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!!!
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!
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.
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!
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!