Speakers

William Tierney, M.D.

Chair, Department of Population Health
Dell Medical School

William Tierney, M.D., is a general internist, medical informaticist and inaugural chair of the Department of Population Health at UT's Dell Medical School. Tierney and his department are playing a leading role in Dell Medical School’s mission to help Austin become a model healthy city. Previously at the Regenstrief Institute, he helped develop, implement and study one of the country’s first electronic health record systems and the country’s first, largest and most comprehensive health information exchange. He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, Master of the American College of Physicians, fellow and President of the American College of Medical Informatics, inaugural fellow of the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics and fellow of the Royal College of Physicians London.

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Gordon Wells

Research Associate, Center for Space Research
Cockrell School of Engineering

Gordon Wells serves as the program manager for the Mid-American Geospatial Information Center (MAGIC) located at UT Center Space Research, where he supervises the operation of the dual X-band direct broadcast satellite receiving station. Since 2003, he has served as a member of the Governor’s Emergency Management Council, where his team supports the state’s preparedness, response and recovery programs for natural and man-made disasters. During major events, his team works with 32 state agencies and eight federal agencies in the State Operations Center in Austin to provide real-time actionable information for response and recovery operations, including directly assisting search-and-rescue and hazardous materials strike teams in the field. He also advises the Japanese National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience concerning the development of disaster analytics for emergency response and is working to develop international collaborations that address the escalating global threat of major disasters through shared experience and technological development.

Clint Dawson

Professor, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Cockrell School of Engineering

Clint Dawson is the John J. McKetta Centennial Energy Chair in Engineering and professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. He also leads the Computational Hydraulics Group in UT's Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences. He received his B.A. and M.S. degrees in mathematics from Texas Tech in 1982 and 1984, respectively, and his Ph.D. in mathematical sciences from Rice University in 1988. His work focuses on numerical methods for partial differential equations, high performance computing, uncertainty quantification and applications to coastal ocean modeling and flow through porous media. He has over 150 journal publications. He received the SIAM Geosciences Career Prize in 2013 and was elected a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics in 2016.

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David Maidment

Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering

David R. Maidment is the Hussein M. Alharthy Centennial Chair in Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he has served on the faculty since 1981.  He is a specialist in surface water hydrology and in 2016 was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for development of Geographic Information Systems applied to hydrologic processes. He led the academic contribution to the development of the National Water Model and during Hurricane Harvey he served for 10 days in the Texas State Operations Center helping to provide flood map information to support emergency response.

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Amit Bhasin

Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Director, Center for Transportation Research
Cockrell School of Engineering

Amit Bhasin is an associate professor of civil engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. His research and teaching interests are in the area of infrastructure materials, and he performs research that relates fundamental properties of constituent materials to the engineering performance of composites such as asphalt concrete mixtures. His research is concentrated in the following areas: developing models that relate fundamental material properties to performance of asphalt mixtures; evaluating the impact of additives on the performance of asphalt mixtures including additives used to produce energy-efficient warm asphalt mixtures; developing comprehensive models for fatigue cracking and moisture sensitivity in asphalt mixtures; and characterizing physical and chemical properties of asphalt binders and aggregates including fillers.

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Allan Shearer

Associate Dean for Research and Technology
Co-Director, Center for Sustainable Development
School of Architecture

Allan W. Shearer is an associate professor and the associate dean for research and technology in the School of Architecture. His research is focused on critical uncertainties that may lead to national, environmental, or human security problems.  In part, he has led studies on the long-term role of military lands, which contribute to both national security—by providing training and testing areas — and environmental security — by sustaining the ecosystem services that contribute to a society's well being, such as clean air, clean water and arable soils. He has also examined state- and community-level vulnerabilities related to climate change. His current work focuses on present and future urban conditions. Since 2015, he has served as a subject matter expert for the NATO Urbanization Program which aims to understand future operational needs. Toward better understanding the dynamics of societal stress in times of crisis, he created an expansion of the NATO Archaria 2035 scenario to play out relationships among city officials, public figures and other key stakeholders. He is currently involved in a DARPA-funded investigation on the development of a computational model of antifragility as applied to urban areas. He is a co-author of the books "Land Use Scenarios: The Environmental Consequences of Development" and "Gaia's Revenge: Climate Change and Humanity's Loss" and, most recently, he was co-editor of a special issue of the peer reviewed journal Landscape and Urban Planning on the emerging topic of geodesign, which is focused on methods to enable interdisciplinary collaboration to address large-scale change.

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Ellen Rathje

Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
Cockrell School of Engineering

Ellen M. Rathje is the Janet S. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and senior research scientist at the UT Bureau of Economic Geology. She has expertise in the areas of seismic site response analysis, engineering seismology, seismic slope stability, field reconnaissance after earthquakes and remote sensing of geotechnical phenomena. She is the Principal Investigator for the DesignSafe-ci.org cyberinfrastructure for the NSF-funded Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure and co-PI for the Center for Integrated Seismicity Research at the Bureau of Economic Geology. She is a founding member and current Steering Committee member of the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association and she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute from 2010-2013. She has been honored with various research awards, including the 2018 William B. Joyner Lecture Award from the Seismological Society of America and the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute and the 2010 Huber Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers. She was elected fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2016.

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