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Fire Safety Engineering

International Erasmus Mundus programme

The International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) is a two-year educational programme in the Erasmus Mundus framework. This Master’s programme is jointly offered by three Full Partner Universities:  

  • Ghent University, Belgium (coordinator)
  • Lund University, Sweden
  • The University of Edinburgh, UK  

Additionally, there are three Associated Partners where students can perform thesis research:

  • The University of Queensland, Australia
  • ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • The University of Maryland, USA (NEW!)

These three leading research universities with complementary expertise in the field of Fire Safety Engineering (FSE) join together with the main objective of creating an educational programme that defines the required knowledge for a professional fire safety engineer, capable of developing a Performance Based Design (PBD). The three Full Partner IMFSE universities are leading European institutions in the field of fire safety, providing both educational programmes and high-level research. Ghent aims at general FSE, Lund is recognised in enclosure fire dynamics, CFD modelling, human behavior during fires and evacuation and towards methods for risk assessment, and Edinburgh is the developer of the first curriculum in structural Fire Safety Engineering.

IMFSE is very pleased to involve 7 industrial partners as official sponsors. With their annual financial contributions, it has been made possible to create the 'sponsorship Consortium' which awards IMFSE students with full or partial scholarships.

The currents sponsors are: Arup, IFIC Forensics, UL, Promat, FPC, BRE and Fire Engineered Solutions Ghent

Fire Safety Engineering

Fire Safety Engineering is a multidisciplinary field that requires a deep understanding of building design and construction, the thermo-chemical processes associated to fire growth, human behavior and the representation of the many uncertainties through risk assessments. A Fire Safety engineer fulfils a broad range of duties, all related to fire safety. This can range from designing fire protection for a space station, to ensuring that the occupants of buildings are safe from fire. Fire Safety engineers have always been in great demand by industry, insurance companies, rescue services, educational institutions, consulting firms, and government bodies around the world.

Currently, the extreme need for FSE in Europe and around the world is leading to a proliferation of remedial short courses and a few low-level higher education degrees that are not founded on a strong knowledge and experience base. These programmes are delivering professionals with degrees to a practice that has no definition of competence. Thus the transformation of the field is slow, with many mistakes being made and a deep-seeded confusion of the skills required for an adequate PBD. 

The major educational objectives of the programme are that the Master’s students in FSE: 

  • are able to critically evaluate and construct an original, performance based, fire safety design;
  • understand the complexity and evolution of the design tools and the many existing gaps of knowledge and limitations;
  • understand the current research trends and are able to subsequently perform scientific (PhD level) research in the domain of FSE;
  • gain an awareness of the professional context and the broad problems in FSE. 

The detailed educational objectives of the programme are that the Master’s students in FSE: 

  • can evaluate and make a motivated choice of different types of fire detection and suppression (passive and active) and develop a quantitative performance assessment;
  • can identify structural weaknesses in fire and provide a quantitative assessment of performance;
  • can make detailed risk analyses;
  • can establish quantitative egress patterns in case of fire;
  • have knowledge on national and international (especially European) regulation; can collaborate with FSE colleagues.

 For more information about this unique master's programme (the application procedure and scholarship opportunities), please visit http://www.imfse.ugent.be