Born to Engineer

Yusuf Muhammad
Industrial Design Student 2006

Automist turns a standard monobloc tap into a fire protection device. Intended as a more affordable alternative to sprinklers, Automist is a fire protection innovation which provides developers with design freedom and flexibility for open plan spaces, in new builds, refurbishments or loft conversions. The unique device Automist was extensively tested by BRE and shown to suppress fires which would have otherwise flashed-over, bringing active fire protection to homes where previously it was cumbersome or impractical.

Yusuf Muhammad is a co-inventor of Automist who form a company called Plumis to commercialise the product. It was formed off the back of winning two University-wide competitions, organised by Imperial College Business School, the Imperial Ideas Challenge and Business Challenge. Our motivation is to help introduce affordable home fire protection into the mainstream and bring active fire protection to homes where previously it was cumbersome or impractical.

Of its achievements, it boasts beating 400 entries from 22 countries to win the Dyson Award. James Dyson said: “This simple but clever device should become a permanent safety feature in the home. Smoke alarms are essential part of modern life but have remained fundamentally unchanged for forty years. Automist not only detects a fire but can put it out as well.” The British Library recently named Automist one of the top 15 inventions of the last decade.

“One of the things I really like about engineering is that it can have a very big impact on the world – it’s great to have that as a driver and a motivator. You spend the majority of your time at work so you might as well do something that you’re passionate about and that you love.”

Yusuf Muhammad
Co-Inventor, Automist