Paul Birbeck

Associate Lecturer in Fire Engineering / Investigation

School of Engineering

Maudland Building MB038

+44 (0) 1772 89 5681

Subject Areas: Engineering, Forensic Science, Mathematics

Paul is a former UCLan graduate, having gained a First Class Honours degree in Forensic Science in 2011. During these studies his interest in fire and explosions was inspired by the late Professor Georgy Makhviladze, a world leader in fire science. Following a secondment with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue’s Fire Investigation Team, Paul completed his undergraduate dissertation on The Fire Hazards Associated with Microwaveable Therapeutic Wheat Bags.

Paul is a member of International Association of Arson Investigators and the CO+ Science & Technology Group, which advises the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) on matters relating to Carbon Monoxide poisoning

Full Profile

Since graduating, Paul has been involved in several research projects ranging from the toxicity of effluents from burning plastics, building cladding and cables, car fires and ballistic damage to vehicles, carbon monoxide poisoning in tents and other leisure environments.

With an interest in design and engineering, both mechanical and electronic, Paul has designed and constructed several pieces of apparatus, including a sample drive mechanism for the Steady State Tube furnace, an overhead gantry for the 3D Microscope, a device for the sizing of sprinkler droplets and apparatus for evaluating the flammability of fabrics and composite materials.

Paul is passionate about teaching and tries to encourage students to learn by understanding, rather than memorising and provides individual mathematics support for less confident students.


Crewe R.J., Andrews S.P., Hull T.R., Birbeck P.N, & Stec A.A. (2014) Combustion and Toxic Gas Production from Disposable Barbecues in Enclosure, Journal of Forensic Sciences V59 No1 1


Research Activities

Fire investigation, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning,


I assist MSc students with their research projects, frequently designing and constructing bespoke apparatus for this purpose.

Teaching activities and responsibilities

  • MSc Fire Investigation (FT)
  • MSc Fire Scene Investigation (PT)
  • BEng Fire Engineering
  • BSc Fire and Leadership Studies