G’day Mate!!

In this special edition post, we shall have a blog take-over from one of my best friends in the IMFSE programme, Andrei Lazouski. For our thesis semester, Andrei has ventured down under to one of IMFSE’s associate partner universities, the University of Queensland (UQ). Eager to share his experience, I would like to proudly present, Andrei’s Adventures in Australia!!!

Introducing to you, the kangaroo to my koala, Andrei!!!

Hi everyone! As the 4th semester of the IMFSE Programme can be spent in one of the associate partner universities apart from programme host universities, I had the wonderful opportunity to complete my master thesis at the University of Queensland (UQ) with Dr Cristian Maluk as my supervisor. If any reader will have such an opportunity to do the same, he or she should definitely go for it 😊!!!

My long long trip started from Moscow Domodedovo airport with a 1-day transit in Singapore. Before my 1-day adventure in Singapore, I was fully informed about best attractions, places of interest, food courts etc. (hmm.. I wonder thanks to whom…). I was impressed by such a modern city with the beautiful Gardens By The Bay, the iconic Marina Bay Sands and the buzzing Central Business District. One day was definitely not enough to see all of the possible landmarks and attractions, so I hope to return there someday!

Andrei with the legendary merlion. Ever wondered why Singapore was named Singapore?

When I finally arrived at UQ, I was very warmly welcomed by a big team of fire-related professionals which included academics, PhD students, master students and researchers.  It was also great to be reunited with some of them whom I’ve already known from their guest presentations at the University of Edinburgh. The IMFSE (and the global fire safety family) is truly a connected and close knitted one. 

Showing of the Australian weather to us stuck in Europe.

In UQ, I was truly fascinated by the variety of fire-related apparatuses in the lab, which included 2(!) H-TRIS (Heat-Transfer Rate Inducing System) apparatuses which was of particular interest to my master thesis. Also, it has the largest Structures Lab I’ve ever seen in all the universities I’ve been to. I was amazed by it’s true “Australian” scale! Apart from facilities, there are also highly qualified professionals, who operate the lab on a daily basis and helped me in operating the different equipment for my thesis experiments.

I was thankful to be able to join the weekly meetings with the fire team in UQ. The research- and industry-related discussions during the meetings exposed me to new challenges which exist for modern fire safety engineers and researchers. Also, I had a great opportunity to present my master thesis to the team who gave me detailed feedback and had in-depth discussion of the problem. There were also numerous talks by fire safety engineering companies who shared their experience in performance-based design and its features in the Australian market. Some of the key highlights include attending the lecture by Dr Marianne Foley (ARUP) and a presentation by RED Fire Engineers. The fire team in UQ is truly remarkable. Fun fact: Although there are not many pine trees around Brisbane, the fire team made the best prediction for the recent NIST Christmas Tree Fire Heat Release Rate Prediction Competition and received the Gold Pine prize. GO UQ!

Can IMFSE get the golden pine next year?

Other than the awesome fire team and lab, the St. Lucia campus is also one of the most beautiful campuses in the world. It’s hard to differentiate whether you are in a zoo, in an ancient city or a university. I’ve never been a fan of birds, but once I got to Australia, I started to notice a new species  every time I pass by the UQ lakes! And I decided to take pictures of them.

Spending my 4th semester in Australia was a truly amazing experience.  Going to the University of Queensland to perform the IMFSE master thesis is definitely a great opportunity and an awesome adventure which gave me new insights into the profession from an Australian point of view, which I highly appreciate.

– Andrei Lazouski, IMFSE 2017-2019

Wow!!! Now even I want to go and visit University of Queensland (neh.. I am team Edinburgh!!). It is really wonderful to see how even though all of us are from the same cohort of IMFSE students, we all have varied and diverse experiences which is a great hallmark of an IMFSE education. Hope you enjoyed this blog take-over from my Belarusian friend and hope this inspires readers to consider going to UQ for your thesis semester. Thank you for sharing, Andrei!


IMFSE & ERASMUS+: Changing Lives. Opening Minds.

As the European Union (EU) gears itself this month for the European Parliamentary elections (and that’s as political as this post will get), it is timely that we remind ourselves that IMFSE is essentially set up in the Erasmus+ framework of the EU.  IMFSE have excelled throughout the years receiving the Erasmus+ label of success story and good practice example. This is in recognition of how IMFSE is well-managed and distinguished itself as a role model for other ERASMUS programmes.

In order to be more involved in ERASMUS activities, IMFSE sent Balsa and I to the Erasmus Mundus Association (EMA) 12th General Assembly (GA) in Vienna together with fellow IMFSE alumni, Simon and Beshir, as well as Lies, our ever-reliant IMFSE administrator. It was the first time IMFSE have attended the EMA GA and it was a great opportunity for IMFSE to get in touch with the wider ERASMUS community. EMA is an association for students and alumni of ERASMUS programmes and form an official channel of communication for students, alumni and universities with the European Commission.

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The IMFSE contingent in EMA GA 2019

The assembly kicked off with inspirational speeches by human rights activists sharing their views on the global youth agenda as well as personal accounts of their stories on hope and resilience. These sessions made us wondered how our role as future young fire engineers could impact the society at large and how we are essentially part of a wider global community with a multitude of challenges.

On an official note, an informative session with the European Commission introduced the latest EU policies with discussion on defining the ERASMUS brand and the sustainability of the programmes. As the vision of the European Commission for ERASMUS programmes was laid out, there is no question that IMFSE would be here to stay and prosper in the future. Tackling the skills gap with the on-going global concern on the competency of fire safety professionals, IMFSE have been continually fulfilling the vision set out by the ERASMUS+ programme. With an active management board and an ever growing IMFSE sponsorship consortium, IMFSE is well-funded (though more support is always welcomed) and managed effectively. With students from all over the world and involving 6 universities spanning 3 continents, there is no doubt that IMFSE is an inclusive programme that supports internationalisation and transnational training. Its accolades which includes SFPE 2018 ‘David A. Lucht Lamp of Knowledge Award’ also solidifies it position in providing quality training and fostering innovation. Dare I say, IMFSE definitely represents the ideals of the ERASMUS+ programme.

During the general assembly, the IMFSE contingent also actively participated in the workshops which seek to align the UN Sustainable Development Goals with ERASMUS+ programmes. It was an eye-opening experience to see how IMFSE could fit in the wider scheme of global development that seeks to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all especially in terms of quality education as well as development in industry, innovation and infrastructure. As the workshops were conducted in group sharing sessions with representatives from other ERASMUS+ programmes, we were also exposed to the agendas of other programmes and how we could collectively achieve these goals. It seems like IMFSE could play a bigger role in global development than expected.

The EMA GA was also a great exposure for the IMFSE contingent to learn about the role that EMA could play for current and future IMFSE students. Learning about EMA country and regional representatives was particularly enlightening. They not only provide an avenue to promote IMFSE but also serve as a local support system for students and alumni though activities such as pre-departure briefings for new ERASMUS students in their home countries. So to all incoming IMFSE students, feel free to reach out to your EMA country representatives should you need help or support in preparation for your exciting ERASMUS experience!!

Overall, EMA GA was a refreshing experience to detach ourselves from the little world of fire we live in but instead, see how fire safety and IMFSE relates to the global issues at hand. It was also encouraging to see how IMFSE stays true and continues to thrive within the ERASMUS+ ideals.  With the continuous support of the ERASMUS+ programme of the European Union, may IMFSE continue to do good in the world.

Cottage in the Nature

Spring is coming! After cold, windy, and gloomy days in Winter, my corridor contact in Margaretavägen student housing organized a 3-day trip to a cottage to enjoy the nature and, most importantly, enjoy life! The cottage is located close to the municipality of Sösdala around 60km away from Lund. Some of us biked there (yes, they are crazy), some took the train and biked from Sösdala station, and the rest travelled by car. It turns out that the cottage belongs to Lund University and they rent it out to students for lower price which is awesome!


First day

On the first day, since the sun shone very brightly on us, we chilled a bit on a park to enjoy it before finally getting ready for dinner. The whole group around 20ish people were divided into 3 teams and each team was responsible for a dinner for 1 night, i.e. team 1 for the first night, and so on. While team 1 was preparing the dinner, I decided to help cutting firewood for bonfire tonight. Woohoo FIREE!

Second day

The next day, it’s time for outdoor sports! Have you ever heard a beach sport named spikeball? It was a great fun! I don’t why it’s not that popular in Indonesia as we have so many beaches. After the sports, we went for a sauna and a swim in the lake just right beside the sauna house. That’s cool right? But it was more of a cold for me than cool lol. Finally, we closed the day by having a party in the cottage.

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Third day

Third day is b(h)iking day! We were planning to go up north by bike around 10km from the cottage and relax by the side of a huge lake. However, as some of us didn’t bring our bikes, we decided to just walk our way there. It appeared the plan didn’t go so well and we got lost! It started when we took the wrong way and chose to take the shortcut through the forest. But, somehow, we couldn’t just walk through the forest and a small detour turned into a big detour. It was thrilling though! We eventually couldn’t join the others at the lake and after we managed to step out of the forest, we went straight home to prepare the dinner for everyone.

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The last day, we cleaned the entire cottage up and we parted ways. Special thanks to my corridor contact for organizing this trip and also to everyone for making this trip happen. Looking forward to other cottage trips! See you!

dinner - echo

NB. Not all the photos are mine. Thanks Mathilde and Echo for the great photos!

Fire and the Beginning of Summer

Last night was a night full of celebration!

First, we, IMFSE 2nd year students, successfully submitted our theses. What a relief after months of thinking and writing!

Second, it was the start of summer in different parts of Europe. Last year, we celebrated Valborg in Sweden with a huge party in one of the parks in Lund. This year, we joined the Beltane Fire Festival at Calton Hill in Edinburgh which marked the beginning of summer. Edinburgh’s celebration is more cultural.

Beltane is a Gaelic festival held during the night of April 30 until past midnight of May 1. Traditionally, it was being done with rituals for the growth and protection of cattle and crops. This year, the theme was about climate change highlighted the May Queen’s recycled materials costume.

It was a long night of procession, percussion, and performance. Performers in colourful paints and costumes chanted, danced, and drummed their hearts out to the delight of the audience.

And of course, as fire safety engineering students, who would not be excited seeing the main attraction of the event? FIRE. It was everywhere, lighting up the parade and several corners of Calton Hill. Kudos to the safety team of the festival! Fire extinguishers and fire blankets, and fire safety personnel were everywhere. Never did I feel that the performers were unsafe.

Valborg; the coming of spring

After a long and dark winter in Lund (actually, we were anticipating worse), our days are getting longer and the temperatures are steadily rising. Flowers are blooming on literally every street corner and everything is so much more colourful that what any of us could have expected a few short months ago.


Today we, along with thousands of other students and residents, celebrated Valborg; the Swedish variation of Walpurgis Night. Traditionally Valborg marks the arrival of spring where the whole neighbourhood comes together to put winter behind them and celebrate the changing seasons with singing and bonfires. However, for students Valborg indicates freedom. The most demanding part of the semester is over and we are taking full advantage of the lengthening days to fully appreciate our time here.


50 reasons to join IMFSE immediately

This blog post is dedicated to new students that are coming to an upcoming academic year, students who are trying to decide to join the program or not, and applicants who are planning to apply for the next year’s intake.

50 reasons to join IMFSE immediately (from the perspective of first-year students):

  1. Each semester in different universities
  2. Considerate and friendly Management Board
  3. Lies – the sweetest and most helpful administrator
  4. FSE day every autumn where whole IMFSE family gets together ❤  IMG-1518
  5. Exposure to different cultures and soaking up the history of hosting cities
  6. Possibility to learn new languages (If you think English is enough, think again)
  7. Helpful professors and teaching assistants (100% committed and helpful teaching staff)
  8. Supportive second-year students (for some of you, we will be supportive second-year students)
  9. Get familiar with building codes and regulations of different countries
  10. Internship opportunities in summer (start the process early because time passes by very fast)
  11. Guest lecturers from industry representatives
  12. Field trips to fire-related companies
  13. Possibility to improve fire safety in your country (Fire safety is a culture, not just a field of study. You can spread this culture at your home country)
  14. Choosing the thesis topic that you like (but you also need to compromise because there are some rules that come with choosing the topic :/ )
  15. Group exam preparations
  16. Amazing chemistry between students (You will find a long-lasting friendship)                                 WhatsApp Image 2019-04-08 at 14.55.38DSC09890
  17. Endless talks with classmates at night in the computer lab instead of finishing the assignment
  18. Ryanair flight discounts and Flixbus discounts for being Erasmus+ students 😎
  19. Travel while you study (during weekends, of course, do not miss the lectures 😀 )  DSC08709
  20. For students from the south: a chance to experience snow for the first time


  1. Become a fire fighter for a day during the fire station visit with Fire Fighting class                                 IMG-1519
  2. Small class experiments in Explosions class
  3. “Student kick” welcome week in Ghent
  4. Beautiful views from the dorm – Home Vermeylen (observe beautiful Ghent sunsets or stargaze without getting out of your bed)
  5. Cozy evening gatherings in dorms    IMG-20181002-WA0015
  6. Belgian chocolate and craft beer (Some of us, chocolate lovers, will be going to Ghent for the third semester, we are very excited about this)
  7. Group study at terrace of Home Fabiola
  8. Halloween party in the dorms  IMG-20181031-WA0015
  9. Belgian fries (From Ewana’s words, who traveled to 22 countries in Europe, Belgian fries are the best)


  1. Group lunch/dinners with Grunde


  1. Fire-related songs at breaks in Ricky’s class
  2. Welcome Week full of events
  3. 24/7 library on the main campus (there is also hot water available on the first floor, perfect for tea lovers like me)
  4. Excellent gym facilities for an affordable price for students (try it out during Welcome Week for free. It is also free during Health Awareness Week in the middle of the semester)
  5. Themed pubs at Teviot House  DSC06323
  6. Monday Pub Quiz at Pleasance Bar (you do not have to drink to socialize and participate in the quiz for a chance to win a prize)
  7. Scottish Highlands
  8. Extremely cheap and delicious cookies “Bourbon” (£0.22). We always used to have them during group studies    IMG_7989.JPG


  1. Picturesque spring of Lund (experience long daytime during spring and summer)
  2. Learn not only the technical side but also human behavior in fire and behavioral influence (If you think that fire is unpredictable, try predicting human behavior in fire)
  3. Learn how to use evacuation programs (Simulex, Pathfinder and etc.)
  4. Fire labs to burn stuff (It’s always amazing to see stuff burn in lab experiments)                                                                                        eba2b71b-7513-4785-9304-ad2008d18ad8unnamed
  5. 15-minute per hour class breaks (Don’t expect it anywhere else)
  6. “Sittnings” at Nations in Lund (join the Nations at the university to get involved in the student activities)
  7. Bike trip to Malmo (Continue IMFSE tradition of bike trips to Malmo)  IMG_0148
  8. A football match with local students in Lund
  9. Dancing in the Dark (If you are shy to dance in front of others, try this free event held every week. Nobody will see how you are dancing. This was an entirely new experience for us)
  10. “TDC” parties in Lund accommodations (party and get to know people who live in the same accommodation as you)
  11. Kiruna in January/February to observe Northern Lights (but be ready for -26C 😳 ).


  1. Become a blogger for IMFSE blog (Why read about people’s adventures when you can live yours and write about them)


PS: Tune in next academic year for the expansion of this list from the perceptive of second-year students.


Girls in Fire Safety

On 8th of March we celebrate International Women’s Day and isn’t it the best time to commemorate all the incredible girls who are passionate about being Fire Safety Engineers?

Nine of girls who are currently pursuing IMFSE degree shared their experience about being females in Fire Safety Engineering field and gave their tips to encourage other girls to follow their example.

Respect others but find it in yourself to respect yourself too for there is strength in you to navigate the challenging world of fire safety engineering. #wegirlsareonfire
Farah Bte Mohd Faudzi

Diversity is a value which must be embraced to achieve goals and ambitions, be a woman should never be a curb but an incentive to do more, as a spur to further efforts. It is an added value.
Open up to cultural, gender and background diversity is a fully achieved objective in IMFSE, which makes us different tiles of a single puzzle.

Ines Cilenti

During my studies of the IMFSE, I am a student, a scientist, a researcher, a colleague, a leader, a friend and I am valued as all that – not once I felt judged based on my gender. I believe here it matters what you have to say and what you do makes you who you are

Laura Schmidt

Among us, the 2017-2019 IMFSE female students, there are Architects, Mechanical Engineers, Radiophysicists, Civil Engineers. Being Fire Safety Engineers is our next achievement, and with it we will continue contributing to our societies, showing to other women that there is nothing we can’t do.

Silvia Milena Parra Diettes

Women in Fire Safety Engineering and in engineering, in general, are underrepresented. However, engineering is the future and women need to be part of this future. IMFSE has so much to offer to women who want to join the program. Of course, studies are hard. But in IMFSE, you get to know your classmates and professors. There are incredible help and compassion from them so that you could become a successful individual in the industry.

Adina Arymbayeva

Turn all the negativity around you as the fuel to fire up your dreams!! You will keep discovering the stronger and better version of you!

Ewana Yousuf

As Mea Jemison once said: “Dont let anyone rob your imagination, your creativity and your curiosity”. That’s what I am right now fulfilling with IMFSE. Being part of a great engineering program as a female I do believe that curiosity, our own strength and dedication can make a great impact in the future. I would like to encourage all young women to not shrink themselves but to get the courage to follow their dream on having a great career in engineering. We can all do it together!

Kristjana Doka

In my opinion, one of the best things of the program is that you are not treated regarding to your gender. I can not say I gained anything in particular just because I am a female. We all treated equally here.

Tanja Černoša

Don’t ever think that you are a girl who is going to be an engineer, here is where detachment begins. Think about you as a human, dream as a human, don’t matter which sex you are, be your best one.

Maryam Asadi

So, girls, follow your dreams! Be brave! Be fire!

Even sometimes it seems hard to achieve, but all the dreams may come true if you transfer your dreams to your plans.

Happy International Women’s Day!