Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Panel on Disaster Recovery and Mitigation Planning and Resilience

I have accepted an invitation to be on the Disaster Recovery and Mitigation Planning and Resilience panel that will take place at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) meeting January 23-27, 2011 in Washington, DC. This will be the 90th annual TRB meeting and about 10,000 transportation professionals from around the world are expected to attend!

This panel is sponsored by the Planning and Environment - Group; the Policy and Organization - Group, and the Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Protection.

The motivation for holding such a panel is as follows. Transportation systems throughout the world are greatly affected by natural disasters and human-created events. These systems are critical for daily activities and the economy. The magnitude of the U.S. transportation infrastructure makes protecting it extremely challenging and costly. This special session highlights innovative approaches to disaster recovery planning and assesses improving transportation infrastructure resilience to extreme events.

Joining me on the panel will be Jeffrey L. Western, Western Management and Consulting, LLC, Rae Zimmerman, New York University, and Herby Lissade, California Department of Transportation, with Pamela Murray-Tuite, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, presiding. I know both Professors Zimmerman and Murray-Tuite and am very much looking forward to this very timely panel and to the TRB meeting!

The title of my panel presentation: Building Resilience into Fragile Transportation Networks in an Era of Increasing Disasters.

The TRB is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council, which serves as an independent adviser to the federal government and others on scientific and technical questions of national importance, and which is jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

According to the TRB website: The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal. The Board is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation.

Last year, my most recent PhD student, Dr. Patrick Qiang, received the Charles V. Wootan award from the Council of University Transportation Centers at the 2010 TRB meeting for his doctoral dissertation. The book that we co-authored: Fragile Networks: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Synergies in an Uncertain World, John Wiley & Sons, 2009, was noted in TR News last year.