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Dr Andrew Sullivan is the leader of the CSIRO Bushfire Behaviour and Risks team, which is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of bushfire behaviour prediction and firefighter safety science. Dr Sullivan has over 25 years’ experience in bushfire research during which he has made significant contributions to the development of operational systems for the determination of fire danger and the prediction of the behaviour and spread of fires in a range of vegetation types and burning conditions.

Dr Sullivan developed the innovative capability of free-burning combustion dynamics, involving the conflation of combustion chemistry and physics, to generate new theoretical insights into bushfire behaviour for multiple purposes. He designed and built the CSIRO Pyrotron, a 25-m-long wind tunnel facility for the study of the combustion of bushfire fuel under safe and repeatable conditions. This infrastructure has been critical to a number of studies into fundamental fire behaviour and greenhouse gas emissions from bushfires and has attracted the attention of researchers nationally and internationally.

Dr Sullivan has developed and led research activities of national importance including the reconstruction of the 2009 Kilmore East fire on Black Saturday (7 February 2009), and the investigation of the efficacy of very large air tankers for suppressing fires and automated fire detection systems in Australian conditions. He has initiated research projects involving collaborations with a broad range of research partners including universities and state agencies.

Dr Sullivan has published three books, one book chapter and over 40 scientific articles in international peer-reviewed journals as well as numerous conference papers and client and technical reports. He has more than 900 citations and a ‘H’ index of 14 (ISI) and 1900 citations and a ‘H’ index of 21 (Google Scholar). He has delivered invited talks and keynote addresses to conferences in Australia, South Africa, France and Portugal.

Current Roles

  • Research Team Leader
    Leading the Bushfire Behaviour and Risks Team

Academic Qualifications

  • 2008

    Doctor of Philosphy (Physics)
    Australian National University

  • 1990

    Bachelor of Applied Science (Physics and Computing)
    Victoria University of Technology

Achievements and Awards

  • 2013-2013

    CMIS Teamwork Achievement Award

  • 2013-2013

    Outstanding Editor 2012
    International Journal of Wildland Fire

  • 2007-2007

    Inaugral Wildland Fire Scholarship for Graduate Studies
    International Association of Wildland Fire

  • 2006-2006

    Robert and Helen Crompton Student Travel Scholarship
    Australian National University

  • 2003-2003

    CSIRO Medal for Scientific Achievement

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2009-present

    Associate Editor, International Journal of Wildland Fire

  • 2011-2011

    Co-editor, Special Issue Journal of Combustion