Graduate wins top award for security study
Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Communities
Dr Matt Hopkins, accepting the award on George Smaul's behalf, with Lord Peter Imbert. Picture courtesy of Paul Hyatt.
A University of Leicester graduate has won a top industry award for his study of risk management at Dublin Airport.
Graham Smaul, who completed his MSc in Security and Risk Management at the University of Leicester's Department of Criminology last year, received the award for best academic dissertation from the Association of Security Consultants (ASC).
Graham's dissertation, ‘An examination of the risk management and business continuity management policies and procedures at Dublin Airport, Ireland’, identified possible threats to the airport including terrorism, organised crime, fire and industrial action.
Graham, 33, spent time at the airport and interviewed key staff as well as industry experts to verify his findings.
Originally from Clontarf, Dublin, Graham has been based in Baghdad, Iraq, since completing his course, where he works as a risk management consultant for Dubai-based security firm Shield Corporation.
He has previously been based in Mogadishu, Somalia, and was working in Triploi, Libya, during the Arab Spring.
He said: "I was honoured and thrilled to receive such a prestigious award and that my work was recognised by the ASC, as having relevance and important implications for the security industry as a whole.
"Both my degree and dissertation gave me a wide range of skills that have assisted me to in my current role, including an in-depth understanding of the topics involved in Security Risk Management.
"Importantly they have helped me to think critically and to approach any topic by from various perspectives.
"We have been approached to conduct risk assessments for various airports throughout Iraq."
Graham also paid tribute to Stephen Madden of the Dublin Airport Police, the gatekeeper for the research, who has passed on since the work was completed.
The ASC presented Dr Matt Hopkins, of the University's Department of Criminology, with the Imbert Prize on behalf of Graham at the organisation's Annual Awards Luncheon at the Royal Air Force club, London on June 21.
Dr Hopkins said: "The dissertation presents a thorough overview of a number of key issues in relation to risk management; including how to manage risk and how to apply risk management practices in a risky environment such as an airport. It deserves the award as it is thorough, original and of a high academic standard.
"Graham's studies not only show an awareness of key theoretical debates in relation to criminology, risk and security, but also apply these theoretical concepts to real risk situations. Indeed, this underlines the need for academic studies of risk management."
The award is named after Lord Peter Imbert, a former Metropolitan Police Commissioner and later Lord Lieutenant of Greater London.