Karolien van Rossom (Antwerp office) to become first Belgian marine fire investigator.


She was one of the few women at Gent University to choose a study in technical science - Marine engineering and Naval architecture –meanwhile she is one of the few, if not the only, female marine surveyor  in the (male) maritime world. Currently she is the first woman outside the fire brigade to attend the Fire Investigator training course at the renowned Instituut Fysieke Veiligheid (Institute for physical safety) -together with her Dutch BMT-colleague Teun Strijbosch- to strengthen BMT’s fire investigation capability in the future. The course at IFV is aimedat, eventually, acquiring the prestigious, accredited title of Certified Fire Investigator by the U.S. Institute for Arson Investigators (IAAI).

The need to expand the fire investigation team is obvious: increasingly, we are asked to investigate the causes of  fire on board ships. Marine fires are usually substantial and extremely complex and the impact is often just as profound. A number of recent fire calamities that occurred at various places all over the world and received significant publicity in (maritime ) media, emphasize just that. These circumstances often make claims settlement and investigation into cause extremely complex, especially when it turns out that ‘the silent witnesses’ of the fire on site were lost. This is often the case and complicates damage investigations to a considerable extent.

Adding Karolien to the fire investigators will mean a considerable strengthening of the team, not only in a geographical sense (she will become the first Belgian marine fire investigator), but also in terms of technical capability. After all, Karolien already has a MsC degree in Electromechanical engineering and knowing that most fires have an electrical origin, means that this is a significant step forward.

In addition to increasing its staff of marine fire investigators, we are currently also adding support services from the wider BMT Group, says Yrjo Migchelsen, BMT’s team lead. This will include BMT specialists with a deep knowledge and experience in the field of chemistry, fire safety, risk assessment and mechanical engineering.

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