Sjirk completed a PhD in safety culture in construction at Eindhoven University of Technology and became a policy advisor at theNetherlands Ministry of the interior.
In 2001 he started one of the first internet communities on disaster planning following implementation of the EU Seveso guidelines on Technological Disaster Risk Reduction.
Sjirk has been a freelance consultant since 2011 undertaking various projects involving risk assessment, inspection and safety culture. In 2016 he was deployed by The European Commission on a Civil Protection advisory mission to Ukraine (Solotvyno) and is currently employed by the Network in two projects. He is deputy team leader and work package leader in a DG ECHO funded project in Ukraine which has the aim to improve the disaster risk reduction in a region and he is involved in a project of DG ECHO to evaluate to modules of the Union Civil Protection Mechanism. In the recent past he was expert in the EuropeAid capacity building project in Turkey.