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Kathryn Butler (Fed)

Dr. Kathryn M. Butler is a physicist in the Wildland - Urban Interface Fire Group of the Fire Research Division (FRD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Butler develops computational models to study the behavior of materials in fire and the fit characteristics of respirators for first responders. She is currently modeling the melt flow of thermoplastic materials in a fire, studying the evolution of a burning object from its original shape into a pool fire. She has studied the behavior and effects of bubbles caused by in-depth gasification during burning.

Dr. Butler has used image analysis techniques to characterize the particle content of nanocomposites. For the World Trade Center Investigation, she determined the oscillatory motion of WTC 2 through image analysis of the moiré patterns on video records. She also set up the database for organizing photographs and videotapes and supervised several students during the collection of material.

Before joining NIST in 1993, Dr. Butler studied coherent structures and transient growth in fluid flow for her doctoral thesis, developed graphical user interfaces for fluid dynamics codes at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and modeled the behavior of ink jet systems for Xerox Corporation. Dr. Butler is a member of the International Association for Fire Safety Science, the National Fire Protection Association, the United States Association of Computational Mechanics, the American Physical Society, and Sigma Xi.

Publications

Flame Spread Along Fences Near a Structure in a Wind Field

Author(s)
Kathryn M. Butler, Erik L. Johnsson, Marco G. Fernandez, Mariusz Zarzecki, Eric Auth
Combustible fences have been identified in post-fire investigations of wildland-urban interface (WUI) fires as potential threats to homes and other structures

Wind Effects on Flame Spread and Ember Spotting Near a Structure

Author(s)
Kathryn M. Butler, Erik L. Johnsson, Marco G. Fernandez, Mariusz Zarzecki, Glenn P. Forney, Eric Auth
In wildland-urban interface (WUI) fires, combustible materials pose a potential threat to contiguous or nearby structures. Flame spread and firebrand spotting
Created July 30, 2019, Updated June 15, 2021