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NFPA recognizes individuals for accomplishments in fire and life safety with awards presented at NFPA Conference & Expo

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) presented four awards to recognize achievements in fire and life safety today at the 2013 NFPA Conference & Expo.

The recipients of the 2013 Harry C. Bigglestone Award for Excellence in Communication of Fire Protection Concepts are Kristopher Overholt and Ofodike (D.K.) Ezekoye for their paper, “Characterizing Heat Release Rates Using an Inverse Fire Modeling Technique.” Overholt is a graduate student in civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering; Ezekiel is professor in the mechanical engineering department of the same school.


This paper explores an innovative concept that could prove key to the future of fire protection. The winners have developed an algorithm that uses the temperature readings from sensors inside a compartment to find the heat release rate curve of the fire. This contribution directly leads to an enhanced understanding of real fires and opens the way to new forensic reconstructions. As a token of appreciation, Springer has made the paper Open Access at


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. The award will be formally presented at the General Section Reception at the NFPA Conference & Expo on Tuesday, June 12.


The recipient of this year’s Standards Medal is Philip J. DiNenno of Baltimore, Maryland. He is president of Hughes Associates, Inc. where he has worked for 28 years. This award is given in recognition of outstanding contributions to fire safety and the development of codes and standards. It is the highest award given by the Standards Council.


DiNenno is honored with this award for his longtime commitment and contribution to NFPA technical committees. Among the many technical committees on which he has served are Gaseous Fire Extinguishing Systems, Merchant Vessels, Water Mist Fire Suppression Systems, Halon Alternative Protection Options, Fire Investigations and Fire Tests. DiNenno also served on the NFPA Standards Council from 1998-2007, as Chair from 2002-2007. Currently on the NFPA Board of Directors, he is a member of the Executive, Finance and Governance committees.


The winner of the 2012 Industrial Fire Protection Section Fire Prevention Week Award isDow Corning Co. Ltd. Songjiang plant in Shanghai, China. This award was created to recognize businesses that promote fire and related safety messages to its employees and their communities during Fire Prevention Week.


This year, that honor goes to the Dow Corning Co. Ltd. Songjiang plant in Shanghai, China for its “Have 2 Ways Out” training initiative. The training program for the 360 employees of Dow Corning’s Shanghai plant was designed to utilize the plant’s emergency response team as first responders, with the local fire brigade as backup second responders. The program’s focus was on training and drills, with additional information provided on their web site, in a printed brochure, and on posters and banners displaying fire prevention themes throughout the plant. Accepting the award is Songjiang Plant Manager, Sven Eckert.


The winning project of the 2013 Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal was “Determination of Fire Hose Friction Loss Characteristics.” The Fire Protection Research Foundation Medal recognizes a Foundation project completed in 2012 that best exemplifies the Foundation’s fire safety mission and the collaborative approach to execution that is the hallmark of all Foundation projects. The winner is recommended to the chair of the Foundation’s Board by an awards committee made up of members of the Board, Research Advisory Committee, and NFPA technical staff members.


This research project, co-authored by Joseph L. Scheffey, director of R&D at Hughes Associates, Inc., addresses the problem of calculating friction loss in fire hoses, a common task for fire fighters responsible for operating fire apparatus pumps. The study develops “baseline friction loss coefficients for the types of fire hose commonly used by today’s fire service, and identify any additional performance characteristics that should be considered for friction loss calculations.” Three unrelated fire service facilities participated in the experimental program and conducted field tests, and the collective effort required to conduct this study has allowed the project to address the topic far beyond the available funding resources.


About the Fire Protection Research Foundation
The Fire Protection Research Foundation plans, manages, and communicates research on a broad range of fire safety issues in collaboration with scientists and laboratories around the world. The Foundation is an affiliate of NFPA.


About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
NFPA is a worldwide leader in fire, electrical, building, and life safety. The mission of the international nonprofit organization founded in 1896 is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. NFPA develops more than 300 codes and standards to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other hazards. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed at no cost at

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