Conferences and Seminars

FIG UK Seminar – “Mind the Gap in Fire Information: Update 2014”

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Speakers’ Biographies

Kirsty Bosley

Scottish Government – Fire Research and Statistics

Kirsty started work at the Home Office Fire Experimental Unit in 1989 and has worked on many practical and research projects over the years. The projects she has worked on range from developing standard tests for firefighting foam, through fire appliance design and developing the Fire Service Emergency Cover Toolkit (FSEC).

In 2008 she moved from managing a team of operational and social researchers in the Fire and Resilience Division of DCLG in London to managing fire related analysis and statistics for the Scottish Government in Edinburgh. She worked on the Scotland Together study and provided analysis supporting the transition to a single Fire and Rescue Service in Scotland. Amongst other work she is now working on the Building Safer Communities programme encouraging cross-cutting activities to reduce crime and unintentional harm in Scotland’s communities.

Kirsty is the Chair of the Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group (FRSUG) |

Dr Chris Foster

Consultant to Dr. J. H. Burgoyne and Partners LLP |

Chris joined the practice as an Associate in 1972 following completion of his PhD studies on factors controlling the accidental ignition of naval fuels and became a Partner and then a Principal Member of the Company. Since joining Burgoynes he has been continuously engaged in the scientific investigation of fires, explosions, combustion related incidents and hazardous chemical incidents worldwide, in both land and marine environments.

Land based investigations have ranged from major incidents involving petrochemical and chemical plants/depots and large industrial and commercial premises to domestic premises and household appliances. Chris has also given advice on fire precautions in hotels and commercial premises. He has investigated incidents of carbon monoxide fatalities and poisoning caused, or allegedly caused by both flueless and flued gas and oil-fired domestic appliances, and has supervised tests in connection with such incidents. He has prepared expert reports for Court in connection with these investigations.

Marine investigations have involved all types of vessel including passenger ships, Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), chemical tankers, general cargo and bulk carriers, container ships, dredgers and pipe laying barges. The types of investigation Chris has undertaken include those resulting from engine room and accommodation fires and explosions and the effects of missile strikes particularly during the Iran-Iraq war.

Marine cargo incidents dealt with include those involving crude oil and other refined petroleum products, LPG cargoes, refined bulk chemicals, unstable and toxic chemicals, pesticides and containerised gaseous, liquid and solid cargoes. Chris has provided technical support and advice to assist in the resolution of live cargo incidents involving fires and hazardous cargoes. He has also provided advice in connection with cargo quality and contamination disputes involving oils and refined petrochemicals, chemical products and bulk cargoes.

Some notable incidents that Chris has investigated include the Flixborough chemical plant explosion disaster in 1974, the Kings Cross underground fire in 1987, the fire on the cruise liner “ROMANTICA” off Cyprus in October 1997, the fire in the Mont Blanc vehicle tunnel in 1999 and the Buncefield explosion in Hemel Hempstead in 2005.

Chris has frequently given evidence as an expert witness in both the High Court and Criminal courts in the UK. He has also given expert testimony in Courts in the Irish Republic, in the Court of First Instance in Athens, in The Supreme Court of Cape Town, South Africa, in the Supreme Court of Singapore, in the Civil Court of the Peoples Republic of China and in connection with litigation in the USA.

Chris has published technical papers in the academic press on combustion science, and in the Insurance press on the investigating fires and explosions. He lectures annually on a Fire Science and Fire Investigation course at Edinburgh University and has lectured on fire and explosion investigation at The City University, London, at the University of Leeds, at The University of British Columbia, The University of Ulster and the University of Alexandria, Egypt. He has contributed a chapter on “The investigation of gas phase explosions in buildings” to a textbook entitled Forensic Investigation of Explosions published by Taylor & Francis. From 2001 to 2003 he chaired a task-group of the Arson Control Forum Intervention Group set up by the Home Office that determined protocols and procedures for investigating fires of suspicious origin and reviewed fire investigation training requirements on a national scale. He is a serving committee member of the UK Arson Prevention Forum.

Prof Edwin R. Galea BSc, Dip.Ed, Phd, CMath, FIMA, CEng, FIFireE

Director Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG). University of Greenwich |

Professor Galea is the founding director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG) of the University of Greenwich in London where he has worked in the area of Computational Fire Engineering (CFE) research since 1986. FSEG are developers of the EXODUS suite of evacuation and crowd dynamics software and the SMARTFIRE fire simulation software, which have users in 35 countries around the world. His personal research interests include human behaviour in emergency evacuation situations, crowd dynamics, evacuation and crowd dynamics simulation, fire dynamics and CFD fire simulation. His research has applications to the building, aviation, maritime and rail industries. His recent projects include: a study into human factors issues associated with the evacuation of the WTC funded by the UK EPSRC, urban-scale evacuation modelling associated with large scale flooding funded by Fujitsu, an evacuation project associated with security bollards funded by CPNI, a Homeland Security project supported by the US DoD to develop a real time evacuation management system for the Pentagon building, an EU FP7 project concerned with large-scale cross boarder disasters and a project to explore improved wayfinding systems for rail stations funded by EU FP7.

Prof Galea is the author of over 300 academic and professional publications, the vice chair of the International Association of Fire Safety Science and serves on a number of standards committees concerned with fire and evacuation for organisations such as; IMO, ISO, BSI and the SFPE Task Group on Human Behaviour in Fire. He has served on several major Inquires and legal cases as an expert in fire and evacuation including: the Paddington Rail Crash, the Swiss Air MD11 crash, and the Admiral Duncan Pub bombing. He has successfully supervised 20 PhD students in fire and evacuation related studies. He is a Guest Professor at Ghent University Belgium and the Institut Supérieur des Matériaux et Mécaniques Avancés (ISMANS), Le Mans, France where he teaches on Fire Safety Engineering MSc courses.

Prof Galea has won a number of awards for his work including; 2001 British Computer Society Gold Medal, 2002 Queen’s Anniversary prize, 2006 Royal Aeronautical Society Gold Award; 2008 SFPE Jack Bono Award, 2010 Royal Aeronautical Society Bronze Award, the Royal Institution of Naval Architects Medal of Distinction for 2013 and the 2014 The Guardian University Award for Research Impact. He is an associate editor of the Royal Aeronautical Journal and open access journal Fire Science Reviews.

Rob Gazzard MSc BSc MICFor MRICS

Adviser, Technical Guidance, Forest Services, Forestry Commission England

Forester, Head Forester and District Forester for 18 years working in private forestry, Ministry of Defence and Forestry Commission in south of England.

Retained fire fighter to 5 years with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Masters degree from University of Surrey, Bachelors degree from University of Central Lancashire and BTEC from Newton Rigg College, National School of Forestry

Requested by DCLG to provide guidance and technical knowledge on wildfire in the development of Incident Reporting System in 2007.

Has attended numerous large wildfire incidents in South East England as land manager and fire fighter that have involved over 24 pumping appliances for over 4 days duration since 1999.

Wildfire Adviser to Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service at the Swinley Forest Fire in May 2011.

Author of Forestry Commission’s recent publication Building Resilience to Wildfire in Forest Management Planning.

Part of the University of Manchester and Forest Research project to look at the potential for Wildfire Threat Analysis in the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) PURE Associates funded programme.

Dr Jim Glockling BEng, PhD, MIFireE |

Jim is the Technical Director of the Fire Protection Association, Chairman of CFPA Europe Research Commission and on the Board of the Construction Industry Council Approved Inspectors Register. Originally a Chemical Engineer, he did his PhD in Nuclear Engineering at the UK Atomic Energy Authority before undertaking a post doctorate in watermist fire extinguishing technologies.

He has worked as a university lecturer in Chemical Engineering & Fire Engineering and as a Forensic Fire Investigator. Immediately prior to joining the FPA he was the Associate Director of the Special Projects Group at LPC and then BRE.

Jim continues to undertake research into fire protection with his sizeable team of experts with particular emphasis on solving high risk detection / suppression issues and has worked extensively with the ABI, major UK insurers and the MOD. He has responsibility for the annual UK insurer research budget which is administered through the RISCAuthority scheme.

Sheila Pantry OBE, BA, FCLIP

IOSH Lifetime Achievement Award 2013 |

Is a pivotal figure in occupational safety and health due to her pioneering use of computer technology in information management. She is perhaps best known for her development and management of the world-renowned Health and Safety Executive information service, which included establishing a HSE public enquiry service that handled 250,000 enquiries a year.

Sheila writes, edits and produces websites and electronic services for the health, safety, fire and environment sectors, and has produced a series of books for the information industry.

She has worked on the European Commission programmes in telematics and living/working conditions in a number of European countries, and was instrumental in the development of a Masters syllabus in information engineering.

She gives talks and presents seminars, both in the UK and internationally, on all aspects of information management, staff training and development, as well as the use of health, safety, fire, chemical and environment information. She was a visiting lecturer at the Department of Information Studies at the University of Sheffield, and served on British Library advisory committees in London and at Boston Spa.

Sheila runs seminars and conferences on all aspects of health, safety and fire and is an active member of the UK Fire Information Group, the UK Fire and Rescue Statistics User Group and the National Occupational Health and Safety Committee at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Has set up information services and trained staff in Australia; Bulgaria; Canada; Finland; Greece; Hong Kong; Hungary; Ireland; Jordan; Lithuania; the Netherlands; New Zealand; Poland; Switzerland; Turkey; the USA and Zimbabwe.

Sheila was awarded an OBE by HM The Queen in 1993 for services to the health and safety information industry. In 2000 RoSPA awarded her its Distinguished Service Award.

She has worked closely with the Geneva-based International Labour Office Health and Safety Centre – and received in 2004 a certificate of appreciation for giving 25 years of untiring support to the International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre.

Recently Sheila received one of the most prestigious awards in occupational safety and health – the IOSH Lifetime Achievement Award 2013, that honours those individuals who have furthered the status and practice of occupational safety and health including fire, leading to substantial improvements to the lives of working people.

Gavin Sayer

Head of Fire Statistics Team, Fire, Resilience and Emergencies Directorate, Department for Communities and Local Government |

Gavin has worked in government statistics for 18 years, including several roles developing data systems.

Was brought into the fire and rescue statistics to oversee the transition to and analysis of data from the new incident recording system in 2009.

Has redeveloped the team’s three regular fire statistics publications, has developed new analyses of fire and rescue data including introducing a new fourth regular publication the annual Fire Incidents Response Times. This was shortlisted in the 2013 Royal Statistical Society award for excellence in official statistics.

John Wilson

John is a Chartered Biologist who has worked all his career in the pharmaceutical industry as a Quality Assurance specialist and a Consultant. Currently he acts as a Qualified Person responsible for the evaluation and release of medicinal products for clinical trials and prescription use.

His great interest is the study of life saving awards, a welcome “distraction” from the scientific “day job.”

He is an early member of the Life Saving Awards Research Society, of which he has been Journal Editor for many years, and he is also a member of the Orders and Medals Research Society.