Domingos Viegas Recipient of 2016 IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award
The International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) inaugurated the IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award at the association’s first International Wildland Fire Safety Summit held in 1997 in Rossland, British Columbia, Canada. The award has been bestowed on eleven individuals since that time.
The IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award is presented to a deserving individual within the international wildland fire community who has made a significant contribution to wildland firefighter safety, either directly on the fireline; or indirectly through management, cultural changes, or through wildland fire research. Their contribution is frequently beyond their normal everyday job expectations — sometimes at the potential risk to their own career, and their example can encourage others to act in a similar manner.
Selection of the recipient is presently based on nominations reviewed by a committee comprised of previous award recipients and typically but not always a member of the IAWF Board of Directors. A number of individuals were again nominated this past year for the IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award. The final selection is always difficult as the nominees are all very well deserving of the award.
Professor Domingos Viegas of the University of Coimbra, Portugal received the 2016 IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award at a dinner held during the 14th International Wildland Fire Safety Summit on January 31, 2017 in Barcelona, Spain.
Dr. Viegas’ career has focused on wildland fire as both a researcher and educator for more than 30 years now. His primary interest has been in the understanding of fire behaviour in order to improve firefighter safety. Among his many accomplishments have been:
- Development of an organizational structure to investigate the factors influencing fire behavior (i.e., Association for the Development of Industrial Aerodynamics).
- Realization of an indoor research facility at Lousã, Portugal that also serves in the training of Portuguese firefighters in regards to fire behaviour and their safety.
- Creation of a scientific research area at Gestosa, Portugal to study fire behaviour in an outdoor setting,
- Investigation into the fire behaviour associated with several fatal wildfire incidents in Portugal and elsewhere.
- Dissemination of his and the findings of his team in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles, books, and oral presentations at conferences and short courses.
Professor Viegas is without doubt one of the major actors in improving firefighter safety both regionally and globally. He is a most deserving recipient of the IAWF Wildland Fire Safety Award.
2017 IAWF Student Scholarships
In an effort to continue to promote the scholarly pursuits and graduate level training within the global wildland fire community, in 2017 the International Association of Wildland Fire (IAWF) will again be awarding two graduate-level scholarships, each valued at $3,000USD to IAWF members who are Master of Science/Arts (MSc/MA) or Doctoral (PhD) students studying wildland fire or wildland fire related topics.
We encourage applications from students studying any aspect of wildland fire be it from the perspective of physical, ecological or social science to less traditional subject areas as well: we are looking through this scholarship to recognize and support any type of research relevant to the global wildland fire community.
The application period will be open between 6 March 2017 and 24 April 2017. Award winners will be announced in June. Scholarships will be awarded to the top MSc and top PhD applicants based the student’s submitted essay. Please see the guidelines and application information for details.