Profs. Huang and Ronchi to be awarded Proulx and Magnusson Early Career Awards at 13th IAFSS Symposium in Waterloo, Canada

In 2017 the International Association of Fire Safety Science (IAFSS) created two new early-career awards to recognize meritorious achievement by members of the IAFSS who are early in their careers and have contributed a body of work that is of significance to any area of fire safety science. The two awards are distinguished by the period of time from completion of the candidates’ most recent educational degree.

The recipient of the 2020 Proulx Award is Dr. Xinyan Huang, Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He is recognized for his research contributions that have impacted fire safety science and technology through: (1) pioneering understanding of smoldering wildfires by innovative experiments, developing the first-ever numerical model, and performing multidisciplinary research with the ecology and geoscience community, (2) improving our understanding of the flammability of materials and fire dynamics in the microgravity space environment, and (3) developing theories and techniques to understand the wire and cable fire and associated dripping phenomena. His work has been presented in over 40 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Combustion and Flame, Fire Safety Journal, and  International Journal of Wildland Fire. Dr. Huang has been very active in the fire science community, serving on multiple editorial boards and conference organizing committees. He has previously been recognized with multiple awards, including the Bernard Lewis Fellowship and the Sugden Best Paper Awards by the Combustion Institute and several best poster awards from the IAFSS and AOAFST.

For the Proulx Award, candidates must be within five years from completion of their most recent degree at the time of nomination. The award commemorates Dr. Guylene Proulx (1960-2009), an expert in human behavior in fire at the National Research Council Canada and IAFSS Board member at the time she passed away.

The recipient of the 2020 Magnusson Award is Dr. Enrico Ronchi, Associate Professor at Lund University, Sweden. He is recognized for his numerous research contributions that have covered a wide range of areas concerning human behavior in fire and fire evacuation. Dr. Ronchi’s research includes work on different fire-related domains such as the verification and validation of evacuation models, pedestrian/crowd evacuation dynamics,  emergency signage design, virtual reality and wildland-urban interface fires. He is also actively involved in teaching activities in the fire safety domain (being responsible for three courses in human behavior in fire and evacuation areas) and being the responsible at Lund University for the International Master of Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) Program arranged with Ghent University and The University of Edinburgh. His work has been published in over 50 peer-reviewed publications, and he commented in prestigious journals such as Natureandthe Physics of Life Reviews. He is currently Associate Editor for the journals Fire Technologyand Safety Science. He has also worked to translate his work into practice through his involvement with multiple committees and publications with the ISO, SFPE and Italian and Swedish Governments.

For the Magnusson Award, candidates must be within five to ten years from completion of their most recent degree at the time of nomination. The award commemorates Prof. Sven Erik Magnusson (1938-2014), pioneer of parametric fires and risk management at Lund University, Sweden, and a driving force in creating the first education curriculum for fire safety engineering.

The IAFSS Proulx and Magnusson Early Career Awards will be presented at the 13thIAFSS Symposium in Waterloo, Canada in April, 2020. Each recipient will deliver at the Symposium a review paper drawn from their body of work.