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A Message from the SFPE Europe President and European Chapter Updates

Welcome

Dear SFPE Members,

I will have the great pleasure to chair SFPE Europe for a second one year mandate as I was re-elected at the end of last year. 2018 started with our big event in Rotterdam on 5-6 February. It was a real success with over 180 attendees, from 27 countries and a lot of very professional and interesting conferences. It was also a unique occasion for networking with European and International peers.

The new Jean-Claude De Smedt Award was presented in Rotterdam and will be attributed at next SFPE Europe Conference.

A new European chapter has been created: Serbia and Switzerland is working hard to self-organize and start a chapter. These new chapters will join SFPE Europe “club”. The next SFPE Europe meeting is planned on June 7th in Lisbon in conjunction with SFPE Portugal chapter conference.

Dear SFPE Europe member, I hope that some of you will have the opportunity to travel and attend SFPE Performance Based Conference in Hawaii in April (from 25 to 27).

Best regards,


Armelle Muller
SFPE Europe President


Chapter News

Benelux 

The Benelux chapter’s activities have been focusing on the very successful European conference last February in Rotterdam.

Some concrete actions have resulted from the conference as follow-up activities, such as a technical visit to a key high rise building in Rotterdam for our members, as well as others that have gained interest when attending the conference, with a view to promote SFPE (and our local chapter in particular).

We are also engaged in local activities to promote getting data from real fires, and to that end participate in the joint Dutch standardization committee on fire engineering, which is the mirror committee for the respective CEN and ISO fire engineering committees.

Finally, we are now preparing our GA, scheduled for June.

France

The French chapter organized a seminar on evacuation last January 18th. Nearly 100 people attended this seminar which took place in Gare de l’Est railway station in Paris.

The presentations were focused on:

  • Applicable regulation and perspectives for the use of evacuation engineering
  • Evacuation models: tools and tool limits
  • Comparisons between modelling, evacuation exercises and feedback from real events
  • Human factor influence on evacuation
  • Management of evacuation

Dr. Peter Lawrence from Greenwich University (UK) was one of our key speakers. The conference was also a good occasion to advertise on the new edition of SFPE Engineering guide on human behaviour in fire.

A visit of Gare de l’Est station was proposed to the attendees focusing on fire safety systems and provisions.

French Chapter is preparing two events:

  • A breakfast conference on Grenfell tower disaster in October 2018
  • A seminar on fire risk in nuclear industry in January 2019

Portugal

In November we launched the “SFPE Portugal Universities Program”: a roadshow through major Portuguese engineering universities to talk about performance-based design and to announce our free student membership grade. We have organized several open classes: ISEC University (Lisbon) and IPCB University (Castelo Branco «) in November, ISEL University (Lisbon) in December, FEUP University (Oporto) and UAlg University (Faro, Algarve) in January, totalizing +300 attendees.

In December we have also made a technical visit (members only) to the Portuguese National Emergency Control Centre. This event was organized with the support of ANPC, the Portuguese AHJ.

SFPE Portugal HQ is in Lisbon but we try to make events all over the country. In January SFPE Portugal held is first event in one of the Portuguese archipelagos: a seminar about performance-based design in Azores. We had 40 attendees, which is very satisfactory in the islands.

SFPE Portugal was represented in the 2nd SFPE Europe Fire Safety Engineering Conference & Expo by our BoD President, Paulo Ramos. He made a presentation about PBD in Portugal and moderated one of the sessions.

In February we held a two-day seminar with Gabriele Vigne and Bruno Lopes: “Introduction to Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) and Smokeview”.

Now we are preparing our next events: in March, the General Assembly and a debate in Oporto, in April a debate about wildland-urban interface fires in Coimbra, in May a conference about fire safety research in Lisbon. We are also co-organizing with Ordem dos Arquiteots (Portuguese Architects charter association) an international conference to be held in June.

Spain

The Spanish chapter is in the process of planning the upcoming activities for this year. A number of technical seminars are on the table and also some other interesting events.

There is however one event that will be looked after very carefully, and that is the SFPE Europe Conference 2019 that is to be held in Spain. The Spanish chapter is heavily involved in the planning process and we are looking forward to make this a successful event.

The Board will also meet shortly to approve last year’s administrative items, something that is necessary for a Spanish non-profit organization.

Sweden

SFPE Sweden has among other things focused on planning the chapter activities for 2018. All activities during the first months of 2018 can be summarized as follows: 

  • SFPE Sweden have finished the preparations for our annual conference that will take place in early May 2018. The theme will be “the future and fire protection engineering”
  • SFPE Sweden has formed a new working group for our new guideline about FDS and fire ventilation calculations that will be published during 2018.
  • SFPE Sweden has provided input to the National Board of Housing regarding references to standards in national regulations on their regular reference group meetings (recently 2th of February). This time about more modern fire- and construction regulations in the future.
  • 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. For example about SS-INSTA 951 Fire safety engineering - Probabilistic methods for verifying fire safety design in buildings and SS-INSTA 952 Fire safety engineering - Review and control in the building process.
  • Last, but not least, we have also published and promoted SFPE Roadmap for research needs to our members.

UK

Membership is steady. 

CPD coordinator (Felipe Herrera) and Chapter secretary (Karl Wallasch) attended the European conference in Rotterdam and had a great time.

We have held our first CDP session of the year covering Fire Safety of Garment Factories in Bangladesh and Fire Safety for Hospitals in Myanmar, with future CPD events planned in April (two of the Imperial Collage London’s research topics (travelling fires, high-rise timber, and facade fires) and May (Intumescent Coatings: Key industry developments and best practice for Fire Safety Engineers) with more to come. 

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