FPE Student Receives NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Raquel Hakes, currently a Master’s student in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering, has received a 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. This Fellowship provides a full three years of funding, totaling just shy of $140k, to offset the costs of tuition and Ph.D. research. Fellowship recipients are decided based on a combination of their intellectual merit and broader potential impact of research topic.
Hakes, who will begin her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering – focusing in Fire Protection Engineering – in the fall, has published multiple papers on highly relevant topics, and spends much of her free time conducting outreach activities and teaching, particularly to women and other underrepresented minorities.
“My research will focus on how firebrands, or burning embers, in wildfires ignite homes via decks, rooftops, etc. and how fluid instabilities contribute to flame-spread in wildfires,” said Hakes. “The former is really important because firebrands are the main cause of home loss in wildfires. There's still so much we don't know about how wildfires spread, so learning about it can help us model fires better so we can decide where to send first responders, for example.”
May 3, 2017