We recently heard about a high school senior in Kentucky, Kyra Seevers, and her work involving wildland fires. Kyra is a student in the Math, Science and Technology Center Magnet Program at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School where one of the goals of the program is to conduct 360 hours of research at the University of Kentucky.
Kyra joined the Institute of Research for Technology Development where Dr. Nelson Akafuah, her mentor, introduced her to wildland fire research. She realized she was very interested in the heat transfers found in wildland fires and was especially fascinated by how little is known about small-scale processes in the wildfire environment. Over the course of about two years, Kyra developed the project to encompass the study of heat transfer mechanisms and fluid flow dynamics. She then applied what she learned to create design modifications to the emergency firefigher shelter to improve their efficacy.
Kyra's project is still a work in progress and last week she presented her research at INTEL ISEF, the International Science and Engineering Fair for students, in Phoenix, Arizona. Kyra told us her project, titled, "Understanding Heat Transfer Mechanisms in Forest Fire Spread: Convection, Radiation, Fluid Dynamics, and Their Application for Firefighter Protection in a High Temperature Fine Fuel Particle Environment", was given the American Meteorological Society 2nd Place Award and it also placed second in the Category of Engineering Mechanics. An amazing accomplishment, indeed! Kyra will continue her research of the emergency firefighter shelter and she hopes to file for a patent and create full scale models of the modifications.
Kyra heads to the University of Kentucky in the fall and will major in Computer Science.
Congratulations to Kyra on her amazing accomplishment and her commitment to helping better protect firefighters on the job.! As NFPA continues its work with youth around wildfire issues, we are encouraged and love hearing stories about students who are making a difference in the wildfire space. Check out the INTEL ISEF site for highlights of the conference and a complete list of the winners and their projects.
NFPA wishes Kyra the best of luck in the future; we can't wait to hear about the next phase of her project!