Justin Leonard’s research interests are in bushfire mechanism interaction with infrastructure and the context of bushfire losses including community behaviour and fire fighter safety.
He heads CSIRO’s Bushfire Urban Design team, focusing on the detailed understanding of how infrastructure design and sitting influence it loss potential for various levels of fire arrival severity. Using this knowledge the team then also focuses on effective design and behavioural solutions to address these vulnerabilities.
The work is delivering risk assessment tools and urban design solutions for clients who include:
Bushfires Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)
Attorney Generals Department
Victorian Fire Services Commissioner
New South Wales Rural Fire Service
Victorian Country Fire Authority
Queensland Public Safety Business Agency
Victorian Building Authority
His experience with experimental science indicates that people living in bushfire prone areas need to first accept the natural occurrence of bushfires, then effectively assess the risk these bushfires present.