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Claire Benson covers a collection of stories on fire and explosion science in the Victorian era; including the dangerous nature of the first plastics, how the creation of explosives actually saved lives, and how the invention of the Bunsen burner led to us understanding the make – up and expansion of the universe. Claire shows how fire is often a common thread through development and disaster in society.

This event is particularly suitable for ages 7+.

Dr Claire M. Benson is a fire and explosion scientist with over 10 years experience researching and lecturing on explosions and fire safety at London South Bank University. She has a PhD in chemical engineering, specialising in high – pressure oxygen system safety. Her research areas include fire suppression, fire and arson investigation and risk management. Her current research work covers fire suppression in aircraft cargo holds (EU horizon2020 EFFICIENT), hydrogen hazards in aircraft propulsion systems (EU Horizon 2020ENABLEH2), and the failures of building and planning control to ensure adequate fire safety. She has conducted research for the London Fire Brigade, Sellafield Ltd and the Ministry of Defence, and collaborated with the British Standards Institution, the Health and Safety Executive, Research Institute of Sweden, and numerous universities, and aerospace and industrial engineering companies.

The doors will open at approximately 5.30pm, with a prompt start at 6pm.