About Flash Points

We know there is a lot of fascinating fire safety research being done in universities across the UK, but this research is rarely shared effectively with other institutions or with the wider industry. When it is shared, it is often complex, difficult to digest, and only available in dry academic papers. For this reason, we invite you to take part in FLASH POINTS: a science communication competition for students researching fire across the UK.

Students participating in the competition will present their research to the general public in short and engaging videos. With this competition we want to promote the student research being done in this diverse community, and reward excellence. We also believe this initiative will help to connect the fire safety community, and help strengthen the network between students, academics, and industry.

The competition is kindly sponsored by the Stephen Mackenzie.

Competition Rules

The competition will be open to undergraduate, postgraduate students and recent graduates (1 year from graduation) based in the UK whose topic of research falls into the areas of fire science and fire safety engineering.

Students will submit a 3-minute original video to summarise their research. Students will have to explain their work, why it matters, and what impact it will have on society. The talk should be aimed at the general public, not experts or research peers. Here is a great example.

The video should be uploaded to YouTube following these simple steps:

1. Sign in to YouTube.
2. At the top right, select Create a video or post
3. Select the file you’d like to upload.
4. Send a link to the video at sfpelondonstudentchapter@gmail.com

The talks will be evaluated by our panel of judges with the following criteria:

  • Structure and content of presentation (40 %)
  • Creativity - Effective use of the medium (30 %)
  • Presentation style (30 %)

Key Dates

1st October 2020 - Deadline for submission of video

Winner will be announced shortly after submission deadline


  • The winner of the competition will receive a £350 cash prize
  • The name of the competition winner will be inscribed on a shield which will contain the names of all past and future winners.
  • A certificate will be emailed to all participants.
  • The winning and runner up videos will be uploaded to the SFPE London student chapter YouTube channel and will be available on our website

Panel of Judges

Judith Schulz, Associate Director at Arup London
Karl Wallasch, President of the SFPE UK chapter & Founder of Trigon Fire
John Adam Gales, Assistant Prof. Civil and Fire Engineering York University Canada
Stephen Mackenzie, Independent fire, security & resilience expert