Kunio Kawagoe Gold Medal

Award, Eligibility and its Privileges

The Kunio Kawagoe Gold Medal is awarded by the IAFSS as a prestigious recognition of life-long contributions to and career achievements in fire science and engineering.

Nomination Process

Nominations are sought from IAFSS members.  The justification should not exceed two pages in length and should describe the nominee’s accomplishments and their significance. Self-nominations are not accepted. A nominee may or may not be a member of IAFSS, while the proposer must be a member. Nominations are confidential and should not be disclosed to a nominee. The awardee will be contacted around January 28, 2023.

Selection Considerations

The past recipients of the Kunio Kawagoe Gold Medal made significant and lasting contributions to fire science and engineering through innovation and impact of their publications. Their research findings frequently led to paradigm shifts in fire regulations, in fire standards and in practical applications of fire safety science and engineering around the world. Some past recipients trained research students and young fire safety engineers, produced important textbooks and monographs, and often dedicated themselves to fire safety education. They were active in the international fire safety community.

Selection Body

The recipient of the Award will be selected by the IAFSS Awards Committee

Professor Kunio Kawagoe

Professor Kunio Kawagoe pioneered the development and use of scientifically based fire analysis, developing the relationship between the compartment burning rate and the size of an opening (Rb = 5.5•Ah0.5), in a seminal paper on compartment fire modelling published in 1958. His contributions, especially on fuel-controlled compartment fires and the structural analysis of the fire induced effects in columns and beams, laid foundation to modern fire science and engineering, and underpinned the early development of performance-based fire safety design, especially in Japan. Professor Kawagoe was the Director of the Building Research Institute between 1969 and 1973, when he was appointed Professor in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the Science University of Tokyo. His career included appointments of the Deanship of the Faculty at the Science University of Tokyo in 1980 and, in 1986, the Directorship of the Centre for Fire Science and Technology. He served as an IAFSS Vice-Chairman from its founding in 1985 until 1991. Professor Kawagoe was a role model and dedicated teacher of young fire safety engineers. He passed away in 1994. (Extracted from T Ishii, Fire Science and Technology 14, 1994, pp i-ii, and from In Memoriam, Proceedings 5th Fire Safety Symposium, 1997, p vii.)

Past Recipients

The Medal was first awarded at the 4th IAFSS Symposium in Ottawa in 1994. Its past recipients include:

  • Dr Alexander Robertson (1994, 4th Symposium, Ottawa)
  • Dr Philip Thomas (1997, 5th Symposium, Melbourne)
  • Mr Harold “Bud” Nelson (1999, 6th Symposium, Poitiers)
  • Professor Dougal Drysdale (2002, 7th Symposium, Worcester)
  • Professor Sizuo Yokoi (2005, 8th Symposium, Beijing)
  • Professor Geoffrey Cox (2008, 9th Symposium, Karlsruhe)
  • Professor James Quintiere (2011, 10th Symposium, Maryland)
  • Professor Ian Thomas (2014, 11th Symposium, Christchurch)
  • Craig Beyler (2017, 12th Symposium, Lund)
  • Ai Sekizawa (2021, 13th Symposium, Waterloo)
  • Gunnar Heskestad (2023, 14th Symposium, Tsukuba)