UCLan graduate John Mason has been enjoying a prolific career in fire engineering, steadily climbing the ladder from working alongside some of the leading fire engineers in the UK, to becoming a registered CEng member of The Institution of Fire Engineers and eventually setting up his own company.
Throughout his training, development and professional advancement, John has been a dedicated student at UCLan. He graduated from both our undergraduate BEng (Hons) Fire Engineering course and postgraduate MSc Fire Safety Engineering programme, and has recently embarked on a PhD at the University.
Starting out as a graduate Fire Engineer for Locke Carey in their Manchester Office gave John “a solid grounding in the fire safety industry” and “made him want to study further”.
John explains: “I was lucky enough to work under the direction of some of the leading fire engineers in the country. With the support of Locke Carey I continued my studies on the MSc in Fire Safety Engineering.”
With his newly acquired qualification, he began working for SOA Safety in 2009 where he was responsible for undertaking and peer reviewing fire engineering analysis from a range of industries.
“Through this role I was given an introduction to the wider fire engineering sector beyond commercial buildings which included defence, nuclear and maritime industries,” he said.
A year later, he took his expertise and decided to apply it into his own business. John is now the Managing Director of Jmec Fire Engineering, a limited company which provides fire safety and fire engineering consultancy, a role which gives him the time and flexibility to pursue his PhD.
“This involves working with a team of leading associates to deliver a high quality service on behalf of clients as well as developing new business.”
John is also involved in working on a prestigious contract to deliver a fire engineering capability on behalf of the Technical Authority for the Future UK Submarine Programme.
As part of his high-profile work on this project, he has been named on a Chairman’s Award by BAE Systems, for embedding the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) fire modelling for the first time in UK submarine design, which has strengthened the technical arguments required to develop the Safety Case.
His role as Fire Design Lead for Future Submarine is equally challenging and exciting: “This is a highly complex and intricate project and involves regular liaison with industry partners, regulators and the MoD to ensure that fire safety solutions are achieved and workable within all the project constraints.
“With the wide range of challenging constraints and operational requirements, I have to ensure that an acceptable level of fire safety is achieved. This involves going back to first principles and very often requires innovative fire safety approaches to protect the crew and the continued safe operation of the submarine during and after a fire. As part of this role, I am also the technical author of the Fire Safety Design Policies for the platform.”
John feels that “the prestige and recognition of being a registered CEng” has helped tremendously in furthering his career and reputation.
“Being a chartered fire engineer demonstrates you have a breadth of experience and the qualifications in fire engineering. This helps gain colleagues’ trust in your approach from the outset. Being CEng qualified also says you have agreed to abide by the code of conduct of the Institution of Fire Engineers and the Engineering Council. This recognised high standard is what attracted me to want to register as CEng.”
His current clients, as well as his colleagues on the Future Submarine UK hold his qualification in high esteem.
On a personal level, John is planning to climb Ama Dablam (6,856m) in Nepal this November and raise £1 per metre of mountain (i.e. £6,856) for two charities: Help for Heroes and the Cumbria Friendship Legacy Group. He is welcoming donations and support on his team’s blog: http://amadablam2014.blogspot.co.uk/
But one of John’s main personal ambitions have him looking even further: “I am currently involved with the Institution of Fire Engineers’ Special Interest Group in Competency and Ethics to support the improvement of fire safety in the Ready Made Garment Industry in the developing world.
“One of my key future goals is to be able to support the development of fire safety standards in areas of the world which are in critical need of improvement.”