Sara S. McAllister
Research Mechanical Engineer
5775 Highway 10 West
Contact Sara S. McAllister
My current research has focused on understanding 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, B.S. Mechanical Engineering 2004
- University of California, Berkeley, M.S. Mechanical Engineering 2006
- University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering 2008
- Weise, David R.; Fletcher, Thomas H.; Johnson, Timothy J.; Hao, WeiMin ; Dietenberger, Mark ; Princevac, Marko ; Butler, Bret ; McAllister, Sara ; O’Brien, Joseph ; Loudermilk, Louise ; Ottmar, Roger ; Hudak, Andrew ; Kato, Akira ; Shotorban, Babak ; Mahalingam, Shankar ; Mell, William E. 2018. A project to measure and model pyrolysis to improve prediction of prescribed fire behavior Chapter 3.
- Miller, Colin H.; Tang, Wei ; Sluder, Evan ; Finney, Mark A.; McAllister, Sara S.; Forthofer, Jason M.; Gollner, Michael J. 2018. Boundary layer instabilities in mixed convection and diffusion flames with an unheated starting length.
- Manzello, Samuel L.; McAllister, Sara ; Suzuki, Sayaka . 2018. Large outdoor fires and the built environment: Objectives and goals of permanent IAFSS working Group.
- Gustenyov, Nikolay ; Akafuah, Nelson K.; Salaimeh, Ahmad ; Finney, Mark ; McAllister, Sara ; Saito, Kozo . 2018. Scaling nonreactive cross flow over a heated plate to simulate forest fires.
- Manzello, Samuel L.; Blanchi, Raphaele ; Gollner, Michael J.; Gorham, Daniel ; McAllister, Sara ; Pastor, Elsa ; Planas, Eulalia ; Reszka, Pedro ; Suzuki, Sayaka . 2018. Summary of workshop large outdoor fires and the built environment.
- McAllister, S.; Weise, D. R. 2017. Effects of season on ignition of live wildland fuels using the forced ignition and flame spread test apparatus.
- Anand, C.; Shotorban, B.; Mahalingam, S.; McAllister, S.; Weise, D. R. 2017. Physics-based modeling of live wildland fuel ignition experiments in the Forced Ignition and Flame Spread Test apparatus.
- Grumstrup, Torben P.; McAllister, Sara S.; Finney, Mark A. 2017. Qualitative flow visualization of flame attachment on slopes.
- McAllister, Sara; Finney, Mark. 2016. Burning rates of wood cribs with implications for wildland fires.
- Werth, Paul A.; Potter, Brian E.; Alexander, Martin E.; Clements, Craig B.; Cruz, Miguel G.; Finney, Mark A.; Forthofer, Jason M.; Goodrick, Scott L.; Hoffman, Chad; Jolly, W. Matt; McAllister, Sara S.; Ottmar, Roger D.; Parsons, Russell A. 2016. Synthesis of knowledge of extreme fire behavior: volume 2 for fire behavior specialists, researchers, and meteorologists.
- McAllister, Sara; Finney, Mark. 2016. The effect of wind on burning rate of wood cribs.
- Finney, Mark A.; Cohen, Jack D.; Forthofer, Jason M.; McAllister, Sara S.; Gollner, Michael J.; Gorham, Daniel J.; Saito, Kozo; Akafuah, Nelson K.; Adam, Brittany A.; English, Justin D. 2015. Role of buoyant flame dynamics in wildfire spread.
- 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.