Fire Engineer in Australia, Senior Fire Engineer in Glasgow, Technical Specialist in London
University of Greenwich
I design buildings and assess the way they will protect you in a fire. Some buildings are harder to design than others, such as hospitals, where not everybody will know their way around, and many people may need help to move.
If there is a fire in a building, we need to make sure that every can get out safely. I use the science of fire, the design of the building and the behaviours of people to assess buildings and make sure that everyone will have the opportunity to escape.
My favourite tool for assessing buildings is computer modelling. I create 3D models of the buildings and put in simulated fires so that we can see what might happen before the building is even built! I can also put in people so we can see how an evacuation might look. This lets us know how a specific building might work, and design that particular building so that it is the best it can be.
My Typical Day
I am based in an office, but I often go out to meetings and to visit contsruction sites
In the office, I sit with my team. We are all fire engineers, and although we tend to work on our own projects, there is lots of talk as we bounce ideas of each other. I will typically have about 5-10 projects that I’m working at any one time. Depending on how far along the building design is, I may be looking over plans to give advice, or assessing a building using a variety of equations, comparisons and models.
Designing buildings takes a whole team of people, so I will often has to go to meetings so that we can make sure we are all working well together. Other times I will go to the construction site to check that the building is looking right (it’s always important that things get double checked). Sometimes things happen on the building site that mean there have to be changes, and I need to make sure that the safety of the building is maintained.
I’m currently on a career break to go back to uni and do my PhD. In some ways it is quite similar, but I only have one project to do. I still sit with a team though and we are all doing work on computer models of fires and evacuations.
What I'd do with the money
I would donate it to my local STEM ambassador program
I’d like to facilitate my local STEM ambassadors. These are people (including me!) who visit schools to help with all sorts of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths activities. It could be anything from assisting with a science project to talking about career options.
I would like to work with the people who run the program to buy some equipment to make our visits even better. I would talk to the schools that use the ambassadors and find out what they would be interested in, but I think it would be something like programmable robots that could be used to show some practical applications of the things we learn about in science and maths.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative, Geeky, Friendly
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Helped designed a brand new hospital that couldn’t have been built without a fire engineer like me. Seeing it all finished and in use is amazing!
What did you want to be after you left school?
An engineer or a musician
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really. Because I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do, I kept my options open with extra subjects which meant I was really busy
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Going to disney land!
Tell us a joke.
Sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, sodium, Batman!