Here is a short update on our European SFPE activities.
The big event for next year is the SFPE conference, which will take place in Rotterdam, 5 and 6 February 2018. Please save these dates.
The call for speakers has been issued. Proposals were due 16 June 2017 and they are now being reviewed by the Program Committee. All European chapters are involved in the preparation of this very important event for SFPE Europe and SFPE.
I am also very pleased to announce the creation of two new European chapters: Norway and Portugal. We wish them all the best in implementing their activities SFPE Europe cooperation is in progress through a first call conference, which took place in March. A face-to-face meeting will be held in the second half of the year in Paris.
SFPE Benelux has focused its activities on preparing for the European Conference in Rotterdam in 2018. We have intensified cooperation with the alumni association of FSE students of Ghent, as well as the IMFSE student chapter. In our recent GA, we re-established our board and created three working groups (tunnels, carparks and healthcare). We have also revamped our website, which we will develop further in the coming period. Finally, we have drafted a chapter charter document that provides a vision as well as a Benelux view of the R&D agenda.
The last board meeting of the French Chapter took place on the 23rd of May 23 in Paris. We discussed the following items:
- Financial report from last conference on sprinklers
- Next breakfast conference on regulation and its consequences for fire safety (postponed to October)
- Next conference on evacuation, associated with a technical guided visit
- Financial report on 2017 subscriptions
- Analysis of applications received
- Plans for SFPE Europe Rotterdam conference
- Presentation of strategic plan for SFPE International, 2015–2017, including the 6 objectives and associated sub-objectives
The annual general meeting of the association will take place on the 27th of June 27 in Paris. The financial report (profit and loss account, balance sheet, and budget), activity report and projects will be presented to members of the French SFPE® Chapter.
SFPE Norway has recently been constituted and approved by the SFPE BoD. The chapter is planning a first workshop in Oslo, where a three-year research project is to be presented and discussed. Other planned activities relate to formal and practical aspects of chapter formation.
The Polish chapter has the following information to share:
- We recently held elections, with these results: new president, Tadeusz Cisek; vice presidents, Piotr Tofilo and Wojciech Wegrzynski. Piotr Tofilo will continue to provide international representation and collaboration for the chapter.
- We are preparing a sprinkler conference in Warsaw that will be co-organized with the European Fire Sprinkler Network.
SFPE Portugal is growing slowly but steadily. The first activities went very well. Six months after founding the chapter, it reached 30 members, which was the goal for the first year.
We are now working on our plan of activities for 2018 and we still have three activities scheduled for the second semester:
- September 29, Debate on “Sprinkler design: why, where and how”
- October 27, Visit to FireLab, Coimbra’s University laboratory on fire resistance and fire reaction
- November 24, Debate on “Smoke control: Is the prescriptive code enough?”
The chapter members are heavily involved in CT46 SC6 – the subcommittee of the Portuguese Standardization Organization dedicated to FSE – through which we are translating to Portuguese the ISO 23932:2009.
We have established a partnership with APSEI – the biggest Portuguese HSE association – with which we will hold joint events. Another partnership is on the way with ANPC – the Portuguese AHJ.
So far, so good. We are very pleased with the progress we have made.
The Spanish chapter held a technical seminar on “Active fire protection systems – The use of Aerosols” with attendance of about 70 people, which we consider quite an achievement for such a specific theme. We have had a very good response from the participants.We were also well represented at he recently held the 2nd International Performance-based Conference in Portugal. Our president, Jimmy Jönsson, gave a keynote speech on “Performance-based Design – The way forward,” in which he discussed the way fire engineering should evolve and how this evolution should take place. Our vice president, Juan Echeverria, gave a presentation on “Stairs capacity calculation in modern building design: An impossible task for prescriptive code (the Spanish building code case)” regarding the method to design stairs and problems that might arise. Alberto Lopez de Arriba also gave a presentation about how PBD was used in a hospital project: “Prescriptive or Performance Based Design? Fire Protection Engineering and Computer Simulation in a Hospital Project.”
The chapter is planning to hold an additional two to three events this year; the first one will take place in September.
We are also continuing technical work within the chapter – specifically, we are creating several technical working groups related to different areas of fire safety engineering.
During the first half of 2017, SFPE Sweden has, among other things, focused on how to get members more actively involved in chapter activities. Activities can be summarized as follows:
- SFPE Sweden has produced a new guideline, about how members should behave if detecting a defective fire protection system. The guideline refers to our code of conduct.
- A select group of the board of directors is developing an internal strategy document for member-administration/management.
- To make all members aware of SFPE activities in general and encourage them to participate, SFPE Sweden has started to communicate more news and highlights from SFPE international and ECCG on the chapter webpage, Facebook and Twitter.
- In addition to publishing our newsletter in April (published three times a year), we also implemented an alternative for our members to subscribe to news, accessible on the webpage. It has been very successful, since many members want regular updates via their email.
- Our Referral Committee has also (as usual) responded to several letters of referrals from the Swedish Fire Protection Association, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and National Board of Housing.
- SFPE Sweden has provided input to the National Board of Housing regarding references to standards in national regulations in their regular reference group meetings.
- Last, but not least, SFPE Sweden has participated in a national workshop, led by the Swedish Fire Protection Association, about durability and fire regulations connected to durability.
The SFPE UK Chapter continues to grow in terms of number of members and chapter supporters, as well as activities. Our activities in 2015 and 2016 attracted interested fire engineering professionals and supporters with various backgrounds from the whole fire industry.
In 2017, we already have held six successful CPD events, evenly spread between Manchester (3) and London (3). The topics (New BS 9999:2017, review of latest BSA research on the costs vs benefits of sprinkler systems, water mist systems, transport fire safety and risk management in a modern metropolis, etc.) have attracted a total of nearly 140 attendees. We are very lucky that we continue to attract excellent speakers and we encourage any UK Chapter member to continue to suggest topics that of interest to be discussed in the industry.
In May, a group of more than 20 members visited the Sam Wanamaker theatre – which won Best Fire Strategy recognition in 2015 from SFPE UK Chapter – to see a very successful fire engineering strategy implemented in a real building.
Additional CPD events are planned throughout 2017.
We are also looking forward to receiving applications for our SFPE UK Chapter awards, where “Best Fire Engineering Strategy 2017,” “Best Fire Research Project 2017,” and “Up & Coming Fire Engineer 2017” will be recognized, rewarded and celebrated. Since the introduction of these SFPE Chapter awards, we have seen an increase in the number of applications we receive. The review committee is looking forward to seeing these applications, well knowing that competition might be tough again.