Advisory Group, Member (2008-present)
CTBUH Journal, Editorial Board (2008-present)
International Research Seed Funding, Peer Review Panel (2012)
Conference, Session Chair (Kuala Lumpur, 2003)
Conference, Speaker (Mumbai, 2010; New York, 2005)
Simon joined AECOM in January 2012 as their Director of Fire Engineering. Before joining AECOM, Simon worked at WSP where he led the growth and development of their Fire Engineering team for 10 years. His considerable energy, technical expertise and strategic business development has been fundamental to establishing teams as credible providers of fire engineering services on a global scale.
Simon is an experienced, professional engineer with a grounding in the practicalities of on-site delivery coupled with 20 years of experience in the delivering of specialist design consultancy services. Very much more than a fire engineering consultant, Simon is an inspirational leader and an expert in all aspects of building design, able to contribute and represent a multi-discipline consultancy on his own in complex tender, delivery and problem resolution negotiations.
Having worked on a wide range of complex projects with some of the world’s best known signature architects, Simon is renowned for his problem solving capabilities and an ability to communicate solutions clearly and with empathy to the relevant audience.
Respected as a world leading specialist in Performance Based Fire Safety Design, Simon believes that the need for quality of service, an understanding of the built environment, practical innovation and a client focussed mentality are the fundamental to his role in society as an engineer.
Simon has led and contributed to the fire strategy design for a large number of high rise projects including the CTBUH Award winning Beetham Tower in Manchester, The Shard and “Strata” in London, India Tower in Mumbai, the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai and many others around the world.
Simon is a Chartered Engineer through the Institution of Fire Engineers and registered in Abu Dhabi under the House of Expertise protocol for Fire & Life Safety. For the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Simon is a Steering Group member and a former chair of their Fire & Life Safety Working Party.
A keen road and off-road cyclist, Simon can often be found cruising along a quiet country road, or throwing himself carelessly down a steep rocky mountainside. Having adopted a bicycle as his main form of transport he gave up owning a car in 2010 as a demonstration of his commitment to sustainable design and living.
Before joining AECOM, Simon was at WSP for 10 years, Arup Fire for 3 years and Warrington Fire Research Consultants (now Exova) for 4 years. Prior to developing his career as a Fire & Life Safety specialist, Simon was a Risk Assessment engineer for British Nuclear Fuels limited and a commissioning engineer at Sizewell B nuclear power station (responsible for leading teams on site setting to work components on the primary and secondary reactor systems). Before working at Sizewell, Simon held a research position at the University of Manchester studying the hydrodynamics of submerged bodies and complex airflow regimes over gas turbine engine nacelles.
His published books and research papers in the field of Tall Buildings include:
LAY, S. (2007). Alternative Evacuation Design Solutions for High-Rise Buildings. Journal of the Structural Design of Tall and Special Buildings. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Volume 16, Issue No.4. UK. December 2007. pp.487-500.
LAY, S. (2005). Fire Safety Challenges in U.K. High-Rise Residential and Mixed-Use Design. Proceedings of CTBUH 7th World Congress, 16th-19th October 2005. New York, USA. Published by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Chicago.
MCGRAIL, D., LAY, S. & CHOW, W. K. (2004). Fire Engineering the Tallest Building in the Historic City of Manchester, UK. Proceedings of CTBUH Conference, 10th-13th October 2004. Seoul, Korea. Published by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, Chicago. pp.735-742.