Industrial engineer and professor Oleg Prokopyev at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering will collaborate with researchers at Texas A&M University on a project that will help optimize wildfire management.
Using advanced decision-making methods such as mixed-integer optimization and simulation the project will provide a better understanding of what types of fuel treatment options would be most effective and when to implement them.
“One strategy for mitigating forest fires is fuel treatment, which involves strategically removing some of the vegetation—the ‘fuel’ for the fire—with controlled burns, grazing or mechanical thinning,” said Prokopyev. “Our models will help predict when, where and how to best implement these methods.”
The project is expected to last three years and is funded by a $550,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Of the total amount, $270,000 is designated for Pitt.