13th IAFSS Symposium Invited Speakers Announced

We are please to announce the five invited speakers for the 13thIAFSS Symposium.  The Symposium will be held from April 27 to May 1, 2020 at the University of Waterloo, Canada.  Organized triennially since 1985, the IAFSS Symposium is the premier fire safety science meeting attracting researchers, students, and fire protection engineers from across the globe.  The invited speakers were nominated and voted on by the entire IAFSS Committee.  The final selection takes into consideration proposed topics, geographical region, and gender and is made by the Symposium Program Scientific Co-Chairs.  One speaker is chosen by the local host.  Our five speakers, experts representing a wide range of fire safety topics, are:

Mark Finney:“The Wildland Fire System and Challenges for Engineering”

Mark A. Finney is a Research Forester with the US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory.  He has worked at the Fire Laboratory since 1993 on fire behavior, fire growth modeling and risk analysis, and landscape fuel management.  He leads a fire behavior research team to discover fundamental physical explanations for wildland fire behavior using laboratory and field-scale experiments.  He was responsible for development fire models for the national Wildland Fire Decision Support System.  He holds a Ph.D. in wildland fire science from Univ. California at Berkeley (1991), an M.S. in Fire Ecology from University of Washington (1986), and a B.S. in Forestry from Colorado State University (1984).



Anne Steen-Hansen: “Learning from fire investigations and research – from reactive to proactive fire safety management”

Anne Steen-Hansen has been professor in Fire Safety Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) since August 2019, and has also a part-time engagement as a Chief Scientist at RISE Fire Research in Trondheim.  She received her PhD on the topic smoke production in 2002. Her field of interests includes materials’ reaction to fire, fire investigation, fire statistics, domestic fire safety, industrial fire safety and fire terminology. Anne is the director of the newly established Fire Research and Innovation Centre (FRIC) in Norway, and is President of EGOLF (European Group of Organisations for Fire Testing, Inspection and Certification) since 2016.



Erica Kuligowski: “Evacuation Decision-making and Behavior in Wildfires: Past Research, Current Challenges, and a Future Research Agenda”

Dr. Erica D. Kuligowski is a research social scientist in the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Fire Group of the Fire Research Division of the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Kuligowski holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, as well as a B.S. and M.S. in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research interests are human behavior in emergencies, focusing on decision-making and response of people under imminent threat, and the role that emergency communication plays in this process.




Tara McGee: “Evacuating First Nations during wildfires in Canada”

Tara McGee is a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.  She grew up in Ontario and completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Waterloo.  Her PhD is from the Australian National University.  Dr. McGee’s research program focuses on the human dimensions of wildfire, including wildfire risk perceptions, evacuation, mitigation and preparedness, and recovery.  Most of her research is based in Canada, including the First Nations Wildfire Evacuation Partnership, and research in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.  She is also engaged in international research.



Jinhua Sun: “Progress on research of fire behavior and fire protection of lithium ion battery”

Professor Jinhua Sun received his Ph.D. from University of Tokyo in 1999. Now he is the Vice Director of SKLFS and the Director of Energy Fire safety Institute. He has made substantial accomplishments in fire safety in new energies, building and industrial fire safety, fire risk assessment and so on. He has published over 260 SCI journal articles and 11 academic books or book chapters in these research areas. He chaired more than 20 important National and International research programs. He was elected to the “Hundred-Talent Program” of Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2002, and he has won the First Prize (1993) and Second Prize (2006) of National Award for Science and Technology Progress.