Eugenio Garcia-Diaz, of Madrid, came to the UK in search of international experience and to pursue his ambition of becoming a specialist in fire safety engineering. Choosing to complete a Masters in the subject at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Eugenio’s dissertation achieved a prolific industry award and he’s also secured his dream job.
Having lived in Madrid for much of his early life, Eugenio graduated with a Masters in Architecture from the Technical University of Madrid. Upon completion of his studies, he felt the desire to get out of his comfort zone and obtain some international experience with the intention of becoming a specialist in his field. “The UK was an obvious first choice for me, as the quality of its engineering and its universities are acknowledged worldwide,” he says.
“Quite simply, UCLan is unrivalled when it comes to the diversity of its fire engineering and fire management courses, among the very few places in the world where these disciplines can be studied at university level,” says Eugenio.
“It also provides a different experience in comparison to living and studying in a larger city. In Preston, the University and its students define the area, as many of the people who live in the city centre are UCLan students, which is great.”
Eugenio embarked upon a Masters in Fire Safety Engineering, a course which focuses on the study of fire development and prevention, in the context of buildings and infrastructure. UCLan has offered courses in Fire Safety Engineering since 1992, and is the largest UK provider of academic programmes in this subject area.
In December 2015, Eugenio graduated with distinction, with his hard work resulting in his dissertation paper - ‘Advanced computational simulation of fire performance and external spread on multi-storey facades’ - achieving the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) 2015 Building Simulation Group Award for best MSc dissertation.
The acclaimed award, which is open to students within the UK and overseas, focused on projects involving the application and development of advanced simulation techniques and/or software for predicting the performance of buildings and environmental control systems.
Tony Graham, senior lecturer in Fire Engineering at UCLan, said: “The fact that Eugenio was awarded first prize is a reflection of his hard work, passion and dedication. It’s a huge accolade, and it’s great to put the University and its engineering department on the map for the quality and high standard of work produced by our students.
“I like to remind people that fire safety engineering isn’t about water and hosepipes, it’s a crucially important industry involving complex calculations which aim to prevent fire related emergencies and fatalities.”
Eugenio has now landed his dream job, having been hired by AECOM, a multi-disciplinary company and world leader in building engineering and architecture design. “For a fire engineer, it doesn’t get much better than this. I’m now getting hands-on experience in large projects in the UK and overseas.
“UCLan was instrumental in helping me get to where I wanted to be and I would absolutely recommend the course.