John Galvin BSc(Hons) IEng MIFireE

john-galvinLocation: Milton Keynes, UK

Organisation: Fire Investigation (UK) LLP 

BSc(Hons) Technology
Diploma in Design & Innovation
IEng MIFireE
Diploma in Pollution Control
City and Guilds 208 Pts 1 and 2 Aeronautical Engineering
IAAI-Certified Fire Investigator
IAAI-Evidence Collection Technician
Advanced Professional Award in Expert Witness Evidence

John Galvin is one of four partners in FIUK. In addition to his investigation and training roles he is involved with the production and monitoring of organisational systems and policies.

After leaving school John studied aeronautical engineering and went on to a role in research and development. In 1981 he joined the London Fire Brigade and in 1987 started climbing the ranks. After periods as a trainer, watch officer and command officer he joined the fire investigation group in 1995. For the next 16 years John was a full time fire investigator leading an average of 150 investigations per year involving accidental and deliberate fires. These incidents included fatalities, homicides and fires with high financial losses.

IFP: Have you worked on any unusual or high profile projects?
JG: I have been fortunate to have gained experience at many fires in London during my career as a fire investigator. Some of those incidents have made headlines in the national press and have required my attendance in Coroners Court and Crown Court to give evidence.

IFP: What attracted you to become registered as an IEng?
JG: One of my colleagues had registered as an EngTech and we discussed where fire investigation, as a discipline, would fit in with the requirements of the Engineering Council.

IFP: How did you become registered as an IEng?
JG: Although my degree was recognised by many professional engineering institutions this did not include the IFE. I therefore had to proceed through the individual route panel. This required a professional review of my career and experience mapped to the IPD objectives based on the requirements of the Engineering Council competencies dealing with the skills and knowledge of the discipline of fire engineering.

Having satisfied the first hurdle I was also required to produce a proposal for a technical report, the subject of which was accepted by the panel. 

My technical report, on the subject of resistance heating of electrical connections, was researched, experiments carried out and the final document produced and submitted.

Once the panel had agreed that my technical report satisfied the relevant criteria I was then invited to attend a technical report interview where I was questioned, in depth, on my report, its conclusions, its limitations and how I could go on to continue this line of research. Having satisfied the interviewers with regards to my report I was then invited for a professional review interview that examined, in depth, the professional review document previously submitted some months before.

I can say without hesitation that this interview process was very testing and thorough. I have attended many interviews on both sides of the table and this was without doubt one of the most challenging. So when I was informed of my success I felt a great sense of achievement.

IFP: How has professional registration as an IEng benefitted your career?
JG: The post nominal has been noted on my business cards and on the company website with positive feedback.

IFP: What advice would you give someone considering professional registration as an IEng?
JG: I would recommend it as a valuable recognition of the competence of the successful applicant but the amount of work required to achieve registration should not be underestimated.

IFP: What are your future goals?
JG: I am always looking for relevant training to increase my effectiveness in my role. I have a few ‘irons in the fire’ for early next year.