Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Acceptance Speech of the 2016 Lund Award

27th of September, Denver, Colorado. SFPE Conference and Expo.
by Dr Guillermo Rein, Imperial College London.

At the podium delivering the acceptance speech in Dever. Photo by M Stromgren.

I am honoured to receive the Lund award and I am thankful to the Awards Committee and the Society of Fire Protection Engineering for having chosen me. I am humbled too, especially when I read the list of winners that came before me. I must also thank my students, collaborators, sponsors and my family; if I did something of merit, it was because of their abundant support all the way.

Our mission, the mission of all of us attending the conference, is to fight this evil, fire. We aim to reduce the worldwide burden of accidental fires, and protect the lives of people, their property and the environment. Most attendees contribute to this mission through their work in industry; I, like many others, contribute to this mission through my work in academia. Industry and academia together, what a powerful partnership that is of such great importance to society.

Because I am both an engineer and a scientist, I see the value of both partners and I am very keen in growing this partnership which I see is based on three main pillars:

Students: academia forms the student, the engineers of the tomorrow, who then go to industry to start their professional journey and serve society.

Knowledge: academia creates new knowledge, things we did not know before, that add to the immense collective of human wisdom.

Innovation: Knowledge per se is not useful to engineering, but when new knowledge is combined with previous knowldge and applied in new forms and devices to solve actual problems faced by society, then magic happens.

By working together, we advance our mission more and protect society better  by delivering more and better engineers, knowledge and innovation. So now you would understand better why I am so thankful that the Society has chosen me, an academic, to celebrate contributions to the professional recognition of the Fire Protection Engineer.

I would like to wrap it up and finish with the words of the Goethe, the German writer, who once said:
 “Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do”