In this series, Fire Engineering Senior Editor Mary Jane Dittmar looks at the things that motivated and inspired instructors to present on their topics at FDIC International 2016. Segments will be posted on a regular basis up to and through the conference, April 18-23.
Stefan Svensson, Associate Professor, International Speaker, Lund University, Sweden
There Is No Such Thing as Extreme Fire Behavior!
Thursday, April 21, 3:30 p.m.-5:15 p.m.
By showing firefighters and fire officers how knowledge-based fire science can be used on the street, I want to bring the two communities together. From many years of experience with the fire service and in the fire science community, I find that these are two disconnected worlds that have much more in common than either one imagines. We do what we do for the same reason, but with different tools. I try to do the same at my university. There’s so much research going on, but many scientists don’t always understand the real-life impact and importance of their research.
Attendees have said that my class has helped them to understand certain things on the fireground—things about which they have thought for a long time. It’s fairly simple to use the science to solve practical problems or to create a deeper understanding of things. Also, it’s challenging to explain complex concepts in a simple manner. I often get great questions that really require a dialog with the audience. They appreciate the discussion, which I encourage. Having traveled internationally over the years, it’s always very comforting to learn that we do similar things in similar ways pretty much everywhere. There are more similarities than differences.