Daniel Jimenez

Research Mechanical Engineer

Research Topics

  • Firefighter safety zone guidelines and tools
  • Fuel break effectiveness
  • Escape route index
  • Radiant and convective energy transport associated the wildland fire fuels and terrain

Personal Summary

Dan is a chemical engineer and has worked at the Missoula Firelab for over 20 years. During that time he has worked primarily within the fire behavior discipline area and his research has included studies on heat transfer and fluid flow model development and validation. This research is used to predict incident heat, temperature, wind profiles, and fire effects on forest landscapes, vegetation, and soil types as well as play a critical role in firefighter safety. In collaboration with scientists at the Fire Lab and elsewhere, he has worked on the development and delivery of computer software to support fire and fuels managers, including the soil heating component of FOFEM (First Order Fire Effects Model), FireStem (a physics-based tree mortality model), and has been instrumental in developing new firefighter safety guidelines.

In addition, he works with fellow Lab engineers and technicians to design, develop and fabricate field instrumentation used for in-situ data collection on prescribed and wildland fires. This data is critical to better understanding fuel treatment effectiveness, safety zone guidelines and the impact of fire behavior and secondary fire effects on the landscape, whether it be on natural biota or historical artifacts. His most recent research focuses on using remote sensed thermal infrared data from drone (UAS) platforms in conjunction with in-situ fire behavior sensors to develop landscape scale thermographic fire behavior metrics.

Additionally, Dan has been a long standing member of the NWCG Fire Behavior Subcommittee as liaison for evolving fire behavior research and the role it has in the overarching NWCG fire behavior curriculum. He has been instrumental in acquiring funding for evolving research, curriculum development, as well as the web based support tools like the fire behavior field reference guide (https://www.nwcg.gov/publications/pms437) and firefighter math course (https://www.nwcg.gov/course/ffm), both of which can be found on the NWCG website. Currently, Dan is working with Lab Scientist Russ Parsons, the University of Montana’s Computer Science Department and the Northern Rockies Training Center to develop virtual reality training materials that will allow the user group to change the fire environment as a training tool to analyze the impact on changing fire behavior scenarios.

In the field he serves as Firefighter Type 1, Part 107 FAA licensed UAS pilot, Technical Specialists and a Fireline Emergency Medical Technician. He is often found flying drones or deploying sensors and video cameras to measure various elements as part of ongoing research projects.

Current Research Projects:

  • Development of algorithm for firefighter travel rates as function of environment and crew factors.
  • Identifying Influencing Factors on Radiant and Convective Energy Transport Associated with Firefighter Safety Zones Size and Safe Separation Distance.
  • Wildfire Safety Evaluator (WiSE) application development, upgrade and maintenance.
  • Understanding Fire Response to Spatial Variations in Vegetation Distribution and Wind.

Selected Publications & Products

Inside the Forest Service: Safer safety zones: new tool evaluates safe separation distance

Jimenez, D. M.; Forthofer, J.; Reardon J. A.; Butler, B. W. 2007. Fire Behavior Sensor Package Remote Trigger Design, Proceedings for the 2nd Fire Behavior and Fuels Conference, The Fire Environment – Innovations, Management, and Policy, Destin, FL.

Butler, B. W.; Webb, B. W.; Jimenez, D. M.; Reardon, J. A.; Jones, J. L. 2005. Thermally induced bark swelling in four North American tree species. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 35:1-10.

Jones, J. L.; Webb, B. W.; Jimenez, D.; Reardon, J.; Butler, B. 2004. Development of an advanced one-dimensional stem heating model for application in surface fires. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 34(1):20-30.

Jimenez, D. M.; Butler, B.; Reardon, J. 2003.Stem mortality in surface fires. Part II. Experimental measurements of the thermal response of tree stems to heating by fires. Proceedings of the 2nd International Wildland Fire Ecology and Fire Management Congress, Orlando, FL.

Butler, B. W.; Cohen, J.; Latham, D. J.; Schuette, R. D.; Sopko, P.; Shannon, K. S.; Jimenez, D.; Bradshaw, L. S. 2003. Measurements of radiant emissive power and temperatures in crown fires. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 34(8):1577-1587.

Tonkovich, A. L. Y.; Jimenez, D. M.; Zilka, J. L.; LaMont, M.; Wang, Y.; Wegeng, R. S. 1998. Microchannel chemical reactors for fuel processing. Proceedings of the Second International Conference of Microreaction Technology, March 1998, New Orleans, LA.

Balmer, M. L.; Tonkyn, R.; Kim, A.; Yoon, S.; Jimenez, D.; Orlando, T.; Barlow, S. 1998. Diesel NOx reduction on surfaces in plasma. Society of Automotive Engineers, Inc.

Tonkovich, A. L. Y.; Call, C. J.; Wegeng, R. S.; Jimenez, D. M.; Drost, M. K. 1996. Microchannel heat exchangers for chemical reactors. Proceedings of the 1996 National Heat Transfer Conference, Houston, TX.

Tonkovich, A. L. Y.; Zilka, J. L.; Jimenez, D. M.; Roberts, G. L.; Cox, J. L. 1996. Experimental investigations of inorganic membrane reactors: a distributed feed approach for partial oxidation reactions. Chemical Engineering Science. 51(5):789-806.

Tonkovich, A. L. Y.; Zilka, J. L.; Jimenez, D. M.; Roberts, G. L. 1996. Inorganic membrane reactors for the oxidative coupling of methane. Chemical Engineering Science, 51(11):3051-3056.