This past week, one of my PGG doctoral students, Marc Fialkoff, attended the International Symposium on Next Generation Infrastructure in Washington D.C. The conference brought together scholars from a variety of disciplines to discuss challenges in the areas of energy, transportation, water resources, and healthcare. The panel sessions focused on individual critical infrastructure sectors as well as techniques for modeling and implementing policies for more resilient infrastructure. Marc presented his work on freight transportation resilience and using GIS to evaluate legal restrictions on short sea shipping under disruptive conditions. This research was undertaken during his summer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory under guidance of Olufemi Omitaomu, the team lead for the Critical Infrastructure and Urban Resilience group at Oak Ridge National Lab.
Marc’s research provides a good example of the interdisciplinary work that is undertaken by students in the PGG program at Virginia Tech. With training in law and transportation planning, Marc’s research bridges disciplines of law, planning, civil engineering, and network analysis to explore the impact of law and policy on the movement of goods under a time of crisis – e.g., during Hurricane Sandy.
I co-chair Marc’s PhD committee with Ralph Buehler. Kathleen Hancock, Henning Mortveit, and Jonathan Gutoff also serve on Marc’s committee.
This Friday, I will be giving a presentation about the IITK-VT Partnership on Sustainable Infrastructure at Virginia Tech’s School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) conference on resilience. The two-day conference (23-24 October) will be held at Virginia Tech’s Research Center in Arlington, Virginia. The conference can be followed on Twitter using #VTSPIA.
This afternoon, the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience began its inaugural conference on Normative Aspects of Resilience. Click on the image below to view the conference agenda. Follow the conference via Twitter (on Oct 13 and 14) using the hashtag #GFURR.
Today, Virginia Tech formally announced the new Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience. The forum has been created to bridge research, policy, and practice in order to address risk and build resiliency at regional and urban scales in a global context. The formal description of the forum’s objectives and activities is provided in the document to the left.
Last week, I had the pleasure of learning more about this new Presidential Initiative while attending the 4th Conference on Community Resilience in Davos, Switzerland. During the conference, I was able to ask President Charles W. Steger a few questions about the Global Forum and witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Virginia Tech and the Global Risk Forum. I captured these events using Google Glass, and with the help of Tonya Pruitt developed the video below.
At the conference, I spoke on a panel focused on “Approaches to Infrastructure Resiliency in Different National Contexts.” In my presentation (below), I described the activities of the IITK-VT Partnership, and how they contribute towards the partnership’s vision of creating sustainable and resilient infrastructure services.