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Environmental Engineering Seminar: Daann Liang

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 9 am– 10 am

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This is a past event.

Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructures - Past Lessons and Future Trends

Dr. Daan Liang, Ph.D., P.E.

Professor and Interim Director of the National Wind Institute, Texas Tech University

Severe windstorms, including hurricanes and tornadoes, threaten the livelihood of millions of people in both developing and developed countries. Rapid growth in coastal regions coupled with climate change is increasing both short-term and long-term risk of windstorms as well as their cascading effects (e.g. epidemics, economic crises and potential civil unrests). To address the challenge of high degree of spatial and temporal dependencies, interdisciplinary approaches are needed for expanding theoretical and empirical framework for characterizing, quantifying and modeling disaster resiliency at community and regional scales. Furthermore, investment shall be made in discovery of new causes, linkages, and insights associated with  natural hazards and extreme events.

In this talk, the concept of disaster resiliency is described, following by introduction of a composite Hurricane Resiliency Index (HRI) to assess and monitor hurricane resiliency level of coastal communities across geographical boundaries and the changing process over time. The index is constructed non-parametrically by assigning fixed standardization factors as weights to each of three indicators. The validation addresses the question of whether the index is representative of the resiliency dimensions of interest. Results from cross-correlation calculation and binary interaction regression model show that HRI has the capability to broadly measure the dynamics of regional economic activities, and a higher value tends to have a greater mitigating effect over hurricane impacts. Subsequently, HRI is applied to tax revenue forecasting for municipalities affected by past hurricanes. It shows that the models utilizing Hurricane Resiliency Index generally outperformed the model with the Dallas Federal Business Cycle index and univariate autoregressive model. It serves as a useful basis not only to those whose focus in on forecasting tax revenue for a specific local government entity, but also to those interest in incorporating a regional measure of economic activity into the analysis of business operations. The second part of the talk discusses future trends and their implications.

It’s concluded with a few thoughts on how to strategically grow research enterprises.

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