The purpose of the Chief Donald J. Burns Memorial Research Grant is to
utilize information modeling as a means of improving infrastructure
safety and fire service preparedness. The grant is named in memory of
FDNY Assistant Chief Donald Burns. Chief Burns died in the collapse of
the World Trade Center Towers on September 11, 2001, while setting up
his command post to direct the evacuation.
Funding for this grant has been provided by Bentley Systems
. Bentley Systems is a global leader in providing architects,
engineers, geospatial professionals, constructors, and owner-operators
with comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure.
Applications are considered for projects that research, develop or
apply information modeling as a means of improving infrastructure safety
and fire service preparedness. The grant will fund one baccalaureate, masters or doctorate student research project that
applies information modeling and mobility to improving fire service
safety when training for, responding to, and operating during building
emergencies. Specifically, the grant will be awarded to research focused
on the use of information management technology that:
- Provides "real-time” building-specific information to key fire
department personnel during and in response to emergency operations;
- Utilizes the principles of fire dynamics to predict how fire service operations will impact conditions within a building;
- Provides information to fire department personnel regarding the design
of a building’s structural framework, structural fire protection, and
how the fire may impact structural stability during a fire;
- Predicts how humans will behave in a specific structure during a
building fire and how their actions will impact fire department
In 2013, the grant was awarded to The University of Texas at Austin.
In 2014, the grant was awarded to the University of Maryland.