The Burgers Program and Combustion Institute organized a Summer School on Fire Safety Science – Wildland/WUI Fire Behavior at the University of Maryland from June 5th to June 9th. The event was attended by participants from various countries, representing all the continents (except of course Antarctica).
The summer school consisted of lectures and educators who presented their state-of-the-art research and the latest advancements in the field of wildland and urban interface fires. They also discussed the current limitations and challenges in this field and suggested potential solutions that require further research. The programme and the presentations of the lecturers are available online for anyone interested.
The lecturers were all experts in their fields and showed great passion for their work. Their presentations sparked lively debates and questions from the participants after each session.
The proximity to Washington DC also resulted in an impromptu field trip to check out the capital of the United States of America. The trip (as well as the great part of the whole summer school) was accompanied by a realistic experience of the presence of smoke resulting from wildfires happening in Canada.
The summer school also provided opportunities for socializing and networking among the participants and the lecturers. They had fruitful discussions and formed genuine connections that will undoubtedly lead to many fruitful future collaborations.
The final panel discussion was the highlight of the week, where the following panellists (Danielle Antonellis (Kindling, USA), Steve Kerber (UL Fire Safety Research Institute, USA), Erica Kuligowski (RMIT University, Australia), Alex Maranghides (National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA), Sara McAllister (USDA Forest Service, USA), Albert Simeoni (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA), Domingos Viegas (University of Coimbra, Portugal)) summarized the main points and insights from the week's lectures.