Achieving a PhD in Fire Safety Engineering before taking on the practical side.

Abdullah Alakalabi

Role at Cahill Design Consultants

Graduate Fire Engineer

Experience working in Fire Engineering:

3 Years

Top Tip for someone new to the industry:

Keep building on your knowledge. There are a lot of opportunities and skills to learn, so look to gain new skills and develop them.

Abdullah’s Fire Engineering Journey 

My journey in fire engineering started when I was working for a Saudi oil company. The company offered short courses, and one was on how to carry out a fire risk assessment. This highlighted to me that no one else was really doing anything in fire engineering; I had always been taught if you want to study something, study something new and emerging. A supervisor at this company had studied Fire Engineering and advised me to go and get experience and do it. Not just the academic side but hands-on work as well.

This inspired me to move to the UK and go to university. After 9 years of studying, achieving a BEng(Hons) in Fire Engineering, a Master’s degree in Fire Safety Engineering, and a PhD in Fire Safety Engineering, I graduated in 2020.

Working at CDC is my first job after university, and I am now getting to take on practical work. I am enjoying the transition from theory to practical, working with other people to learn from them to better my experience.

What I would like to do in the future

Every day, I learn something, and I am keen to focus on further training to keep enhancing my knowledge. There are a lot of different sectors to gain experience in – I would like to work on a football ground or health care project. An airport and an open-air event would also be interesting.

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