one of the major advantages of IMFSE.

If you have read Alejandra’s blog, you may know that there was a snowstorm on the introduction day. I should say that I was no less happy and excited than guys who have never seen snow because it reminded me of home, and for me not having snow in winter is unusual instead. Unfortunately, our excitement did not last long, as next day we could hardly find any evidence of snowstorm.

Study mode is already on with morning lectures starting from 8 am,and I am still getting used to such early classes. The schedule in Lund University also keeps changing every week. What I like that there is 15 minutes break after 45 minutes of lecture. I find it really useful since it helps to restore attention after class resumes. Grading system is Sweden also differs, as each assignment is added to final exam score as ‘extra point’ with a condition that exam score is higher than pass score. So by studying at different university each semester, we have a chance to compare different learning environments, teaching styles and ways how academic matters are handled.

Our studies are mainly taking place in V-building of LTH, Faculty of Engineering. To note, all buildings in LTH are named with letters such as V-, A-building and etc. Since doors to the building itself and even classrooms are automatic, they can only be opened by using student card and specific pin code.Also, it is necessary to press special button to open doors otherwise it requires some effort to do it manually. I always fail to remember this simple ‘lifehack’. V-building seemed like a maze to me in the beginning, but things are getting better now. Generally, V-building has really good studying facilities including fire, civil, and computer labs, as well as large lecture halls with comfortable chairs especially for morning lectures. There is even ‘an oven room’ in V-building for students to heat their lunch boxes, as almost all students bring food from home.20170120_120207.jpgOverall, I believe that during this semester we will learn a lot of new things along with enjoying our stay in Lund.

See you soon,Edinburgh!

Visiting new places allows you to know more about culture and its features. In this blog I am going to mention things that were new and unusual for me when I just arrived in Edinburgh. The first thing was the way Edinburgh is pronounced: before coming, I did not know that instead of E-din-burg it should be E-din-bruh. What a discovery, I would say! The second was getting used to the left-hand side traffic: looking to the right first when you cross the roads and taking a bus in the proper direction. Also, I should mention that in Edinburgh I learned to cross the roads on red light, as hardly anyone follows the traffic lights. In my country, you should only cross on the green light, check both directions, and look up also, just in case, to ensure that you are completely safe. So I need to get rid of that habit when I go home. Seeing two separate taps for hot and cold water in bathrooms was one more unusual thing for me. I should say that it was hard to adjust the temperature of water, as water was either freezing cold or boiling hot. I was curious why they have two tabs instead of one, and found out that the reason behind is associated with houses built after World War II which had a cold water tank in the attic that fed the hot water tank. It was considered that water in cold tank can be easily contaminated and is not appropriate for drinking. The presence of mixer tap could have caused contamination of whole system with hot water in case of valve failure. This can explain why there are two separate taps for cold and hot water.

Even though some things were unusual and strange for me, Edinburgh conquered me with its beautiful nature, majestic architecture, nice weather and friendly people. I can assure you that it is one of the must-see cities, as it has such an unique spirit. For example, by visiting magnificent Edinbugh castle sitting on the volcanic crag and walking on the Royal Mile located in the heart of Old Town, you can be transported back in medieval times and vividly imagine knights with their swords and ladies in elegant dresses passing you by. The city offers you a wide range of activities from visiting museums and galleries to just spending a good time in a cafe or bar. Also, it is a home to various festivals such as Edinburgh Festival Fringe-largest art festival- and Hogmanay -Scottish new year festival. In such a short time, it has become like second home to us, so thank you, Edinburgh, for being such a nice place to stay in and for enabling to meet rather wonderful people! I hope that I will come back sometime, so I would say see you soon, Edinburgh!  img_20160925_013418