Second group of participants announced

November 26th, 2012 in Funding, People

We are happy to announce the second group of participants selected to attend the PASI, with travel grants. The first group was announced November 13.

There will be a new announcement soon with more participants from Latin American countries.

Kendra Dresback

Research Assistant Professor, School of Civil Engineering & Environmental Science, University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Dresback received an MS and PHD in Civil Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Her research includes the use of computational models to help in the prediction of hurricane storm surge and flooding in coastal areas and the incorporation of transport effects in coastal seas and oceans in ADCIRC.

M. Chase Dwelle

PhD Student, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan

Chase is a first-year PhD student whose research interests include particle methods and numerical modeling of free-surface and multiphase flow. He received his BSE in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan. Chase is currently working on the downscaling of global climate models to regional scales to asses potential changes in future flooding, and is interested in integrating the use of GPU computing to his research.

Dmitriy Leykekhman

Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Connecticut

Prof. Leykekhman received a PhD in mathematics from Cornell University in 2004, after which he was a postdoc in applied mathematics at Rice University. Presently, he is an assistant professor at University of Connecticut in the department of Mathematics with a joint appointment in the Marine Sciences department. His main research interest is in numerical solutions to partial differential equation specializing in mathematical theory of finite element methods. He is interested in learning about mathematical theory and computational aspects of storm and tidal phenomena and in applying the techniques to Long Island Sound.

Jessica A. Lodewyk

PhD student, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Northwestern University

Jessica earned her BA in Earth and Planetary Science from Washington University in St. Louis in 2010. She is currently a PhD student at Northwestern University working on understanding the historical seismicity of southern Chile and modeling wave propagation through the interior of the earth.

Jason Mak

PhD student, Computer Science Department, University of California, Davis

Jason has an BS degree in Computer Science from California Polytechnic State University. He is currently a PhD student working in a GPU Computing research group under Professor John Owens at the University of California, Davis. His research interests include GPU computing, parallel algorithms and architectures, and scientific computing. He was an intern at Intel Corporation in 2012, where he analyzed the performance of a compressible fluid dynamics code on Intel architectures.

Lillian Soto-Cordero (Cancelled, with regrets)

Staff scientist, Puerto Rico Seismic Network

Lillian Soto-Cordero is a research project manager for (1) the Seismic and geodetic instrumentation and seismological study of South-Eastern Puerto Rico (FEMA Grant) and (2) the Regional Moment Tensor Study of Deep Earthquakes in the PR/VI region.

Andy Terrel

Research Associate, Texas Advanced Computing Center / Adjunct Professor, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Terrel is a High Performance Computing researcher at the Texas Advanced Computing Center. In this role, Andy helps users utilize supercomputers with Python and studies methods for speeding up computational fluid dynamics. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a PhD in Computer Science in 2010 and has been programming in Python for the last decade. He is a contributor to numerous open source projects including FEniCS Project and Sympy


First group of funded participants announced

November 13th, 2012 in Funding, People

We are happy to announce the first group of participants selected to attend the PASI, with travel grants. They are an accomplished group of scholars, including staff researchers at national labs and doctoral students from across the United States.

This group of seven young scientists includes some with a background in physical oceanography, others with training in seismology and yet others with experience in applied mathematics and high-performance computing. It is a multi-disciplinary set of talented people with an interest in applying their talents to the science of modeling tsunamis and storm surges.

For those applicants still waiting to hear from us, please note that final decisions have not been made, and the second group of selected participants will be announced very soon.

Kemal Cambazoglu

Research Scientist, Department of Marine Science, University of Southern Mississippi

Dr Cambazoglu is an early-career researcher working in the field of physical oceanography and coastal engineering. His main research interests are numerical modeling of coastal ocean and nearshore environments in order to understand physical processes and to improve the predictive capabilities of forecast models.

Min Ding

PhD candidate, Marine Geology & Geophysics, MIT/WHOI Joint Program

Min is a fourth-year PhD student of Geophysics at the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. She is interested in using numerical modeling methods to investigate lithosphere dynamics and earthquake mechanisms. She is also interested in investigating the long-term tectonics in Chile and its relationship with the short-term seismic and tsunami processes.

Brian McFall

PhD Student, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Brian is a second-year PhD student working on the physical modeling of subaerial landslide-generated tsunamis in various topographic scenarios based on real-world events. He uses physical models with a landslide tsunami generator using large amounts of natural river gravel accelerated with pneumatic pistons. Before starting the PhD, he worked for five years as a project manager and commercial diver for an engineering firm in Texas, helping design storm drainage systems and inspect waterfront structures.

David Medina

PhD student, Department of Computational and Applied Mathematics, Rice University

David is a first-year PhD student. He double-majored in mathematics and computer science at The University of Texas-Pan American. His research involves high-performance numerical simulations of fluid flow using high-order spectral element methods in scalable GPU frameworks. He is an experienced programmer, proficient in C/C++, Java, and Python and has experience in parallel computing using OpenMP and MPI for traditional CPU-based clusters and GPGPU programming languages (CUDA, OpenCL).

Diego Melgar

PhD Candidate Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Diego obtained his BEng in Geophysics from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 2009. He works  in real-time geodesy and seismology and is concerned with rapid modeling of large earthquakes and their associated phenomena.

Wei-Cheng Wu

Ph.D. student, Civil Engineering, Coastal and Ocean Program, Oregon State University

Wei-Cheng has an MS degree from National Taiwan University and worked as a professional engineer in the Water Resources Agency of Taiwan helping build regulation for flood management in flood-prone areas. He is now a second-year PhD student doing research in wave attenuation caused by heterogeneous vegetation, using both laboratory observation and numerical simulations. He is familiar with many codes of the field, including ADCIRC, GeoClaw, FUNWAVE and others.

Yulong Xing

Research staff, Oak Ridge National Laboratory / Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee

Yulong obtained his PhD in Mathematics from Brown University, working with high-order numerical methods for hyperbolic conservation laws. He then spent three years at Courant Institute, New York University, working in multiscale modeling and computation for complex geophysical flows. He is a staff scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and an assistant professor at the Department of Mathematics, University of Tennessee. His research interest is mainly in scientific computing and numerical analysis, specifically, efficient/accurate numerical methods for partial differential equations arising from geophysical flows and other applications.


New Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Natural Disaster Management

November 2nd, 2012 in Funding

Chile announced a five-year grant to form a new National Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Natural Disaster Management. The center will develop, integrate, and transfer scientific knowledge to help deal more effectively with the consequences of natural disasters. This initiative is a wide, integrative and interdisciplinary research effort aimed at transforming Chile into a world-recognized pole of excellence for the scientific study of extreme natural disaster scenarios.

The award of the FONDAP program —announced just days ago— was made after a stringent evaluation in a highly competitive process involving an international panel of experts. The lead institution is the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, PUC) and the partners are: Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN), Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM) and Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello (UNAB).

Chile’s physical environment is highly dynamic and diverse, with frequent occurrences of large events of tectonic origin (earthquakes, tsunamis and volcano eruptions), extreme climatic events (heavy rains, flash floods, storm surges), and subsequent threats that may arise as a combination of these (landslides, lahars, debris flows, or severe air pollution episodes).

Chile is also going through major socioeconomic transformations: having joined the OECD, it is expected to become a developed nation within the next decade. Economic growth has increased built-environment exposure to natural disasters, while also decreasing population tolerance to its consequences. The expected growth will only increase the challenges and demands in terms of social equity, urban and territorial planning, and environmental and industrial co-existence.  From both natural and social sciences perspectives, Chile can be viewed as a complex laboratory, where the latest models and theories on hazard propagation and impact, or disaster mitigation and management can be tested, improved and further developed.

During its first 5 years, the Center will focus on the study of earthquake, tsunamis, and floods, promoting national and international alliances to address the different related research areas —from geophysics and engineering, to psychology, sociology, decision and communication sciences.

The center’s six interconnected Research Lines are:

  1. Solid Earth Processes,
  2. Surface Water Processes,
  3. Risk Assessment,
  4. Disaster Management,
  5. Sustainable Risk Mitigation, and
  6. Information, Communication and Automation Technologies.

Through them, it will contribute to elucidate the factors influencing the interactions and response of the affected populations, the local organizations, the regional and central governments, infrastructure, lifelines and industrial facilities, under realistic Extreme Event Scenarios. The main goal of the Center will be to support the country in the design and implementation of cost-effective mitigation measures to achieve less exposed, better prepared, and more resilient communities and territories.

Center Director

Luis Cifuentes, Structural Engineer (PUC), PhD. in Engineering and Public Policies (Carnegie Mellon University, USA), Associate Professor, Industrial Engineering Department, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Photograph above, right.)

Deputy Director

Rodrigo Cienfuegos, Hydraulic Engineer (PUC), PhD. in Earth Sciences (Université de Grenoble, France), Associate Professor, Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering Department, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (Photograph above, left.)

Prof. Rodrigo Cienfuegos will be an invited speaker at the PASI.

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