Vortex driven lateral spread (VLS) is a dynamic fire event caused by the interaction of a fire plume with a boundary-layer separation region that often occurs in the lee slope of a hill. A pair of large vortices develop causing the fire to spread rapidly across the hilltop ridge. The combustion processes within these vortices or fire-whirls are poorly understood. VLS also typically produces a large ember shower of burning material leading to the formation of a deep flaming fire that in turn can lead to pyro-cumulonimbus formation. This project will use computational fluid dynamics simulations to gain insight into the physical processes of VLS and inform operational modelling of the phenomenon.
BSc in mathematics, physics, meteorology, BEng (mech), or equivalent preferred. Masters by research or practical experience is an asset. The successful applicant would need to meet the Australian Government H1E standards and UNSW entry standards.
Duncan Sutherland to discuss possibilities.