Going into its fifth year, the International Master of Science in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) program in Europe has become a huge success. Since its inception, 74 students of 38 nationalities have enrolled in this two-year (4 semester) program that is organized by the Universities of Edinburgh (United Kingdom), Ghent (Belgium) and Lund (Sweden).

The classes in the first semester cover basic topics in Fire Safety Engineering (FSE) and can be attended in Ghent or Edinburgh. All students spend the second semester in Lund, where emphasis lies on enclosure fire dynamics, risk analysis and human behavior. In the third semester, classes are again taught in Ghent (for general FSE) or Edinburgh (with focus on structural engineering in the context of FSE). The fourth semester is devoted to the Master’s thesis, hosted by one or more of the three institutes.

"The best thing is the ever changing cultures that can be experienced, not just cultures by country or university, but cultures by fire program. Each fire program seemed to have its own specialty,” said IMFSE Class of 2013 Graduate Joshua Reichert. "Whether it is structural fire protection, active and passive fire protection systems, human behavior, fire dynamics, etc., everyone in the program seemed to have the opportunity to find a professor actively researching in the field of their interest.”

Besides inter-university cooperation, student mobility in Europe is one of the main points of interest for the overall program. Having a new study location after each semester gives students the opportunity to gain the strengths and expertise of the three universities.

"Each city, university, and campus had its own interesting history both fire and non-fire-related, there were times I found myself getting caught up in where I was and had to remind myself of why I was there,” said Reichert. "I had the opportunity to study with some of the most brilliant minds and hardest workers I have ever met, and I could see a lot of it stemming from their cultural backgrounds. It really helped prepare me for any international work in my future.”

Scholarships are available for European and non-European students. More information about the IMFSE program can be found at: www.imfse.ugent.be.