Kate Donlin, a Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) graduate student at the University of Maryland (UMD), has joined the team as the third recipient of the UL Firefighter Safety Research Institute Fellowship. The fellowship, established in 2017, supports an FPE graduate research assistant and will be renewed each semester provided the Fellow remains in good academic standing.
Kate’s research career began in 2016 as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI). Her undergraduate research focused on PPE material optimization as well as victim physiological and biomechanical response to extreme temperatures and conditions.
In her time at IFSI, Kate had the opportunity to take part in several joint IFSI/ UL FSRI projects including the PPE Cleaning Study. As part of this study, Kate aided the data collection by cleaning gear in between exposures as well as prepared the test subject mannequins for each burn. She also assisted with camera operation and data acquisition. In 2018, Kate helped model various exposures of trapped occupants utilizing pig skin and subcutaneous fat substitutions to replicate human physiological responses to extreme conditions as part of the Coordinated Fire Attack in Acquired Structures study.
On contributing to prior research projects, “I learned a lot about the goals of UL FSRI and how large-scale fire protection engineering research is conducted,” Donlin said. “I had the opportunity to shadow a few UL FSRI engineers and learn about each portion of the project. I really enjoyed learning about how many different measurements could be obtained from one single experiment and I started coming up with questions that could be answered using fire protection engineering.”
In the spring of 2019 Kate received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Now as a UMD fellow, she will pursue her master’s degree in Fire Protection Engineering and continue assisting with research at UL FSRI.
For more information about Kate or the UMD Fire Protection Engineering Program visit their website: FPE Welcomes Katie Donlin, Third Recipient of UL Fellowship.