Sara S. Mcallister
Research Mechanical Engineer
My current research has focused on understading the ignition behavior of woody material, including ignition criteria and the effect of fuel and environment variables.
My research interests include understanding fundamental combustion and heat transfer processes related to the spread of wildfires.
This research is important because new models and understanding of fire spread cannot be attained without a clearer picture of the underlying processes. In particular, these fundamentals are vital to understand and predict crown fire behavior. Crown fires can be both dangerous and damaging, and no satisfactory tool exists to explain and predict them. A better understanding of crown fires can thus benefit everyone at all levels in the wildfire community.
Why This Research is Important
In the past, I've examined the ignition criteria of wood for variations with external heat flux, oxidizer flow velocity, and moisture content. I have also examined the effect of ambient pressure and oxygen concentration on the ignition behavior of polymers.
- University of Nevada, Reno, BS Mechanical Engineering, 2004
- University of California, Berkeley, MS Mechanical Engineering, 2006
- University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, 2008
Publications & Products
- Finney, Mark A.; Maynard, Trevor B.; McAllister, Sara S.; Grob, Ian J. 2013. A study of ignition by rifle bullets.
- Maynard, Trevor; Finney, Mark; McAllister, Sara; Grob, Ian. 2013. Ignition potential of rifle bullets.
- Finney, Mark A.; Cohen, Jack D.; McAllister, Sara S.; Jolly, W. Matt. 2012. On the need for a theory of wildland fire spread.
- McAllister, S.; Grenfell, I.; Hadlow, A.; Jolly, W. M.; Finney, M.; Cohen, J. 2012. Piloted ignition of live forest fuels.
- McAllister, S.; Finney, M.; Cohen, J. 2011. Critical mass flux for flaming ignition of wood as a function of external radiant heat flux and moisture content.