IFSJ Leaders in Fire & Safety Conference: Meet the Speakers

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The IFSJ Leaders In Fire & Safety Conference promises to be a must-attend event for anyone in the Middle East fire and safety industry, and will bring together some of the most prominent figures in the industry as speakers and panellists to discuss the biggest issues facing leaders in the industry.

Among them are experts in business strategy, emerging trends, regulations, and innovation from the region. Attendees can expect to hear from an array of speakers, including industry leaders, top executives, and influencers, who will share their insights and perspectives on the latest developments and challenges in the field. The diverse range of speakers promises to make the conference an informative and engaging experience for all attendees.

IFSJ is proud to introduce the speakers and panellists who will be sharing their insights with attendees to the exclusive one-day event.


H.E. Excellency Brigadier Expert Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, Assistant Director General of DCD for Fire and Rescue Affairs


Terry Johnson, Technical Service Manager at ENOC and President of The Institutions of Fire Engineers GCC Branch

Terry Johnson’s career began in the UKFRS and progressed to international development with the United Nations Development Program (UNIDO) as an ‘Technical Assistant Expert’ Fire Safety Training in the Oil & Gas sector. He spent some time at the Fire Service College UK looking at international development subsequently seconded to Dubai Civil Defence (DCD) UAE.

He represented DCD on various Emergency Crisis committees and working groups as a Senior Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services Professional, disciplined for All Operational requirements, including Major Emergency Incident planning and crisis liaison. Now, Johnson is currently engaged by Emirates National Oil Company ENOC, looking at sustainable and environmental solutions to match the resilience needed for asset and response team protection for ENOC assets. 


Jason Traynor, General Manager at MSA

Jason is the General Manager of Global Fire Service Products and Integration Leader of MSA Bristol for MSA Safety. In this role, he is responsible for establishing the global vision, strategy and growth initiatives for MSA Safety’s global portfolio of Fire Service Products and provides leadership for the integration of MSA Bristol. Upon joining MSA in 2012 as the Product Group Manager for Respiratory Protection, Jason revolutionized MSA’s approach to Fire Service Marketing and was critical to the successful launch of the G1 SCBA and M1 SCBA platforms.

Sinclair Duffie, Chief Fire Officer – Nawah Energy Company

Sinclair Duffie joined the Scottish Fire Service in 1983 with Central Region Fire Brigade. In 1993, he moved into Fire Prevention as Station Officer in and remained there and promoted to Station Manager in 2004. Duffie spent the remaining nine years of service between operations, training, and community safety before retiring in early 2012 with 29 years’ service. In 2012, Duffie joined ADNOC offshore operations on Das Island as Incident Command System Coordinator responsible for major incidents response planning and development. In 2017, he joined Nawah as a Team Leader. He was promoted to his current position which he has been held since 2018.  Duffie has been active on the Middle East conference circuit. He currently lives in Al Dhannah city in Abu Dhabi.

James Clarke, Fire Officer with Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service

James Clarke is Station Commander with 24 years operational experience. He has worked in research, development and procurement within the fire service. He has been instrumental in moving one the most influential services in the UK towards best practice with regards to post fire decontamination. Clarke has previously presented at the UKs first seminar on occupational cancer in the fire service on post fire decontamination and implementing policy and procedures.

Howard Leedham MBE, Managing Director, ESID DMCC

Howard is the Managing Director of ESID DMCC, a Special Situations and Global Consultancy company based in Dubai. He has lived and worked in the Middle East for much of the past 15-years and is a licensed “Security Expert” with the Security Industry Regulatory Authority. He is a member of the Security Professionals Association, and was most recently the Industry Ambassador to Intersec 2022.

Captain Essa Ahmed Al-Mutawa, Director of the Control and Monitoring Department at DCD


David Campbell, General Manager – Dubai Civil Defence Emirates Safety Laboratory

David Campbell is General Manager for Dubai Civil Defence’s Emirates Safety Laboratory, educated in Applied Sciences – Fire Technology, Fire Engineering and Environmental Sciences – Natural Resource Management and Digital Transformations with 33 years working in the sector of which the past 13 years supporting the Middle East region.

Alexander Castellanos, Head of Fire & Life Safety – Middle East at WSP

Castellanos has close to two decades of experience in the Fire and Life Safety Engineering field. He graduated from the prestigious University of Maryland Fire Protection Engineering program from where he went on to practice in New York City, China, and London. He relocated to the UAE in early 2012 and is currently the regional Head of Fire and Life Safety for WSP in the Middle East where his focus is on client care and technical excellence of the team. Alexanders experience ranges from working with fire and egress modelling early in his career to site supervision and client, authority and stakeholder liaison in recent times. He was part of the UAE Fire Code 2018 development committee and has continued to support similar roles in developing governance for semi-governmental entities.

Sawsan Dahham, Head of Fire and Life Safety at Dar

Sawsan is a Fire and Life safety specialist and a code expert, currently assigned as the Global Head of Fire and Life Safety at Dar. She is also an Authorized NFPA instructor.  
She has acquired an extensive experience having worked on all types of major projects such as mixed-use complexes, airports, health care facilities, and prestigious urban developments located in the Arab Gulf region, the Middle East, and Africa. She is also a contributor to publications in the fire and life safety industry.

Cristina Perez Domper, Regional Manager at Intertek Building and Construction

Cristina is a civil engineer with Master’s of Science in Structural Engineering. She gained her experience in the fire industry in Spain and for the last 4 years has been in the Middle east acting as Regional Operations Manager for Intertek. She specialises in product testing and certification for building products focused passive fire protection, and actively works to increase awareness on the importance of a comprehensive approach to fire safety. 

Mark Fenton, Sales Director – EMEA & APAC at Amerex Corporation

Mark is the Sales Director for Amerex Corporation, part of McWane Group, looking after the company’s full range of fire protection products and systems across EMEA and APAC. Prior to that he spent 3 years as a business consultant working with companies in the Middle East and the UK and 20 years with Honeywell where his last role was General Manager for MEA & EEU looking after their life safety and security businesses.

Engineer Salma Humaid, Head of Engineering Section at DCD

Engineer Salma Humaid is an accomplished fire safety engineer at Dubai Civil Defense. Her work plays a critical role in ensuring buildings and structures in Dubai meet the highest fire safety standards. She has helped implement fire safety regulations and codes, delivered presentations at various conferences, and worked closely with architects, contractors, and engineers to promote fire safety education and training. Her contributions have been recognised numerous times, and she continues to make Dubai a safer place for residents through her expertise in fire safety engineering.

Dr Susan Lamont is Director, Fire Group Leader Middle East at Arup

Dr Lamont has worked in the fire protection industry for over 20 years in the UK, USA, Middle East and parts of Asia and Africa. She is a chartered engineer, a Fellow at Arup, a Fellow of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) and a board member of the Fire Protection Research foundation. She has worked though all stages of design and construction on a diverse range of projects.

Paul Pope, Group Business Development Director at Global Fire Equipment

Paul Pope is Group Business Development Director at Global Fire Equipment. Paul has been active in the fire and security industry since 1985 and has held senior management positions in some of the leading international fire and security companies. Pope has been active in the Fire Industry Association (FIA). He also is a member of the Building Fire Safety Systems Section of the NFPA in the USA.

Sajid Raza, CEO of Butler Engineering Middle East

Sajid Butler is the CEO of Butler Engineering (ME) & Butler Engineering Int’l Ltd (UK), responsible for overall operational steering of the organization in Middle East, Europe and Asia. His all-round contribution to fire consulting fraternity globally led him to be part of several UL Standards Technical Panels (UL-STP), IAS Technical Advisory Council (IAS-TAC), FCIA Standards Committee, International Firestop Council (IFC) Inspector and Special Inspection Training Committees.

Bob Rea, Director and Lead facilitator at BR Training Solutions Ltd

Bob is a recognised professional in crisis management, with over 30 years of experience of emergency management and preparation. He was awarded the Queens Fire Service Medal (QFSM) for his work leading the implementation of the UK National Urban Search and Rescue capability under the UK government’s New Dimension project. Bob established BR Training Solutions Limited to develop organisational response plans for middle eastern students in the USA.

Steven Reilly, Principal Engineer, Fire & Life Safety Lead MENA at Cundall

Steven is the Fire & Life Safety Lead for the MENA region at Cundall, with over fifteen years experience in fire & engineering consultancy. He has vast experience in Fire Safety, from carrying out Fire Risk Assessments & Audits on new and existing international developments to leading multidisciplinary teams. Zero Carbon Design 2030 has seen Cundall commit to only designing zero carbon projects by 2030.

Muzaffer Ahmed Syed, Regional Manager (Firestop) at fischer FZE

Muzaffer is the Regional Manager – FireStop for Fischer FZE. He manages the Technical and Commercial aspects of the FireStop within the Middle East and North Africa Region from the Regional HQ in Dubai, UAE. He is an Associate Member of The Institution of Fire Engineers, UK, and has been involved in the fire protection industry for over 10 years. He is involved in providing firestop solutions, testing, certification, liaising with the authorities, and providing educational seminars to consultants and contractors.

Peter Stephenson, Director, Fire Safety Division at Hydrock

As a Director (Fire Engineering) at Hydrock, Stephenson co-ordinates the companies international expansion into the Middle East and consultancy activities including developing fire strategies, fire and emergency response strategies and fire systems analysis for projects. His experiences in fire safety engineering and rail infrastructure projects includes working as a Business Development Manager at Warringtonfire, Associate Director at Buro Happold, Senior Fire Safety Engineer for Network Rail, Fire Safety Officer for Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and as a consultant in both large multi-disciplinary and small independent practices.

Joanne Taylor is Director of De-Wipe and Reach & Rescue

Jo Taylor is an experienced entrepreneur International Sales Director and Managing Director having built two businesses with in the Emergency Services Industry with unique products over the last 13 years from start-up to global success. She has a wealth of knowledge and respect in the Fire and Rescue Industry and was previously a personal assistant to CEO’s for 16 years working in the Utility and Construction industry. She was honoured in NY2020 by HMQ with an MBE for safeguarding Fire Fighters.

Peter Van Gorp, Technical Director Fire, Life Safety and Loss Prevention at HKA

Peter Van Gorp has over twenty-five years of experience working as a Fire Engineer and has spent more than fifteen years of his career working in the Middle East. Peter is highly experienced in the areas of fire, life-safety and loss prevention and has been engaged on various building-fire and life-safety projects ranging across schools, hotels, hospitals, large shopping malls, multi-occupancy high-rises and industrial developments. 

Duncan J. White, Managing Editor at International Fire and Safety Journal

Duncan has worked in the fire industry for over 35 years, having started his career as a firefighter in 1987. Following almost 30 years as an operational fire officer he has continued his involvement with the fire industry as an editor within global publishing.

Tom Wood, Regional Director, Middle East at Vortex Fire

Tom Wood is a Fire Engineering professional with over 10 years working experience, and over 6 years based in the Middle East. His work has included airports, rail, commercial offices and residential buildings, malls and warehouses. He is an experienced fire consultant with a thorough knowledge of NFPA, SBC, IBC, EN and British codes and standards. He develops practical and cost-effective fire safety strategies and alternative fire engineered solutions using relevant guidance and present these to Authorities for final approval.

Other Panellists

Also featuring on panel sessions throughout the day are:

  • Engineer Pramod Challa, Senior Engineer, Dubai Civil Defense
  • James Grew, Deputy Divisional Director at Hydrock
  • Andy Hall, Owner and General Manager of Hall Fire and Safety Consultants
  • Carlo Loveri, Business Continuity Manager at Emirates Steel
  • Sam Malins, CEO at Reacton Fire Suppression
  • Even Ottesen, International Sales Manager at DAFO Fomtec AB
  • Mrinaal Sapru, Head of Regional Sales for Dubai Civil Defence’s Emirates Safety Laboratory
  • Eiad Shami, Senior Consultant, Fire & Life Safety at WSP;
  • James Varley, Associate Director at WS Atkins
  • Steve Walker, Director of Fire Safety at Hydrock.
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