Prof. Toshisuke Hirano (1939-2014)

hiranoWe are surrounded by sorrow and sadness by the news that Prof. Hirano’s passed away during the week of the 11th IAFSS conference in Christchurch.  A message was given at the last day of the conference by the new IAFSS chair Prof. van Hees.  It will be difficult to think about the world around us and about our fire safety community without Prof. Hirano being its member.

 Prof. Hirano was a gentleman, a scholar, a colleague, a mentor and a pre-eminent leader in fire safety research.  He was one of the founding fathers of the International Association for Fire Safety Science, and for 18 years served as the Association Secretary, Vice-Chairman and the Chairman.  He was the local organiser for the 2nd Symposium and acted as program chair for the 5th and 6th Symposia.  Through his work, he has defined who we are as the fire safety community.  He mentored our past chair Prof. Dlugogorski when he took his first steps as a fire safety researcher in Australia.

 His passing away is a great loss to everyone.  As a scientist, he has made important contributions to the archival literature on fires and explosions, including seminal papers on flame spread.  But his contributions are too many to mention.  He has authored papers in almost every area of fire research.

 In the Asia-Oceania region, he was the one who brought together fire researchers from Australia, China, Japan and Russia to establish the Asia-Oceania Association for Fire Science and Technology.  We all own him a great deal of gratitude for everything he has done for improving fire safety in our region.

 With this message we would like to pass our condolences to Prof. Hirano’s family, and to all our colleagues in Japan and around the world.

 Prof. Hirano will remain in our memories and in our thoughts. An obituary will follow on this website.


Prof. B. Dlugogorski                                                 Prof. P. van Hees

Immediate Past Chairman of IAFSS                  Chairman of IAFSS