SFPE Foundation Announces Nine Recipients of Annual Awards

SFPE Foundation Announces Nine Recipients of Annual Awards 


August 21, 2023: GAITHERSBURG, Maryland – The SFPE Foundation, a charitable organization focused on enhancing the scientific understanding of fire and its interaction with the social, natural, and built environments, is pleased to celebrate the nine recipients of its 2023 awards, as follows: 
    • Bart Merci, PhD, Professor, Ghent University, Belgium – presented the prestigious Arthur B. Guise Medal, endowed by R. Keith Guise; will deliver the Guise Keynote Address on the ever-increasing importance of competency in fire safety engineering during the 2023 SFPE Annual Conference & Expo.
    • Silvia Arias, PhD, Axel Mossberg, PhD, Daniel Nilsson, PhD, and Jonathan Wahlqvist, PhD – presented the Jack Bono Award for Engineering Communication, endowed by UL Research Institutes, in recognition of their article in Fire Technology titled: “A Study on Evacuation Behavior in Physical and Virtual Reality Experiments,” focused on validating results obtained from virtual reality to further establish this method in the field of human behavior in fire.
    • Jacob Derrick, undergraduate student, Glasgow Caledonian University, United Kingdom – presented the Dr. Guylène Proulx, OC Scholarship, for his work to identify behavioral characteristics of neuro-diverse individuals in evacuation scenarios and assess the impact adverse reactions may have on the required safe escape time.
    • Zhuojun Nan, PhD and Pascale Vacca, PhD – presented the Student Scholar Awards. Zhuojun Nan is recognized for her research on a practical workflow for structural analysis under realistic fire scenarios, and Pascale Vacca is recognized for her microscale research on Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fires in Mediterranean areas and outstanding volunteer contributions to the SFPE Foundation’s WUI Working Group Initiative. 
    • Oluwatobi Gbenga Aluko, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia – presented the Frederick W. Mowrer Global Scholar Award, endowed by Kathleen Almand, for his research on the performance of biofibrous concrete exposed to elevated temperatures, including kenaf fiber reinforced concrete. 
“The annual SFPE Foundation awards and scholarships help us deliver on our mission by recognizing and supporting the outstanding work and dedication of academic, professional, and student leaders across the global fire engineering community,” stated Leslie Marshall, Ph.D., Director, SFPE Foundation.  “On behalf of the SFPE Foundation Board of Governors, we are pleased to celebrate the impact and accomplishments of our nine 2023 award recipients.” 
The awards will be presented by Manuel R. Silver, Jr., Chair, SFPE Foundation Awards Committee, and Peter Senez, Chair, SFPE Foundation Board of Governors, during the SFPE Annual Conference & Expo in Washington DC/Bethesda, MD, USA, on October 8-12, 2023; registration for the conference is available at sfpe.org/annual23. Nominations for the SFPE Foundation’s 2024 awards will be solicited in early 2024. 
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Bart Merci, PhD 
Silvia Arias, PhD 
Axel Mossberg, PhD 
Daniel Nilsson, PhD 
Jonathan Wahlqvist, PhD 
Jacob Derrick 
Zhuojun Nan, PhD 
Pascale Vacca, PhD 
Oluwatobi Gbenga Aluko 
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About the SFPE Foundation: 

Established in 1979, the SFPE Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization focused on enhancing the scientific understanding of fire and its interaction with the social, natural, and built environments through strategic investments in students, research, and knowledge transfer.  Learn more at sfpe.org/foundation. 

SFPE Foundation media contact:  

Kevin Mlutkowski 
Director, Community Engagement, Marketing, and Communications