Ann Jeffers (right) accepts the Bigglestone Award on behalf of her team from Kathleen Almand of the Fire Protection Research Foundation.
This year Harry C. Bigglestone Award for Excellence in Communication of Fire Protection Concepts is shared by two papers: “Probabilistic Evaluation of Structural Fire Resistance” by Ann Jeffers, Qianru Guo, Kaihang Shi, and Zili Jia of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan and “Predicting Human Behavior During Fires”by Erica Kuligowski of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Out of the 44 papers published in 2013 which were eligible for the award, these two papers were first among those nominated by the Editorial Board and then judged to be the best papers by the panel formed by the Associate Editors.
“Probabilistic Evaluation of Structural Fire Resistance” and “Predicting Human Behavior during Fires” both appeared in quarterly 2013 issues of Fire Technology, which is available for free access to NFPA members.
Jeffers’ paper reveals the full power of the probabilistic approach to evaluate the fire resistance of a structure given the uncertainties of key fire and structural parameters. It serves as a major boost for the structural reliability of fire protection and will help close the gap with more mature structural hazard calculations such as wind and earthquakes where the probabilistic evaluation is already in use.
Kuligowski’s paper serves as an in-depth review of human behavior models during building fires, an emerging topic gaining great strength and a promising future in Fire Technology. In addition, the paper also addresses the importance of model robustness and validation while identifying knowledge gaps within the material.
The Harry C. Bigglestone award is presented annually, along with a $5,000 cash prize, to the author(s) of the most outstanding paper submitted to Fire Technology during the previous calendar year, as voted by the International Editorial Board. This award is named after the late Harry C. Bigglestone, a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and fellow and president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.