The International Water Mist Association (IWMA) describes their evolution over 20+ years and discusses their annual conference and webinar offerings
The International Water Mist Association (IWMA) was founded on 15th April 1998. Then, the organisation had no office, no employees and did not initiate any events. However, there was a target and that was to bundle what was happening on an international level, to collect and spread knowledge and to communicate matters of common interest.
After some time of casual exchange of thoughts and ideas, IWMA held its first International Water Mist Conference in Vienna in 2001. Its aim was to introduce the technology as well as the organisation to the world of firefighting.
This conference is an annual event which has been held in cities like London, Paris, Prague, Copenhagen and Istanbul. In 2021, the only event solely dedicated to the water mist technology will be held in Warsaw, Poland, on 27th and 28th October.
Apart from the conferences, IWMA offers webinars on “water mist for data centres”, “water mist for the healthcare sector” or “water mist for heritage buildings”. These are of course just a few of many more applications.
The technology itself was invented more than a hundred years ago by F.E. Myers. But it was only after the adoption of the Montreal Protocol in the late 1980s and a devastating fire on a passenger ferry in 1990 that water mist as a means of fire protection took off. The two events paved the way and made clear that there was a need for alternatives in firefighting. And thus, water mist as a fire extinguishing agent was re-discovered which called for the establishment of an organisation.
Today, IWMA still is the only association dedicated exclusively to water mist firefighting. IWMA is based in Hamburg, Germany. From its office, close to the famous Jungfernstieg, it supports the continued development, research and applications engineering of generic water mist systems. Head of the office and general manager is Bettina McDowell, who has been working for the organisation since 2012. IWMA president is Are Wendelborg Brandt of RISE Norway.
Members of IWMA are, amongst others, manufacturers, distributors, insurance companies, scientific institutes etc. from countries like the USA, Egypt, but also from European countries like the UK, Denmark and Italy.
Since 1998 IWMA and its members are committed to the technology and its further development. They have seized opportunities, amongst those was a research project sponsored and organised by the IWMA on “Scaling of Fire Suppression Characteristics in Machinery Spaces” carried out on behalf of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Nowadays IWMA holds a consultative status at the IMO.
Members of the three IWMA committees (the Board of Directors, the Scientific Council and the Marketing Group) act as representatives for the organisation in a number of expert and working groups as well as technical committees such as the CEN TC 191 / WG 10, NFPA 750 and 25, VdS 3188, IMO (International Maritime Organisation) and EMSA (European Maritime Safety Agency of the European Commission).
IWMA donate the annual “IWMA Young Talent Award” for the author of the best master or Ph.D. thesis.
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Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, International Fire Buyer
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922