Dr Herodotos Phylaktou

This MSc is an unusual and relatively new field of learning, producing a new breed of professional Engineers, that I'm proud to have helped develop in the early 1990's, initially with undergraduate programmes in Fire Science and Engineering and since 1998 with this unique MSc. 

This is a multi-disciplined field that has inputs from the whole spectrum of traditional engineering disciplines (Chemical, Civil, Mechanical etc) and has even wider applications in everyday life, driven by one of the most fundamental of human needs of safety/security/protection in both our place of work and in our private place of living. The MSc programme focusses on the fire and explosion hazards in industry in particular in energy generation/ utilisation and chemical processing as well as in fire safety in commercial and residential buildings.

Our teaching in this area is supported by a strong research team and unique laboratory facilities that address both the fire and explosion hazards in residential and industrial buildings and processes. This research leads to better understanding of the dynamics of fire and explosion development in different scenarios which in turn results in the design of better safety systems. As part of the MSc research project many of our MSc students get to do their project on current areas of interest, contributing thus in the expansion of knowledge in the field of their study. Many of our MSc students are inspired by this and take their study to the highest level by becoming PhD students within our group or elsewhere. 

The vast majority of our MSc graduates get multiple job offers from industry even before they have completed their studies. We are one of the very few programmes of study that has their own Jobs Board where our industrial partners have the opportunity to advertise vacancies to our current and ex-students most of whom keep in active contact with us. 

Most of the important industry players are also actively contributing to the teaching of our MSc students by giving presentations on our short courses while others send their employees to attend these same courses as part of their Continuing Professional Development needs. In these courses our MSc students have the unique opportunity to build up their professional contacts and networks. 

I believe that maintaining close industrial links and being actively involved in industry is essential in delivering an up to date course. Many of our research programmes in recent years have been funded by Knowledge Transfer Partnerships which aim to transfer knowledge from Academia to Industry. I personally get involved in the design of fire and explosion protection systems for industrial and residential applications and carry out investigations of fire and explosion accidents and have acted as Court Expert Witness in several cases. This experience finds its way back to our teaching. Currently I am also a member of the Committee of the UK Explosion Liaison Group and a reviewer for several Scientific Journals. 

Many of our students take the part-time option of the course while in full employment and many are admitted on the basis of their professional experience in lieu of the standard academic entry requirements. The course under these circumstances is a great challenge for these students but the rewards are immense as they can now start advancing a career in their chosen field, previously rendered stagnant due to the lack of recognisable academic qualifications.

For me one of the highest rewards, that keeps me in Academia, is seeing our students develop through the course to the point of becoming capable, self-driven learners, ready to take on new challenges with the confidence that they now have the skills to handle such challenges. 

My colleagues and I look forward to welcoming you to this exciting programme of study and guiding and supporting your progress through to your successful completion of the programme. 

Find out more
To find out more about my research activities, the students I am supervising and some of my recent publications, please visit my staff page.

If you have any specific questions about the content of the programme, please contact me via e-mail: h.n.phylaktou@leeds.ac.uk.

For any questions relating to the admissions process and/or your current application please contact our admissions team: pgchemical@leeds.ac.uk.