FORUM Mid-Career Researcher Award 2021 for Professor Bart Merci


The International FORUM of Fire Research Directors selected Professor Bart Merci to be the recipient of the 2021 Mid-Career Researcher Award for his extensive contributions to the science of fire engineering. The award recognizes exceptional achievement and demonstrated leadership in the fields of fire safety science or fire protection engineering made by those in mid-career.

The FORUM recognizes his numerous important contributions to the fire safety science and engineering (FSSE) field, in particular through modeling of turbulent combustion in CFD simulations, and fire and smoke dynamics in enclosures. Professor Merci's world-leading research in the major existing CFD codes for FSSE, is based on a systematic and comprehensive approach, with much attention to the validation of the models and their limits of applicability. In addition to model development, the approach also involves a thorough assessment of the sensitivity of the results to the user’s assumptions in the simulations.

The FORUM especially acknowledges his exceptional contributions to FSSE education. Professor Merci is one of the three founders of the International MSc in Fire Safety Engineering (IMFSE) program which is considered a true landmark, given the strong international collaboration of first-rate universities. His outstanding teaching skills are broadly recognized, as evidenced by the number of leading universities where he has been invited as a guest professor.

Professor Merci joins Patrick van Hees, Kazunori Harada, Stanislav Stoliarov, Randall McDermott, Yi Wang, Guillermo Rein and Thomas Rogaume as prior awardees.

International FORUM of Fire Research Directors

The FORUM is a group of leaders of fire research organizations from around the world that meet on an annual basis to discuss emerging fire related research topics throughout the world. It has been active since 1991. Its aim is to reduce the burden of fire (including the loss of life and property, and effects of fire on the environment and heritage) through international cooperation on fire research. An important membership requirement is that the applicant be responsible for establishing research priorities and allocating resources for fire safety research in their parent organization.

The Mid-Career Researcher Award

The Mid-Career Researcher Award recognizes exceptional achievement and/or demonstrated leadership in the fields of fire safety science or fire protection engineering made by those in mid-career. It is intended to honor an individual, who has been in their career between 10-20 years. The prize consists of a plaque and an honorarium. Recipients of the award are selected and announced annually and the awards are delivered at the triennial symposia of the International Association for Fire Safety Science. The intent of this award is to encourage continued impact in the fields of fire safety science or fire protection engineering.

Evaluation Criteria

Nominations will be evaluated based on (1) the significance and originality of the basic and/or applied research in the fields of fire safety science or fire protection engineering and (2) the overall impact of the work on fire science, allied fields, and/or society at large. Please consider nomination of a diverse pool of recipients. Nominations should provide the following information regarding the candidate:

  • specific, clearly defined, recent significant research achievement,
  • description of the impact of the achievement on the international fire science community or society,
  • a list of the candidate’s 10 most relevant publications with proper citation and titles.