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Amy Mensch (Fed)

Mechanical Engineer

Dr. Amy Mensch is a mechanical engineer in the Engineered Fire Safety Group of the Fire Research Division (FRD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).  Dr. Mensch began working at NIST in 2015 after obtaining her Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Penn State University, where she researched heat transfer in gas turbine applications and studied the thermal effects of contaminant deposition and cooling geometry.  She obtained her M.S. in mechanical engineering, also from Penn State, with her thesis on the sooting propensity of gas turbine surrogate fuels.  Prior to starting her doctoral degree, she worked in the Fire Fighting Technology Group in the FRD at NIST from 2009-2011, when she investigated the thermal performance of respirator facepieces.  Currently, Dr. Mensch's research interests are soot deposition, fire and smoke detection, kitchen cooktop fire prevention, and ember or firebrand ignition. She is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and an alum of ASME's Early-Career Leadership Program to Serve Engineers (ECLIPSE).


2023, Washington Academy of Sciences Young Investigator Award in Engineering Sciences

2023, NIST Foundations of Leadership Program, Graduate

2022, Invited Plenary Lecture "Production, Transport and Deposition of Smoke in Fire Research" at the Spring Technical Meeting of the Eastern States Section of the Combustion Institute

2021, EL Special Act Award for exceptional leadership in the development and execution of a new research symposium highlighting NIST disaster resilience research with other EL colleagues

2021, NIST Diversity, Inclusivity and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Award for fostering an accessible, inclusive work environment and professional development opportunities through a volunteer effort spanning NIST campuses with other WiSTEM colleagues

2021, NIST Project Management Leadership Program, Graduate

2015, Rohsenow Prize for Best Presentation on Gas Turbine Heat Transfer at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress



Measuring Firebrand Heat Flux with a Thin-Skin Calorimeter

Amy Mensch, Savannah Wessies, Anthony Hamins, Jiann C. Yang
While the impact of wildland-urban interface fires is growing, firebrand exposure is a significant but not well understood contributor to fire spread. The
Created October 9, 2019, Updated October 3, 2023