3 September 2013

The University of Queensland has established a world-leading fire safety education, testing and research program with the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS).

UQ’s School of Civil Engineering and the QFRS will develop high quality formal academic programs in fire safety and engineering at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

School of Civil Engineering Head Professor José L. Torero said the partnership would support QFRS capabilities and UQ teaching and learning activities.

“Infrastructure is becoming more complex, and we need to keep safety issues behind building design at the forefront of our minds” Professor Torero said.

“If a building is put forward for approval, the final word is always with the fire department, and it is also the fire service who will respond in the event of a fire.

“So as fire-fighters, engineering and building designers, it is absolutely essential that we jointly engage in the process of creating successful and safe designs.

“When designing buildings, students need to be aware of the safety issues behind it all.

“Meanwhile, when dealing with engineering issues, the fire department must be aware of the design processes behind buildings – so this partnership is both essential and mutually beneficial.”

UQ will support and enhance QFRS’s organisational capability and activities, providing them with access to world-renowned staff and research laboratories.

QFRS will conduct internships and facilitate training exercises for UQ students and staff, exposing them to live fire scenarios.

Police and Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said the agreement would provide wide-ranging benefits not only for the QFRS and UQ, but also for all Queenslanders.

“Both QFRS and UQ are committed to improving fire safety in the community and have high levels of knowledge and experience doing so,” Mr Dempsey said.

“This partnership will allow UQ students and researchers to undertake internships and specific fire safety research with QFRS and give researchers access to the resources they need to undertake larger scale fire research testing at the School of Fire and Rescue Training’s Live Fire Campus.

“QFRS will also benefit, with the partnership giving Building Approval Officers access to UQ tertiary level fire engineering courses right here in Queensland.”

Media: UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology, Madelene Flanagan, m.flanagan@uq.edu.au or + 61 7 3365 8525.