NFPA Presents Awards for Contributions in Fire and Life Safety at Annual Conference & Expo

The 2017 NFPA Conference & Expo is being held June 4-7 at the Boston Convention Center.

BOSTON – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) presented four awards that recognize outstanding achievements in fire and life safety here at the NFPA’s Conference & Expo.

The 2017 Harry C. Bigglestone Award went to Enrico Ronchi, Erica D. Kuligowski, Daniel Nilsson, Richard D. Peacock, and Paul A. Reneke, for their paper entitled “Assessing the Verification and Validation of Building Fire Evacuation Models.”

The paper is intended to open a discussion on the main issues associated with the definition of a standard procedure for the verification and validation of building fire evacuation models, including the definition of the acceptance criteria of a standard verification and validation protocol. The winning paper was chosen from a pool of over 100 eligible papers.

Lead author Enrico Ronchi, an associate senior lecturer in evacuation modelling in the Department of Fire Safety Engineering at Lund University (Sweden), will accept the award on behalf of his co-authors.

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 was a fellow and past president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize.

The 2017 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal is awarded to “Lithium-Ion Batteries Hazard and Use Assessment – Phase 3: Sprinkler Protection Criteria for Lithium Ion Batteries Stored in Cartons.”

The research project is the third phase in a project aimed at developing a guidance protocol for fire protection of lithium-ion batteries for storage. The reports seeks to provide technical data to NFPA 13 to fill the knowledge gap in understanding if lithium-ion batteries in storage require different storage.


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The Foundation Medal will be presented to Project Contractor Benjamin Ditch of FM Global on behalf of all those involved in the project.

The Research Foundation Medal recognizes the Fire Protection Research Foundation project completed in the previous year that best exemplifies the Foundation’s fire safety mission, committee to overcome technical challenges, and the collaborative approach to execution that is the hallmark of all Foundation projects.

The winner of the 2016 Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention Week Award is Siemens Building Technologies for their Fire Prevention Week program. Siemens partnered with Marvel Comics to script, design, and produce a digital and printed quad-fold comic poster.

The comic illustrates how an emergency voice communication system can help spur building occupants to action. During Fire Prevention Week 2016, Siemens distributed the comic strip and related materials in high traffic zones throughout their six buildings at corporate headquarters and 104 field offices, local schools and fire departments.

The award recognizes businesses that promote fire and related safety messages to their employees and communities during Fire Prevention Week.

The recipient of this year’s Standards Medal is Kenneth E. Isman, a clinical professor in Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland. Over the years, Isman has served on the building code/safety to life, fire pumps, water cooling towers, water tanks and sprinkler committees, and was a member of the NFPA Standards Council for seven years.

Today, he currently serves on the NFPA 101, 5000, 20, 13, 13D, and 13R committees. Isman has contributed significantly to the handbooks for NFPA 13, 13D, and 13R, and played an integral role in creating the first edition of NFPA 25.

He was also a contributor to the Fire Pump Handbook and the Fire Protection Research Foundation High Volume/Low Speed Fans and Sprinkler Operation project. Isman incorporates 22 NFPA codes into his course curricula at the University of Maryland.

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


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