National Careers Week: “We’re constantly given the opportunity to better ourselves”

At OFR, we’re dedicated to investing in the future, whether it’s through cutting-edge technologies, ground-breaking innovations or, as highlighted in this article, our exceptional team members. With a stellar line-up of engineers who are among the finest in their field, we recognise the importance of continuously nurturing their talents. It’s our commitment to empower them to reach their fullest potential every single day.

Now, as we celebrate National Careers Week, we’re thrilled to introduce you to some of our colleagues who are not only excelling in their roles but also actively pursuing additional training to enhance their skills. Today that’s Lutfi Ramadhan, a fire engineer based in our Bicester office who has shared insights into his dedication to fire engineering and a glimpse into the intricacies of his role.

Engineering has long been a passion of mine – something I’ve been interested in since I was studying for my BSc and MSc in mechanical engineering. I followed that with a PhD in Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Queensland, Australia. With nine years of engineering studies under my belt, I am well and truly committed to the sector – focusing on fire engineering to help protect people and the environment. I aim to contribute to achieving a fire-safe built environment, ultimately making a tangible difference in our society.

My role at OFR

OFR has been my work home for almost three years. It’s the perfect place for someone with my interest and skills, and I love that no two days are the same.

My primary responsibility is devising fire safety solutions for buildings – both new constructions and those undergoing refurbishment. I also advise the design team of the projects on fire safety measures, ensuring compliance with building codes and relevant standards. To date, I have developed comprehensive fire strategies for a diverse range of buildings, and I have actively contributed to Computational Evacuation Modelling (CEM) projects and led the Human Behaviour and Evacuation Modelling Technical Focus Group within the company.

My career trajectory 

One of the great things about OFR is that everyone comes from a different background – making for a really accessible and inclusive work environment in which I believe anyone can forge a career.

In my case that was transitioning from the world of academia to consultancy. Though different sectors, they’re surprisingly interconnected and I’ve found that my focus on research and laboratory work has significantly furthered my career in consultancy, particularly in the technical aspects of my role and I believe I’ve made considerable progress in my career thanks to this so far.

My career is also progressed by the sheer nature of OFR – a forward-thinking company that’s supporting the team every step of the way. The company supports my membership in the IFE, IAFSS, and SFPE and we’re constantly given the opportunity to better ourselves, with extensive training and opportunities for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). While specialist offshoot groups allow us to share best practice; I’m on our Human Behaviour and Evacuation Modelling Technical Focus Group and delivered my own CPD sessions to colleagues on the topic.  

Inclusivity within our workplace encompasses more than just technical aspects; it also embraces cultural diversity. As someone hailing from Indonesia, where English isn’t the primary language, I occasionally encounter communication challenges. While I am proficient in spoken and written English, certain nuances can still pose difficulties. However, I am committed to overcoming these hurdles and continually enhancing my communication skills; I’m fortunate to be surrounded by supportive colleagues who actively contribute to my growth in this area.

The future

The journey ahead with OFR is brimming with excitement, promising a future free of limitations. 

Collaborating with my colleagues, I am empowered to delve into uncharted territories, pioneering innovative approaches to fire safety within the built environment – an area that’s garnering more and more attention. This growing awareness signals a promising trajectory, suggesting that in the years to come, fire safety will emerge as one of the most critical elements of the built environment. I am eagerly anticipating the boundless opportunities that lie ahead, and I’m excited to contribute to shaping the future of fire safety.