NFPA presents 2022 awards for fire and safety

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At its annual Conference & Expothe National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) presents a series of awards recognizing outstanding achievements in the industry. The Harry C. Bigglestone Award and Standards Medal were among two of the honors bestowed at the 2022 NFPA Stars at Night gala, celebrating the brightest stars in fire and life safety.

Harry C. Bigglestone Award

The Harry C. Bigglestone Award is granted annually to a paper appearing in Fire Technology that best represents excellence in the communication of fire protection concepts. This award honors the memory of Harry C. Bigglestone, who served as a trustee of the Fire Protection Research Foundation and was a fellow and past president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize from NFPA.

The 2022 Harry C. Bigglestone Award winnerDr. M. Z. Naser, is a tenure-track assistant professor at the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences and is a member of the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute for Science and Engineering (AIRISE) at Clemson University. He also serves on several international editorial boards as well as code building committees, including ASCE, ACI, PCI, and fib. Naser received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University and holds M.S. and B.S. degrees from American University of Sharjah, UAE.

Additionally, Naser’s research group is currently creating causal and explainable machine learning methodologies to discover new knowledge hidden within systems belonging to the domains of structural engineering and materials science to help realize a functional, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure. Many of his current projects cover structural and fire engineering, tailoring properties of construction materials, and retrofitting of aging structures.

As a first-generation minority in STEM, Naser is committed to diversity and inclusivity and is motivated to give back to his community. He is actively looking for challenging research questions and ideas, motivated collaborators, and students, especially those from disadvantaged, under-represented, and marginalized groups.

Standards Medal

The Standards Medal is the most distinguished award given by the NFPA Standards Council, recognizing and honoring outstanding contributions to fire safety.

The 2022 recipient of the Standards Medal is Kerry M. Bell, a corporate fellow and principal engineer for fire sprinkler and pump equipment at UL.

Since 1976, Bell has been involved in UL’s testing and certification activities related to a variety of fire suppression products, including portable fire extinguishers, special hazard extinguishing systems, as well as fire sprinkler and pump system equipment. He has authored dozens of technical articles/papers related to these products and has served as a speaker for numerous seminars and events sponsored by organizations such as NFPA, Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), and other industry associations.

Bell obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Fire Protection and Safety Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration degree from Northern Illinois University. He was one of the key technical contributors in the design of UL’s award-winning large-scale fire test facility, which opened in 1996, and he has been a primary technical contributor on more than 50 UL standards, both new and revised.

Finally, Bell was a member of NFPA’s Standards Council from 2004 to 2019, serving as chair for six years.


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