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Mbaka Michael James

MSc Fire Safety Engineering

Michael is the first Nigerian Fire Fighter to obtain a degree in a fire-related discipline in Nigeria. He studied the MSc Fire Safety Engineering course at UCLan.

"I chose UCLan to improve my knowledge of the science and chemistry of fire dynamics, and enable my ability to interpret fire safety problems and provide corresponding solutions and furthermore to position myself as an authority within the fire profession.

After graduation, I applied for an upgrade of my corporate membership cadre with the Institution of Fire Engineers to Member grade and also applied to become a chartered engineer with the Energy Institute. Having been given a study leave from my place of work to study at UCLan I then returned to my home country to resume as a senior airport fire officer.

My job involves rescue and fire fighting within the airport; enforcing fire safety rules and guidelines; facilitating training sessions for all staff and occupiers of the airport terminal building on how to use the fire protection systems installed within the airport and providing station level training for fire crew. I was employed as an airport fire officer 11 on grade level 8 as a graduate, went through various training with an initial basic fire fighters course, pump operator’s course and then crew commander’s course.

My lasting memories of my time at UCLan will be the beautiful landscape and infrastructure at UCLan, the rigorous learning sessions and experienced teaching staff, the hospitality of the people of Preston and social life.

Earning a promotion at my place of work and getting to work with professionals within the construction industry has provided the platform for me to gain working knowledge and experience of fire engineering design. My message to those wanting to study fire safety engineering at UCLan is for them to grab the golden opportunity, as the course provides a fantastic platform for all prospective fire engineers to understand the rudiment of the dynamics of fire and be able to meet the functional requirement of legislations and performance based design codes and guidance.

I have achieved self-fulfilment and a new appointment at my work place as a result of my study at UCLan. My degree and experiences at UCLan has provided me some leverage with my colleagues and managers within my department."