Dr. Guylene Proulx, OC, Scholarship
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Guylene Proulx

About Dr. Guylène Proulx, OC

Guylène Proulx, an outstanding researcher in human factors and human behavior related to fire, received her Ph.D. in architectural planning/environmental psychology from the Université de Montréal in 1992, following which she joined the Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council Canada (NRC) to conduct research in human factors related to fire. For that research, she received international acclaim from all of the diverse interests in the fire safety community.


Her research included investigations in: human response to fire alarms, fire alarm audibility and signal recognition, effectiveness and impact of voice communication messages on evacuation, typical actions taken after fire alert, evacuation movement, timing of escape, time to start evacuating, social interaction during emergency, performance of fire warning systems and photo luminescent marking, evacuation strategies for various occupancies and peoples with disabilities.


She was a great communicator of fire protection engineering and fire safety science and an ambassador for the entire profession by raising public awareness of fire safety issues. She was also an effective teacher; serving as an Adjunct Research Professor at Carleton University and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Fire Protection Engineering at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute. As well, she helped develop and teach the SFPE Short Course on Human Behavior in Fire Emergencies.


Dr. Proulx was the recipient of significant awards from NRC and the Government of Canada for efforts in sharing research findings and promoting fire safety, including the 2007 Public Service Award of Excellence from the Government of Canada. Less than a week before her death in 2009, she was informed by the Office of the Governor General of Canada that she had been named an Officer of the Order of Canada, the most prestigious award given to Canadian civilians in recognition of "a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation.”


She was passionate about giving back to her profession. She was a member of SFPE’s Board of Directors and of the Educational and Scientific Foundation Board of Governors. She was a Past President and Board member of SFPE’s National Capital Region Chapter. As well, she was a key member of SFPE’s Task Group on Human Behavior in Fire.


Guylène Proulx was considered by all who knew her to be one of the pre-eminent researchers and communicators in the field of human behaviour in emergencies. Her enduring legacy, as stated by her international colleagues, is the body of her research work. This scholarship honors her legacy by building on the research in her chosen profession.

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