Monthly Archives: September 2015

Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

Lines-13Dr. Nicholson has been invited to serve on the Editorial board of a new peer-reviewed journal Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure published by Taylor and Francis Group which will be launching later this year. Paolo Gardoni, Civil and Environmental Engineer professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, will serve as the Editor-in-Chief.  Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure will be an interdisciplinary journal that focuses on the sustainable development of resilient communities and will be launching later this year.

Sustainability is defined in relation to the ability of infrastructure to addresses the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.  Resilience is considered in relation to both natural hazards (like earthquakes, tsunami, hurricanes, cyclones, tornado, flooding and drought) and anthropogenic hazards (like human errors and malevolent attacks.)  Resilience is taken to depend both on the performance of the built and modified natural environment and on the contextual characteristics of social, economic and political institutions. Contributions address pressing societal issues while exploring needed solutions.  Investigating sustainability and resilience from an interdisciplinary perspective, the journal includes original articles, reviews, short communications and case studies in all areas relevant to sustainability and resilience.

Flow-Based Vulnerability Measures for Network Component Importance: Experimentation with Preparedness Planning

RESS A new resilience paper “Flow-Based Vulnerability Measures for Network Component Importance: Experimentation with Preparedness Planning” authored by Charles Nicholson, Kash Barker, and Jose Ramirez-Marquez and has been accepted for publication in Reliability Engineering & System Safety.  

This work develops and compares several flow-based vulnerability me
asures to prioritize important network edges for the implementation of preparedness options. These network vulnerability measures quantify different characteristics and perspectives on enabling maximum flow, creating bottlenecks, and partitioning into cutsets, among others. The efficacy of these vulnerability measures to motivate preparedness options against experimental geographically located disruption simulations is measured. Results suggest that a weighted flow capacity rate, which accounts for both (i) the contribution of an edge to maximum network flow and (ii) the extent to which the edge is a bottleneck in the network, shows most promise across four instances of varying network sizes and densities.

NSF funded project, “Resilience Analytics: A Data-Driven Approach for Enhanced Interdependent Network Resilience”

NSF (1)Infrastructure must outsmart disruptions to continue delivery of essential goods and services.

To this end, NSF-funded 12 CRISP projects in FY 2015 including $2.2 million to support Resilience Analytics: A Data-Driven Approach for Enhanced Interdependent Network Resilience.

Kash Barker of the University of Oklahoma (OU) will lead the project, in partnership with Charles Nicholson of OU, James Lambert of the University of Virginia, Laura McLay of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Chris Zoebel of Virgnia Tech, Jose Ramirez-Marquez of Stevens Institute of Technology, Cornelia Caragea of the University of North Texas, and Andrea Tapia of Penn State (Awards: 15411651541155).

The projects are the first in a new NSF activity known as CRISP: Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes. These projects, each with funding up to $2.5 million, are part of NSF’s multiyear initiative on risk and resilience. NSF’s fiscal year 2015 investment in CRISP is a multidisciplinary collaboration between the Directorates for Engineering, Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE).

“Building a more resilient society requires making sound research investments not only in understanding the technology that supports critical infrastructure but also in understanding the human behaviors that determine how technology is put to use,” said Fay Cook, NSF assistant director for SBE. “Multidisciplinary, cooperative research efforts like CRISP are essential for understanding how behavior and technology intersect.”mantoloking bridge nj fema_b67d3720-8001-4b98-9787-c48505e35a55_f

Infrastructure of the future

CRISP researchers will study design and performance of these interdependent systems to enable them to perform, despite disruptions and failures from any cause, whether natural, technological or malicious.

This knowledge will lead to innovations in critical infrastructure, so that communications, power and water supplies, and other community support functions are strengthened, as these systems perform sustainably and securely, delivering even a broader range of goods and services.

CRISP project outcomes will develop fundamental knowledge needed to understand interdependencies and their impacts and also improve the effectiveness and efficiency with which infrastructure systems deliver those goods and services.

“The tight integration of computation into physical systems and infrastructure is enabling the smart technologies of today,” said Jim Kurose, NSF assistant director for CISE. “NSF’s investments to enhance safety, security and resiliency of our interdependent critical infrastructure systems are an important step in realizing the smart and connected communities of the future.”


Article excerpted from NSF announcement.  See full article here: NSF invests $20 million to enhance resilience


NIST Center of Excellence Award

nistThe National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded a $20 million cooperative agreement to Colorado State University (CSU) to establish the Community Resilience Center of Excellence.  Working with NIST researchers and partners from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Oregon State University, University of Oklahoma, Rice University, Texas A&M University, the University of Washington, the University of South Alabama, the California Polytechnic University in Pomona and Texas A&M-Kingsville the center’s multi-disciplinary team includes experts in engineering, economics, data and computing, and social sciences.

The research team from OU is comprised of faculty and PhD students from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering (members of the analytix lab) and the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science.

Moore Medical Center in Oklahoma following the Newcastle-Moore tornado, May 20, 2013.

Moore Medical Center in Oklahoma following the Newcastle-Moore tornado, May 20, 2013. Photo credit: NIST

Community disaster resilience includes preparing for anticipated hazards, adapting to changing conditions, and withstanding and recovering rapidly from disruptions. The goal of the Center of Excellence (COE) is to develop computer tools to help local governments decide how each can best invest resources to enhance community disaster resilience.

The centerpiece of the center’s effort will be NIST-CORE—the NIST-Community Resilience Modeling Environment. Built on an open-source platform, the computer model and associated software and databases will incorporate a risk-based approach to decision-making that will enable quantitative comparisons of different resilience strategies.

NIST-CORE will provide the scientific basis for developing resilience metrics and decision tools to support the resilience of the built environment and for evaluating cascading effects arising among interconnected infrastructure. In addition, models and tools will integrate social systems vital to the functioning and recovery of communities—health care delivery, education, social services, financial institutions and others.

As NIST-CORE is developed, its performance will be tested against data gathered from past disasters. Ultimately, NIST-CORE will be able to learn from one analysis to the next, a capability that does not exist in any other risk or disaster-resilience model in the world.

To learn more about NIST, visit

The full, unedited article is here: NIST COE Community Resilience

The NIST-CORE project page is here: Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning