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Student Spotlight - Sara Royle

Sara Royle

Junior, Fire Protection Engineering

  • SEEDS Peer Mentoring Program- Coordinator
  • Salamander, FPE Honorary Society
  • Society of Fire Protection Engineers
  • OMSE Academic Excellence Society
  • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
  • Honors College- Digital Cultures and Creativity Program
  • Flexus: The Dr. Marilyn Berman Pollans Living & Learning Community
  • Maryland Christian Fellowship (MCF-Students)- President


Rooftop PV Panel All Hazards Assessment
2013 Internship

In collaboration with two other students, I conducted a literature review on hazards surrounding the installment and use of rooftop Photovoltaic Panels on commercial buildings. The final goal was to create a best practices report for the installation of rooftop PV panels. The final all-hazards report was published by the Fire Protection Research Foundation under the title “Commercial Roof-Mounted Photovoltaic System Installation Best Practices Review and All Hazard Assessment.”

Stove Top Fires
Sophomore Research Project

I worked with seven other students to explore the different methods to detect and suppress stove top fires. We built a stove model, suppression system prototype, and conducted several tests modeling typical household stove fires. This was a semester long project that gave me hands-on experience working in the Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) Laboratory.

I am grateful that I have been able to experience both literature-based research and experimental/lab-based research. I learned very much from both opportunities and found particular interest in experimental/lab-based research. I will be continuing similar lab-based work this summer on the UMD Wood Stove team.

Study Abroad Experience

UAE and Qatar Study Abroad

Traveling through the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, while taking a class on Global Leadership, was one of the best experiences of my life that sparked much personal growth in many profound ways. Interacting with local students in Qatar and learning about the Arab culture helped me realized how similar we are despite the obvious cultural differences. It is difficult to describe the impact of the trip in words. I would highly recommend this particular study abroad experience!

Future Ambitions

When I graduate I would like to use my degree as a gateway to a career focused on helping people. One of the qualities that I find particularly attractive about Fire Protection Engineering is how the field is ultimately based on serving people by helping protect them and their property from the dangers of fire. The field is unique yet broad enough to incorporate several different topics that range from wildfire management, to life safety devices, to fire forensics. It is also still small enough that an individual really has the potential to make significant contributions. I try my best to involve myself in projects on campus because there are so many passionate people to learn from.