It was an honour to attend the 40th AnniversarySymposium & Celebration of Fire Safety Engineering at the University ofEdinburgh. It had the feel of a family reunion, albeit a very large family. We had the “kids” asking the annoying but pertinent “why?” questions to provoke their aunts and uncles; “mum” (i.e. Luke, Albert and the Redshirts) trying to keep everyone on track and on topic so that dinner wouldn’t be spoilt, and “dad” (Dougal) sitting in the midst of it all, with an unending smile, happy and proud to see all the family together, laughing at all the light-heated jesting going on.
The familial spirit was present right from the start, where, after a warm welcome from Professor Drysdale, friend of the family, Dr John de Ris (FM Global) presented the 2014 IFE Rasbash Lecture, and was presented the Rasbash Medal by Dr Martin Shipp (BRE Global). The title of the lecture – “Radiation and incomplete combustion of buoyant turbulent diffusion flames” – struck me with fear, however de Ris’ delivery of such a technical (and mathematically heavy) subject was second to none, and not only did I enjoy it, I learnt something from it.
Unfortunately not everyone could receive a medal for their presentations, and past graduates and associates were invited to present their expert musings on the main tracks of the symposium – celebrating the 40 years of fire safety engineering at the University of Edinburgh and interrogating the questions: Where are we?; How did we get here?; and Where are we going?.
The first session to attempt to answer these questions was firmly based in the design realm.; this is highly significant. Fire engineers and designers apply the knowledge the academics create and feedback any problems and issues they find, thus driving research forward. Without the practicing engineers, research would go on unguided and very slowly, if at all, so to all the engineers I say thank you (and to Angus Law for bringing this excellently to everyone’s attention with his talk). It was very fitting that this symposium started with a presentation highlighting current practice in design.
|Backer McKenzie - Tribute to Dr Frank Rushbrook CBE|
|Banquet - Surgeons' Hall, Edinburgh|
The Frank Rushbrook Fund was announced at the banquet (“send money”) and it was a privilege to have some of Frank’s family joining in the celebrations of the group that he has so generously supported. The three course meal was attended by our ever growing family, and we were all treated to tales of the early years by one of the first graduates, Craig Beyler. This year the family might grow by more than 50 graduates, with the three different programs being taught at Edinburgh and the multitude of PhD students, many of whom were collared into wearing a red t-shirt for the symposium. It was also fantastic to have 20 of the original MSc graduates at the symposium, and to be included in this honoured and ever-growing family.
Long may it continue.
|40 years of Fire Safety Engineering at Edinburgh|
All photos copyright of Liming Jiang
You can find the webpage of the event, with details and presentational material from all the talks on the fireseat.org web pages.