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Speaker Bios


Darren Agnew, BSc, AIFireE, Fire Engineer, Hoare Lea 

Darren graduated with Honours in 2014 from Glasgow Caledonian University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Risk Engineering. After undergoing a successful placement in 2013, he joined Hoare Lea in Manchester in July 2014 as a Graduate Fire Engineer.

He has worked on a number of projects across a range of sectors, including Residential, Educational and Health Care. Which have incorporated a number of aspects such as CFD modelling assessments, fire strategy reports and fire compartment surveys.


Kathleen H. Almand, PE, FSFPE, Vice President, Research, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Kathleen Almand is Vice President, Research, National Fire Protection Association responsible for its affiliated research foundation, and its fire analysis, research, data analytics, and library functions. She has a MSc. civil engineering from the University of Ottawa, Canada and is a registered professional engineer in the State of Maryland and a Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. Prior to joining NFPA in 2004, Kathleen was the Executive Director of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and held research and management positions with the Civil Engineering Research Foundation, the American Iron and Steel Institute, and the National Academy of Sciences.


 Camille Azzi, Ph.D., Senior Engineer, GexCon AS

Camille is a senior consulting engineer in fire and explosion safety at GexCon AS, Bergen since 2011. Before that, he earned a PhD degree in Fire Safety Onboard Passenger Ships from the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow in Scotland. At the same time he worked as a researcher in the Ship Safety Research Centre from 2006 to 2011. Camille has a Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg and a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Notre Dame University, Beirut. 


Camille has worked with research and consulting projects covering a wide range of applications. His work as a consultant addressed safety issues related to oil and gas including flammable and toxic dispersion, fire and explosion applications. The work included safety regulations, simplified and advanced impact modeling and risk analysis. His work in research covered safety regulations onboard passenger ships, simplified and advanced modeling of smoke propagation, evacuation modeling, and fire and smoke effects on human health.

His presentation is about the use of CFD in the performance-based design for fire safety in the oil and gas sector.


Greg Baker BE, ME, MSFPE, Chief Scientist, SP Fire Research AS

Greg Baker joined SP Fire Research in April 2015 in the role of Chief Scientist. Prior to that Greg had worked for 30 years in the New Zealand building and construction industry in various roles. Greg’s previous position from 2002 to 2015 was as Fire and Structural Engineering Manager and Fire Research Team Leader at BRANZ Ltd, a private building   research institute in New Zealand. Greg has been involved in research for over 15 years, with his primary fire research interests including quantitative risk analysis, probabilistic fire modelling, performance-based fire safety engineering, pre- flashover design fires, radiant ignition, post-earthquake fires, structures in fire and fire performance of foamed plastics. Greg has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Auckland, and a Master’s Degree in Fire Engineering from the University of Canterbury.


Daniël Brandon, Ph.D., M.Sc., B.Sc., Scientist, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

Daniël Brandon works as a scientist at SP Wood Technology since April 2015, where his main focus is on the fire performance of timber buildings. He has successfully finalized his doctoral studies at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, which concerned the behavior of timber connections in fires. Daniël has a Master of Science degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Structural Design from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands.


Dorota Brzezinska, Ph.D., Technical University of Lodz, SFPE Polish Chapter

Dorota works in the Faculty of Process and Environmental Engineering at Lodz University of Technology, Poland. She has been involved in research about smoke control systems since 2000, and received her Ph. D. in 2005. Dorota’s research is focused on smoke control and daily ventilation systems in buildings. She has extensive experience in the design of ventilation and smoke control systems in real objects. During her parallel work in own private company she was an author of  more than 250 reports, that include guidelines for smoke control systems in different structures of polish buildings, based on CFD simulations. Also author of over 80 publications and conference papers. Co-author of guidelines for design, assessment and commissioning of smoke control systems in high rise buildings, published in 2003. From one year she is working on a project related to danger of LPG leakage in underground garages. From the beginning of this year Dorota is Vice President of SFPE Polish Chapter.


Ricky Carvel, Ph.D., Lecturer, University of Edinburgh      

Dr. Ricky Carvel, Ph.D., is Lecturer in Combustion & Fire Dynamics in the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Originally from Edinburgh he studied at St Andrews University, obtaining a BSc (hons) in Chemistry and Physics in 1992 and an MPhil in Chemistry in 1994. Since then he has worked for the University of Aberystwyth, Heriot-Watt University, International Fire Investigators and Consultants and the University of Edinburgh. He is editor of the ‘Handbook of Tunnel Fire Safety’ (2nd Edition, ICE Publishing, 2011) and was associate editor of Fire Safety Journal from 2009 to 2015. He has been working in the field of fire science and tunnel fire phenomena since 1998. His research work has focused on the interaction between fires and ventilation (specifically tunnel ventilation systems, crosswinds and, currently, under ventilated fires such as in basements and ships' holds). In 2004 he was awarded a PhD from Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh, Scotland) for his thesis “Fire Size in Tunnels”. In addition to fire vs ventilation research, he has also been involved into research in dust explosions, ignition, material flammability, CFD modelling and fire suppression. As well as his teaching and research responsibilities at the University, he currently provides fire safety engineering consultancy services to a number of different companies, primarily with regards to tunnel fire safety and fire dynamics. He has authored more than 20 journal papers and more than 40 conference papers.   


Michael Crowley, PE, FSFPE, Vice President, Jensen Hughes

Michael Crowley is Vice President of Jensen Hughes. Mike began his career as a Fire Protection Engineer in 1980. He holds a BS in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, and an MBA from The University of Houston. Mike is a licensed professional engineer in 5 states. Professional organization involvement includes Fellow in Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), SFPE Board of Directors, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Membership and activity on NFPA Technical Committees including NFPA 101 - Healthcare Occupancies and Means of Egress, and NFPA 99 – former Fundamentals Committee Chair and current Correlating Committee Chair, among others. He is a Life Safety Code and NFPA 99 instructor for NFPA. In addition, he is a Senior Member of the American Society of Healthcare Engineers. Mike has authored numerous technical articles and made presentations at various conferences and symposiums. He is Vice President Development responsible for Healthcare. Mike provides consulting to architects, facility managers and building owners around the world.

Gary Daniels, MPhil, BSc, CEng, MIFireE, PMSFPE, Associate, Hoare Lea Fire Engineering

Gary graduated in 1999 from the University of Leeds with a degree in Fire Science and then joined Bickerdike Allen Partners to work in Fire Engineering Consultancy. He joined Hoare Lea in 2001 as a Fire Engineer providing technical advice and expertise on a wide range of projects. As well as being awarded Chartered Engineer status (2006), Gary has also obtained a Masters from the University of Manchester on the topic of assessing tenability conditions in residential buildings.


Gary has developed several alternative ventilation methods for residential apartment design and was the one of the principle authors of the Smoke Control Association Guidance ‘Guide on Smoke Control to Common Escape Routes in Apartment Buildings (Flats and Maisonettes)’ which has been accepted in the UK as the leading document on residential smoke ventilation design. He is also part of the Committees involved in revising BS 9991 and CIBSE Guide E.


He was elected President of the UK chapter of the SFPE in June 2014 and is responsible for all the administrative duties involved in resurrecting the chapter.


Martin Feeney, FSFPE, Principal, Holmes Fire

Martin Feeney is a Principal and Senior Fire Safety Strategist with consulting fire engineering firm Holmes Fire. He holds a Master’s degree in Fire Engineering from the University of Canterbury and is Past-President of the New Zealand Chapter of SFPE. During his 30 years of consulting engineering experience he has developed expertise in performance based fire safety design for a wide range of building types. He is passionate about performance based design and has a particular interest in developing fire safety concepts for complex projects.


Charles Fleischmann, Ph.D., FSFPE, Professor, University of Canterbury

Charley Fleischmann is a Professor at the University of Canterbury where he has been a major contributor to the Graduate Fire Engineering Program since its inception in 1994. Charley received his Bachelors degree in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland and his Masters and PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Charley has over 30 years of experience in fire engineering and was a major contributor to the New Zealand Verification Method for performance-based design for fire safety in New Zealand. He is a Fellow of SFPE and in 2011 he received the Arthur B Guise.

David Fox, Ph.D., Fire Safety Engineer, Olsson Fire and Risk

Dr. David Fox has worked at Olsson Fire & Risk Pty Ltd since October 2015. He obtained a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering and a PhD in Structural Fire Engineering, both from the University of Edinburgh. His research background was focused on fire dynamics, concrete material behavior and the response of composite structures to fire, with an emphasis on practical experimentation. This was followed by two years working as a Fire Safety Engineer for AECOM, in their London and Edinburgh offices. There, his responsibilities included structural fire engineering and fire safety strategy development across the office, retail, airport and education sectors, as well as for several large mixed use developments.


Simon Goodhead, PE, CEng, MIFireE, Director, Jensen Hughes

Simon Goodhead is the Director of the Atlanta, GA office of JENSEN HUGHES.  Prior to joining JENSEN HUGHES, Mr. Goodhead worked for Arup Fire and Harrington Group, Inc. as a Senior Fire Protection Consultant.  Mr. Goodhead has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Science from The University of Leeds and is a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Fire Engineers and is a Professional Engineer in multiple states.


Mr. Goodhead provides; technical oversight of the Atlanta office, project management, reviews of architectural and engineering drawings and specifications for conformance with local, state and national codes and standards, prepares comprehensive fire protection and life safety programs for new and existing building, designs fire detection and alarm systems and fire suppression systems, conducts performance based design analyses, and interfaces with local, state and federal officials.


Mr. Goodhead has provided presentations on fire protection and life safety topics at SFPE Technical Conferences, local SFPE conferences, and various SFPE Chapter meetings.


Pär Hansson, BSc Fire Protection Engineer LTH, CEO, FSD Göteborg AB

Pär Hansson has worked as a Fire Safety Consultant since 1996 and is currently at “Fire Safety Design” as CEO of their Gothenburg division. Pär is working with projects in Sweden as well as several other European countries. Has given lectures on Fire Safety Engineering for Lund University, Gothenburg University, several Fire Departments, Swedish Rescue Service Agency (currently MSB) and consultancy companies.Appointed by Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning for consultation about fire safety during the process of developing the new Swedish building code, BBR 18.Member of the Swedish chapter of SFPE. During several years also active member of the board of the Swedish chapter of SFPE – BIV.


Felipe Herrera, Senior Engineer, Ove Arup and Partners SAU

Felipe graduated from Kansas State University with a BSc and an MSc in Architectural Engineering with emphasis in structures. After his MSc research in Performance based design for building structures against fire, his multidisciplinary engineering background has allowed him to specialize in fire engineering for buildings and tunnels. Felipe is a native Costa Rican with educational and professional fire engineering experience in Costa Rica, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, the United States and Bangladesh, which gives him a good view on how education and knowledge, but also how the type of law enforcement and cultural practices influence the level of safety measures in a range of low, middle and high developed countries from a fire engineering point of view.


Nigel Hiorns, BSC, MSFPE, MIFireE, FIHEEM, Managing Partner, Fire Ingenuity

Nigel is Managing Partner of Fire Ingenuity, and also a Director and Council member of the Association of Fire Consultants (the association representing the professional interests of UK fire engineering consultancies). Nigel has been involved on some of the best buildings, with best clients, and best architects and engineers.


Nigel gained fundamental engineering skills with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, before PhD research developing a 2nd moment closure model for buoyancy-driven flows. After years designing CFD models for projects such as the Cassini space mission and F1, including in the STAR-CD commercial CFD software development team, Nigel moved to AEA Technology. At AEA Nigel undertook risk-based design for mature risk-based industries such as Nuclear, Oil & Gas, and Transport. Nigel also helped develop the evacuation and people-movement software AEA EGRESS. In 1996 Nigel joined Buro Happold FEDRA as one of the 3 original founding Fire Engineers.


Nigel was a board director in Ramboll Fire before establishing Fire Ingenuity in 2010.


Nigel is on the committee developing BS7974, the UK Fire Engineering standard, and has also previously helped develop BS9999. Nigel has developed Key Performance indicators for Fire Engineering, and for CFD modelling, for the government; to help approving authorities assure Fire-engineered solutions.


Jason P. Huczek, M. Eng., Principal Engineer, Southwest Research Institute

Jason Huczek has B.S. and M.Eng, degrees in fire protection engineering from the University of Maryland (1998 and 2000, respectively).  Mr. Huczek is currently a Principal Engineer at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas.  His primary responsibility is evaluation of fire protection systems by way of small-, large- and full-scale testing. These systems include ceiling and in-rack sprinkler systems, smoke detection systems and fire alarm systems. He has evaluated these types of systems for a wide variety of applications, including protection of warehouse-style storage of commodity, protection of machinery spaces on commercial and government marine vessels, and protection of aircraft cargo spaces. Mr. Huczek’s has experience in conducting large-scale heat release experiments on passenger vehicles, stored commodity, post-flashover room-corner compartments and electrical cabling. Other responsibilities include development of custom fire performance evaluation test methods, engineering evaluations of the fire hazard of materials and commodities, and the utilization of fire models to help predict fire growth and behavior.  Mr. Huczek is a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and serves on several committees of the National Fire Protection Association.


Gregor Jäger, MSc, Fire Protection Engineer, BFT Cognos GmbH

Gregor Jäger works as a fire protection engineer at BFT Cognos since 2011. His focus of activity is on evacuation modelling and fire modelling in performance-based fire safety design.

He is member of working group 2 of the national standard committee NA 005-52-21 AA „Fire safety engineering“. He is also Co-author for f-sim.de, a website for users of fire and smoke simulation and evacuation software.


Michael James, ME (Fire), BE (Mech), CPENG, IntPE, MIPENZ (Fire), PMSFPE, Managing Director, Origin Fire Consultants Ltd.

After graduating in 1988 from Canterbury University in NZ with a BE(Mech), Michael worked as a mechanical building services engineer for J Roger Preston & Partners in the UK, then with Connell Wagner in NZ, where he became passionate about fire safety and protection engineering.


In 1998 he joined forces with other engineers to set up Pacific Consultants comprising mechanical, electrical and fire engineering services, of which he became the managing director in 2013. Recently Michael has set up a specialist fire engineering consultancy “Origin Fire Consultants”, concentrating on a creative collaborative approach to fire safety and protection consulting. Michael also gets engaged as an expert witness for litigation matters involving fire safety.


Michael is coming up to over 30 years’ experience as a consulting engineer and 20 years as a specialist fire engineer, with a passion for preparing sound and innovative Fire Engineering and Fire Protection designs for buildings ranging from large industrial buildings, shopping centres, offices, schools and sports centres.


Michael is currently a committee member of the New Zealand Chapter of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.


Marc L. Janssens, Ph.D, Senior Engineer, Southwest Research Institute

Marc Janssens holds a Ph.D. in fire protection engineering from Ghent University in Belgium (1991).  Dr. Janssens is currently a senior engineer at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas, and leads a project to assist the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission with the review of performance-based fire protection programs in nuclear power plants.  Previously Dr. Janssens was the Director of the Fire Technology Department at SwRI, was Manager of Fire Technology at the American Forest and Paper Association, worked as a Research Associate for the North American wood industry at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and taught at three universities in the U.S. and Belgium.  His primary research interests include oxygen consumption calorimetry, computer fire modeling, and fire performance of wood products.  Dr. Janssens co-authored more than 140 technical publications, and is associate editor of Fire and Materials.  He is a fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and chairs ASTM Committee E05 on fire standards.


Nils Johansson, Ph.D. in Fire Safety Engineering, B.Sc. in Fire Protection Engineering and M.Sc. in Risk Management and Safety Engineering, Associate Senior Lecturer, Lund University

Nils Johansson is associate senior lecturer at the division of Fire Safety Engineering, Lund University. He has previous experience as a fire safety consultant in Sweden.


Björn Karlsson, Ph.D., Director General, Iceland Construction Authority

Dr. Björn Karlsson works as Director General, Iceland Construction Authority, responsible for building regulations, electrical safety and fire safety in Iceland and runs the Rescue Services College. He also works as an Associate Professor at the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iceland. Björn has written a number of books and many scientific papers in the field of fire safety and risk engineering, one of his best known works is the textbook “Enclosure Fire Dynamics”, written together with Prof. Jim Quintiere and published by CRC Press. He has given numerous presentations at international seminars in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, China and Australia. He sits on the board of the International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS), has served as Chairman of the IAFSS Education subcommittee, is on the editorial board of Fire Technology and on the editorial board of the International Journal on Engineering Performance-Based Fire Codes.


Donald “Sandy” Kilbourne, MBA, BSc, GIFE, Owner & Managing Director, Gartcarron Fire Engineering  

Sandy Killbourn is an ex local authority fire officer with over 31 years’ experience in the fire service, during which he has acquired twenty three years front line fire safety management predominantly based in the greater Glasgow area.

Educated to degree level, he has a BSc (Hons) degree in Fire Risk Engineering and a Master of Business Administration. As a result he has been the lead officer for the local fire service, in conjunction with building standard’s verifiers, in the approval of numerous proposals containing fire engineered solutions.

Sandy is the owner and Managing Director of Gartcarron Fire Engineering , a small Fire Engineering practice based in Stirling.

He is a Member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and a Graduate of the Institute of Fire Engineers.

William E. Koffel Jr., PE, FSFPE, is President, Koffel Associates, Inc. 

William E. Koffel Jr., PE, FSFPE, is President of Koffel Associates, a fire protection and life safety engineering design and consulting firm, recognized as an expert in the fire protection and life safety aspects of codes and standards. Headquartered in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area in the USA, the firm provides consulting; engineering design & construction administration; codes & standards development; seminar development & training; product testing & evaluation / representation; and litigation support to public and private clients worldwide. Bill is active in the development process of the industry’s governing codes, standards and design guidelines including International Code Council (ICC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) and Underwriters Laboratory (UL). A former code official with the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office, he is a Past President of the SFPE.


Grzegorz Kubicki, Ph.D., Lecturer, Department of Environmental Engineering Warsaw University of Technology

Dr. Grzegorz Kubicki is a longtime lecturer at Warsaw University of Technology. Specialist in the field of fire safety ventilation and fire safety systems. The author of an academic textbook "Fire ventilation and smoke extraction"


Nicholas Lee, Senior Consultant, Singapore Civil Defence Force

Nicholas joined the Singapore Civil Defence Force SCDF as a fire officer from 1996 to 2007 and held a variety of appointments including the Commander of a Fire Station and the Head of Operations of a Civil Defence Division.  During his first tenure with SCDF, Nicholas obtained a Master in Fire Safety Engineering from the University of Western Sydney.

Nicholas left the SCDF in 2007 and joined Arup Singapore as a fire safety consultant. He became a Registered Fire Safety Engineer shortly after. Nicholas rejoined the SCDF as a Senior Consultant in 2011. As part of the Authority Having jurisdiction, his main role is to review design proposals by Fire Safety Engineers (FSE) who are submitting projects under the Performance Based (PB) framework.


The role requires him to engage with FSEs at the conceptual design stage to understand the fire safety issues and methodologies adopt to justify the trial design. At the detailed design stage, Nicholas reviews the simulation results to determine if the trail design adequately satisfies all life safety criteria.


Brian Meacham, Ph.D., PE, FSFPE, C.Eng,. FIFireE, Associate Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Brian is an Associate Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in the USA, holding appointments in Fire Protection Engineering and in Architectural Engineering. He is internationally recognized as an authority on risk-informed performance-based approaches to engineering and regulation. He has conducted research, authored more than 200 publications, given more than 200 presentations, consulted to governments, taught university courses, graduated PhD students, and participated in the development of guidance documents in these subject areas. As a member of several international committees, Brian helps facilitate the transfer of knowledge between research, practitioners and policy-makers. He is a past Chair of the Inter-jurisdictional Regulatory Collaboration Committee (IRCC), a group comprised of lead building regulatory entities of 13 countries which have developed performance-based building codes. He is Chair of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Risk Assessment Methods and Chair of the US TAG to ISO TC92 SC4 – Fire Safety Engineering.  He has served on several Engineering Task Groups and as Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors of SFPE.  He serves on the Committee of the International Association for Fire Safety Science. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the USA, a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Fire Engineers UK, and a Fellow of the SFPE. 


Vladimir Mozer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Zilina

Vladimir Mozer is a lecturer / researcher in the field of fire safety engineering and design, currently with the University of Zilina, Slovak republic. Previously he gained professional experience as a technical consultant and manager of the fire engineering department at the Fire Protection Association, UK. His research interests primarily include performance-based design, fire risk assessment and the probability and economics related fire safety topics. He is a deputy project manager for the Model for evaluation of fire protection measures economic efficiency project. Alongside lecturing and research work, he is an active member of national, European and international standardization organizations with the focus on fire safety design and fire safety engineering. He has authored and coauthored 12 journal papers, over 20 conference papers and 3 monographs in the field of fire safety.


Luciano Nigro Sr., P.Eng, President, Technical Director, Hughes Associates Europe

Luciano Nigro Sr., Responsible for planning, execution, and analysis of fire protection design, research and development projects. Project Manager for Risk Analysis and Risk Assessment consultancy services. Responsible for planning and execution of large fire protection installations verification and acceptance testing. Italy. Expert in fire protection design and specification in accordance with NFPA standards as well as Factory Mutual data sheets in industrial and storage facilities with traditional as well as innovative protection systems. Specialist in Water Mist fire protection system design and acceptance testing.


Daniel Nilsson, Ph.D., FSE, Department of Fire Safety Engineering and Systems Safety, Lund University 

Daniel is an Associate Professor at the Department of Fire Safety Engineering, Lund University in Sweden. He has been involved in research about evacuation and human behavior in fire since 2002, and received his Ph.D. in Fire Safety Engineering from Lund University in 2009. Daniel’s research has focused on the use of way-finding systems for evacuation, e.g., flashing lights at emergency exits, but also on the effectiveness of different information system, e.g., voice alarms and information signs. He has recently also conducted research on people monitoring system in smart buildings. Most of Daniel's studies have involved evacuation experiments. Examples include laboratory experiments in a smoke-filled tunnel and a field experiment in the Göta road tunnel in Gothenburg, Sweden.


Johan Norén, BSc., MSc., Technical Director, Briab Brand & Riskingenjörerna AB

Johan Norén works as a fire protection engineer at Briab since 2007. He has a main focus on performance- based design and is primarily working with fire and evacuation modelling and different kinds of fire safety investigations. At the moment Johan is the technical director at Briab and is work package leader for defining control and review processes in the project Fire Safety Engineering for Innovative and Sustainable Building Solutions. Johan has a B.Sc. in Fire Protection Engineering and a M.Sc. in Risk Management and Safety Engineering from Lund University.


Anna-Carin Olmedal, Fire Protection Engineer, Brandkonsulten AB

Anna-Carin Olmedal is an experienced Fire Safety Engineer with 19 years of consulting specialized in fire safety design and fire protection in ventilation systems.




Matteo Pachera, Ph.D. Student, University of Padova

Matteo Pachera is Ph.D. student at University of Padova. He received his M.S.  in mechanical engineering in 2013 from the University of Padova. He is now visitor researcher at Lodz University of Technology, where is performing the interfacing of FDS with an in-house built structural code. His research interest include tunnel ventilation and fire-structure interaction.


Harriet Peel, Fire Engineer, Olsson Fire & Risk New Zealand Ltd

Harriet Peel is a practicing fire engineer with Olsson Fire & Risk New Zealand in Christchurch, New Zealand and has a BE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Auckland.   Ms. Peel is currently undertaking research into the fire performance of timber surface linings as part of the Master of Fire Engineering program at Canterbury University, in conjunction with the Building Research Association of New Zealand and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The focus of this study is to develop flexible fire design approaches to enable greater inclusion of timber surfaces in buildings while retaining safe fire design.


Olaf Pérez, MSc, Fire Engineer, JVVA Fire & Risk

Olaf Pérez has a Master degree in Telecommunications Engineering and a 1-year Master course in Fire Safety from the ICAI University in Madrid.  Within JVVA most of his time is spent in the advanced modelling group, he is specifically involved in smoke modelling and evacuation modelling.Olaf is a member of Spanish SFPE chapter.


Christine Pongratz, BSc, MSc, AIFireE, E.I.T, Fire Engineer, Arup Fire UK

Christine is a Fire Engineer for Arup in London. She attended the University of Maryland, where she graduated with her B.S. (2013) and M.S.(2014) in Fire Protection Engineering. Christine has a special interest in atrium smoke management, and completed her M.S. thesis, sponsored by ASHRAE, utilising FDS to study the impact of increased velocities of make-up air on fire plume dynamics in atrium smoke control design. As a part of the Arup Fire UK team, her current work includes the development of the fire strategy for a 90,000 capacity stadium designed for the 2022 Football World Cup. Christine is a member of the IFE, and is currently the treasurer of the SFPE UK Chapter.

Egle Rackauskaite, Research Postgraduate, Imperial College London

Egle Rackauskaite is a research postgraduate student at Imperial College London, UK working on travelling fires. In 2012 she has obtained a Master of Engineering (MEng) degree in Civil Engineering at Loughborough University, UK. In 2015 Egle has been awarded the SFPE Foundation Student Research Grant for her work on the response of structures exposed to travelling fires. Part of the work was carried out in collaboration with Ann Jeffers at the University of Michigan, USA, where Egle has spent three months as a visiting scholar. Egle has also received an award from the UK Chapter of SFPE for the Best Fire Research Project 2015.


Lawrence Reddaway, MA(Cantab), GradDipMgmt, GradDipConstnLaw, FIEAust, MSFPE, Fire Engineer, Reddaway Enterprise Pty Ltd.

Lawrence Reddaway has been a fire safety consultant for three decades, based in Melbourne, Australia. He has also worked in UK, and in Vietnam; and worked on projects in several countries. He is also a mediator, arbitrator and adjudicator.



Guillermo Rein, Ph.D., Reader in Thermal Energy, Department of Mechanical Engineering of Imperial College and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Fire Technology

Guillermo is Reader (British equivalent to Associate Professor) at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Imperial College London, and Editor-in-Chief of Fire Technology. He was born in Madrid (Spain) and studied Mechanical Engineering at University of California at Berkeley (MSc 2003, PhD 2005). He joined Imperial College in 2012 from a previous academic position at University of Edinburgh. His research is centred on heat transfer, material flammability and fire behaviour, with the purpose of reducing the worldwide burden of accidental fires. He specially enjoys solving multidisciplinary problems combining experimental and modelling techniques. He has graduated 7 PhD students, three of which have become academics, and 39 Master students.



Atli Rutur Thorsteinsson, Fire Safety Engineer, EFLA Consulting Engineers

Atli earned an undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Iceland in 2010. He then pursued postgraduate studies and graduated with distinction from the University of Edinburgh in 2012, with a Master of Science degree in Structural and Fire Safety Engineering. He has been a fire safety consultant at EFLA Consulting Engineers in Iceland since 2012, involving mainly fire safety design of new and existing buildings in Iceland and the other Nordic countries. Main field of interest for career development and research involves fire dynamics, structural fire engineering and the use of CFD fire modelling and thermo-mechanical finite element structural analyses in performance-based fire safety design.


Piotr Smardz, MSc CEng MIEI, Partner, INBEPO Sp. z o.o.

Piotr Smardz holds an MSc in structural engineering at Wrocław Technical University (Poland) and MSc in Fire Safety engineering at the University of Ulster. He has 14 years’ professional experience in Fire Safety Engineering, of which 8 years working in Ireland. Since 2009 Piotr is co-owner of a fire safety engineering consultancy INBEPO based in Wrocław (Poland). A Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland, he is a member of IAFSS and SITP, since 2014 a licensed fire safety expert in Poland. Piotr’s areas of particular professional interest include computer fire modeling using CFD, smoke control design, hot smoke tests and structural fire engineering. His past and current projects include residential developments, office buildings, shopping centers, mixed-used developments, high-rise buildings, large warehouses and industrial facilities.


Izabela Tekielak-Skałka, R&D Manager, SMAY LLS

Izabela Tekielak-Skałka graduate of the Cracow University of Technology. Research and development manager at SMAY, specializing in fire safety ventilation systems.


Declan Thomson, BSc, MSc, AIFireE, Fire Engineer, Hoare Lea

Declan has several years’ experience within the Fire Safety Engineering sector, since graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an Honors degree in Fire Risk Engineering. Declan has also undertaken a master’s degree in Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Central Lancashire.


During his time at the University of Central Lancashire, Declan undertook a literature review of the different methods of determining external fire spread requirements. The paper was highly commended by the SFPE UK chapter.


Declan has extensive experience on prestigious educational, residential, health care, and retail and commercial developments, providing advice on issues ranging from means of escape to structural fire protection, and has led the fire engineering design on key projects such as the Birmingham Children’s Hospital.


In addition, Declan has continued to work to develop the use of computational modelling for fire engineering, including computer modelling to analyze people movement during evacuation and computational fluid dynamic modelling for smoke movement.


Piotr Tofilo, Ph.D., The Main School of Fire Service / Polish SFPE Chapter

Piotr Tofilo is the President of the Polish Chapter and the lecturer at the Main School of Fire Service in Warsaw. He earned his Ph.D. at the FireSERT of University of Ulster researching behavior of glazing in fires. He worked as a fire engineer in UK for 3 years. Currently he also engages in engineering projects in Poland.


Ruben Van Coile, Ph.D., Fire Safety Engineer, WSP | PB

Ruben Van Coile is a structural fire safety engineer with special interest in risk, reliability and decision making. He studied Civil Engineering and Law at Ghent University, Belgium, and obtained a Ph.D. on the topic of Reliability-based decision making for concrete elements exposed to fire. Ruben taught exercises on Statistical Data Analysis and Risk Analysis to the civil engineering students at Ghent University and was a visiting researcher at the University of Life Sciences and Natural Resources Vienna, Austria, and at the University of Waterloo, Canada.


Bart Van Weyenberge, Ph.D., Researcher, University of Ghent

Bart Van Weyenberge studied the International Master in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) in a joint corporation of the University of Ghent (Belgium), Edinburgh (Scotland) and Lund (Sweden). After his graduation he worked as a fire safety engineer in FESG (Fire Engineered Solutions Ghent). The firm is a consultancy spin-off company from the University in Ghent. In March 2014, he started a part-time PhD in corporation with FESG and the University of Ghent. The research is spread over 5 years. His research field is developing QRA for fire safety of people in complex buildings.


Gabriele Vigne, MSc MAast MSFPE, Fire Safety Engineer, JVVA Fire & Risk

Gabriele is a Director within JVVA Fire & Risk. He has a Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master of Advanced Studies in Fire Engineering and he worked in Spain, Italy, UK and the Netherlands. Gabriele is currently undertaking a PhD on computational methods for fire and smoke modelling at the University of Jaén (Spain) with the partnership of the Imperial College of London (UK). Gabriele is lecturer in Human Behavior, Evacuation Modelling and Smoke Control Engineering at the University of Comillas (ICAI) and in the Universidad Europea (UEM) in Madrid. He is reviewer for the Fire Safety Journal, Fire Technology and the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer. Gabriele is member of the European SFPE coordination group (ECCG) since its constitution and vice secretary of the SFPE Spanish chapter.


Karl Wallasch, Dipl.-Ing. CEng, Associate Fire Engineering, Hoare Lea

Karl Wallasch (Dipl.-Ing., CEng) is an Associate Fire Engineer working in Hoare Lea’s Fire Engineering team in London. Karl is a tutor at the online Master course at the Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. He is also the secretary of the SFPE UK Chapter and a member of the VFDB (German Fire Protection Association) Referat 4 – a committee publishing use of fire engineering guidance in Europe. Karl has published over 30 articles and presentations about fire engineering. He is also Co-author for f-sim.de a website for users of fire and smoke simulation and evacuation software. He has working experience in the UK, Europe and abroad.


Ning Frank Wang, PE, Senior Fire Protection Engineer, Jensen Hughes
Ning Frank Wang is a Senior Engineer at Jensen Hughes with over 20 years of experience in fire protection industry. He has exemplary knowledge and experience in Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) and fire protection system design. His familiarity with national and local codes and standards provides him with an exceptional understanding of design requirements for various systems and how they are integrated together. Particularly, he specializes in smoke control system design and special inspection, mathematical fire and smoke modeling, and smoke management analysis. He has served as lead engineer and project manager on numerous projects involving both new construction and renovation work within the residential, health care, office, educational, retail, and transportation industries.


Wojciech Węgrzyński, MSc FPE, Head of Smoke Control, Signaling and Fire Automation Division, Building Research Institute (ITB)

Wojciech Węgrzyński graduate of The Main School of Fire Service in Warsaw, Fire Safety Engineering faculty, also completed Building Safety postgraduate studies. Since 2010 is an employee of Building Research Institute (ITB), currently working as the Head of Smoke Control, Signaling and Fire Automation Division. Member of PKN technical committees polish normalization committee) on fire signaling and automation, and CEN TC 191/SC1/WG5 committee on smoke control systems.

During his work in ITB, author of more than 150 reports and technical expertise’s, that include CFD simulations, hot smoke test and individual guidelines for smoke control systems. Also author of over 30 publications and conference papers. Co-author of guidelines for design, assessment and commissioning of smoke control systems in enclosed car parks (in Polish).


Christopher Wieczorek, Ph.D., Group Manager Fire & Explosion Protection, FM Global

Christopher J. Wieczorek is the Group Manager of Fire and Explosion Protection Group within the Fire Hazards and Protection Area of Research at FM Global. He obtained his Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2003 and his Master’s degree from the Center of Fire Protection Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1998. He is an executive board member of the International Association of Fire Safety Science. In addition, he is a member of the National Fire Protection Association and serves as committee chair on the fundamentals section of NFPA 30, the Flammable and Combustible Liquids code. He is also a member of national and local chapters of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.


Justin Williamson, Ph.D., Fire Protection Engineer, Jensen Hughes

Justin Williamson, Ph.D., is a Fire Protection Engineer with seven years’ experience. He has extensive experience in fire, smoke, heat and mass transfer modeling to identify and solve fire protection problems for the commercial, government, and military sectors. Dr. Williamson’s experience includes research, development and analysis of advanced fire modeling. He has worked as a fire modeling software developer and has expertise in the application of model verification, validation, sensitivity and uncertainty analysis required for high level regulatory acceptance of modeling results. He is passionate about applying his scientific expertise to provide effective solutions to complex problems.





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