Rachael Quill

Dr Rachael Quill

Completed PhD student
Dr Rachael Quill

Dr Rachael Quill investigated the variability of wind in the context of fire spread, completing her PhD in 2017. By adopting a statistical approach, Rachael analysed the variability of wind direction and strength, working towards a characterisation of wind over complex terrain which enables understanding of uncertainty around the drivers of fire spread. Better modelling of this uncertainty can feed directly into fire spread models, allowing fire behaviour analysts and managers to make more informed decisions. The application of these statistical analyses can be used to evaluate the spectrum of wind prediction models used for bushfire modelling over rugged landscapes.

Rachael was active with the CRC throughout her PhD, presenting findings at the CRC Research Forum in 2016 and making it through to the University of New South Wales finals for the Three Minute Thesis competition in 2015. Rachael also presented her work overseas at conferences in France and Scotland, and wrote articles for Wildfire and Fire Australia. Her PhD findings featured in Hazard Note 53 – Capturing the variability of wind for modelling the variability of bushfires.

Rachael was chosen to represent the CRC as an early career researcher at the 2018 Science at the Science Dome, run by the Australian Academy of Science. She is now a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne investigating wind farm power production, after previously lecturing in probability and statistics at the University of Adelaide.

Rachael's thesis is available here.

Student project

Rachael completed her CRC PhD at the University of NSW in 2017. She is now a Research Associate at the University of Adelaide. Rachael's PhD study improved the knowledge of wind characteristics over complex terrain, improving bushfire modeling. Through statistical analysis, a characterisation of winds at different points in the landscape was developed for ambient wind conditions. This analysis was extended across complex terrain methods. The application of these statistical analyses was used to evaluate the spectrum of wind prediction models used for bushfire modeling over rugged landscapes. The probabilistic approach will lend itself to scenario-based analysis of bushfire modelling, developed alongside fire managers.

Watch Rachael explain her research as part of UNSW's Three Minute Thesis competition.

Supervisory panel:
Statistical characterisation of wind fields over complex terrain for bushfire modelling
29 Jun 2017
The research conducted throughout this PhD aimed to improve the understanding of wind flow over...
Rachel Quill Conference Poster 2016
14 Aug 2016
With the emergence of ensemble-based fire modelling, it is necessary to recast wind fields in...

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