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NFPA presents awards for contributions in fire and life safety at NFPA Conference & Expo

June 11, 2018 The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) presented four awards to recognize outstanding achievements in fire and life safety at NFPA’s Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

Harry C. Bigglestone Award

The Harry C. Bigglestone award is given annually to the paper appearing in Fire Technology that best represents excellence in the communication of fire protection concepts. This award honors the memory of Bigglestone, who served as a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and who is a fellow and past president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize.

The 2018 Harry C. Bigglestone Award goes to Ruben Van Coile (Ghent University, Belgium and University of Edinburgh, UK), Georgios P. Balamenos (Rice University, Texas US, Manesh D. Pandey (Waterloo University, Canada), and Robby Caspeele (Ghent University, Belgium, for their paper entitled “An Unbiased Method for Probabilistic Fire Safety Engineers, Requiring a Limited Number of Model Evaluations.” This paper provides a computationally efficient methodology for application to structural fire safety. Results of this work can be applied with existing models and calculation tools, and allows for a parallelization of model evaluations.

Lead author Ruben Van Coile, an assistant professor of structural fire safety at Ghent University (Belgium), will accept the award on behalf of his co-authors.

Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal

The Research Foundation Medal recognizes the Fire Protection Research Foundation (Foundation) project completed in the previous year that best exemplifies the Foundation’s fire safety mission, technical challenges overcome and collaborative approach to execution that is the hallmark of all Foundation projects. There were 24 eligible projects for the award. An awards committee consisting of representatives from the Research Foundation Board, Research Advisory Committee, and NFPA technical staff reviewed summaries of the projects along with staff assessments of how they meet each of the criteria.

The 2018 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal is awarded to e-Sanctuary: Open Multi-Physics Framework for Modelling Wildfire Urban Evaluation.” The project describes a novel framework for modeling wildfire urban evacuations. The work argues that an integrated approach requires consideration and integration of all three important components of Wildfire Urban Interface (WUI) evacuation: fire spread, pedestrian movement, and traffic movement. The report includes a systematic review of each model component, and the key features needed for the integration into a comprehensive toolkit.

This project was made possible by funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and was led by Enrico Ronchi (Lund University, Sweden), Guillermo Rein (Imperial College of London), and Steven Gwynne (National Research Council of Canada).

The Foundation Medal will be presented to Steven Gwynne, a senior research officer at the National Research Council of Canada; he will receive the medal on behalf of all those involved in the project.

Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention Week Award

The winner of the 2017 Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention is Mark Fessenden, director of Industry Relations at Johnson Controls, Inc. Fessenden is active on several NFPA Technical Committees, which include Exposure Fire Protection, Residential Sprinkler Systems and Gaseous Fire Extinguishing Systems. He is certified by the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies in water-based systems layout and special hazard suppression systems. Mark has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from New England Institute of Technology and an MBA from Corban University.

The 2017 Fire Prevention Week Award winner’s campaign was co-sponsored by a local Boy Scout Troop in Marinette, Wisconsin, and also supported by the local fire department. Youth had to complete activities such as fire extinguisher training using a simulator, testing and changing out batteries in smoke alarms, creating an evacuation plan, and more.

Standards Medal

The 2018 recipient of the Standards Medal is Bill Koffel, founder and president of Koffel Associates, a fire protection and safety engineering design and consulting firm. Koffel has been a member of NFPA since 1979 and taken part in 27 different technical committees. He chairs three NFPA Technical Committees, and recently chaired the Correlating Committee for NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code ® for nine years. On top of his work in the NFPA Technical Committees, Koffel has also taken on the role as an educator, producing over 60 technical presentations and publications, and taught classes on various NFPA codes including NFPA 101, NFPA 13 and NFPA 25.

This award recognizes and honors outstanding contributions to fire safety, and the development of NFPA codes and standards. This award is the most distinguished award given by the NFPA Standards Council.

For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

Contact: Lorraine CarliPublic Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275