PI and CoPIs

Maria Koliou

Maria Koliou (Lead PI) 

Assistant Professor 
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Texas A&M University 

Dr. Koliou is an Assistant Professor at the Zachry Department of Civil and Environment Engineering at Texas A&M University. She joined the department after having been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the NIST-funded Center of Excellence for Risk-based Community Resilience Planning at Colorado State University. She received her Diploma (2008) in Civil Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece, while she holds Master’s (2010) and PhD (2014) degrees from the University at Buffalo. Her research interests span the fields of structural dynamics, earthquake engineering, and multi-hazard performance-based design for system functionality and community resilience. She has a diverse research portfolio with projects on the performance and functional recovery of wood and cross-laminated timber (CLT) structures as well as moldable and wave tunable materials for application in complex freeform structures. She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) technical committees including the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Design of Wood Structures Committee, the SEI Disaster Resilience of Structures, Infrastructure & Communities Committee and the Engineering Mechanics Institute Objective Resilience Committee. She also served as the co-chair of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Younger Members committee during 2017-2019. Dr. Koliou received the 2018 Structural Engineering Institute’s Young Professional Scholarship. She is also an ASCE ExCEEd fellow since summer 2019.

Petros Sideris

Petros Sideris (Co-PI)

Assistant Professor
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering 
Texas A&M University

Dr. Sideris is an Assistant Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Sideris’ research focuses on the assessment of existing structures through advanced computational simulations and experimental methods. He also specializes in the development of new resilient structures through advanced construction methods, such 3D concrete printing and modular construction, and using new materials, such as cementitious and polymeric materials. His research approach integrates computational mechanics, performance-based engineering and large-scale experimentation. Dr. Sideris teaches courses on Advance Solid and Structural Mechanics, Structural Dynamics, Reinforced Concrete Design, Experimental Methods, Applied Mathematics and Numerical Methods, and Computer Programming.He is currently serving as Vice Chair of the ASCE/SEI Seismic Effects Committee, and as member of the ASCE/EMI Computational Mechanics Committee and the TRB Committee on Seismic Design and Performance of Bridges (AKB50). He is also an Associate Member of the ACI 564 Committee on 3D Printing with Cementitious Materials.

Anand Puppala

Anand Puppala (Co-PI)

Professor 
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Texas A&M University

Dr. Anand J. Puppala currently serves as A. P. Wiley and Florence Chair of Zachry Civil and Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University (TAMU) and is an Interim Director of Center for Infrastructure Renewal (CIR) at Rellis Campus of TAMU. Dr. Puppala has been conducting research on stabilization of expansive soils, ground improvement works for mega projects, UAVs for infrastructure monitoring studies and asset management studies, dam safety and embankments slope studies, in situ intrusive methods for site characterization, infrastructure resilience and material characterization studies. Dr. Puppala has been a recipient of several major research grants totaling over 25+ Millions of dollars from federal, state and local government agencies. Dr. Puppala is the director of NSF’s Industry University Co-operative Research Center (IUCRC) site on Composites in Civil Infrastructure (CICI) at TAMU. He has been serving as a program director of TRANSET, a University Transportation Center (UTC) based in LSU. Dr. Puppala’s research scholarly record included 500+ publications including 220+ Journals and has edited seven special publications. Dr. Puppala is an editorial member for several major journals in Civil Engineering including ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, ASCE Journal of Materials, ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal and edited several books including seven ASCE Special Publications.

James Kaihatu

James Kaihatu (Co-PI)

Professor 
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Ocean Engineering 
Texas A&M University 

James Kaihatu is a Professor with the Zachry Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University, where he has been since 2006. His primary expertise is in the theoretical analysis and numerical modeling of ocean surface gravity waves, including wind-wave generation, propagation over varying undersea topography, interaction with tidal currents, and dissipation along coastlines. In recent years he has expanded this modeling focus to include the prediction of hurricane-driven waves, surge and corresponding on-land sediment deposition and flooding; tsunami inundation; long-term impacts of the shamal and continued desalination activities in the Gulf region; modeling of urbaigation of tsunami interaction with coastal islands and the resulting impact on coastal inundation.  He has also participated in several field data collection campaigns, most notably post-hurricane structural damage and water level surveys (Galveston, TX post-Ike in 2008; Mexico Beach, FL post-Michael in 2018; and Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands post-Dorian in 2019).n flood events; and erosion of wetlands by passing weather fronts.His laboratory experience includes the investigation of tsunami interaction with coastal islands and the resulting impact on coastal inundation.  He has also participated in several field data collection campaigns, most notably post-hurricane structural damage and water level surveys (Galveston, TX post-Ike in 2008; Mexico Beach, FL post-Michael in 2018; and Abaco and Grand Bahama Islands post-Dorian in 2019).

Siyu Yu

Siyu Yu (Co-PI)

Assistant Professor 
Department of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning
Texas A&M University 

Siyu Yu is an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning and a core faculty with the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M University. Her experience spans land use, plan integration, and resilience issues in the United States and the Netherlands. Much of Dr. Yu’s current research focuses on the development, application, and extension of the Plan Integration for Resilience Scorecard TM (PIRS) evaluation methodology. The aim of this research is to better understand relationships among the network of land use and development plans and policies, and social and physical vulnerability to hazards and climate change. Her research has been published in the Journal of the American Planning Association, Journal of Planning Education and Research, Landscape and Urban Planning, and the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. Before arriving at Texas A&M, she worked as a senior urban planner at the Urban Planning and Design Institute of Shenzhen, China. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Science from Texas A&M University and is certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Researchers

Jayur Mehta (Co-PI)

Jayur Mehta (Co-PI)

Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
Florida State University 

Dr. Jayur Madhusudan Mehta is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Florida State University, specializing in the study of North American Native Americans, human-environment relationships, and the consequences of French and Spanish colonization in the Gulf South. Dr. Mehta earned his PhD in Anthropology from Tulane University (2015) and his MA (2007) from the University of Alabama. He received his BA from the University of North Carolina (2004) and is an avid Tarheel!  Dr. Mehta is also a Registered Professional Archaeologist and he has lead excavations in both the United States and Mexico. He is currently lead investigator for the Carson Mounds Archaeological Project (CMAP), a long-term study on the development of hierarchical and agricultural monument-building societies in the Lower Mississippi Valley, and Resilience in the Ancient Gulf South (RAGS), an interdisciplinary investigation into delta formation, hunter-gather settlement dynamics, and monumentality in the Mississippi River Delta region south of New Orleans. Dr. Mehta is a National Geographic research fellow and he has published research in the fields of environmental archaeology, ethnohistory, and indigenous religious and ritual practices. Dr. Mehta is also an executive board member of the Gulf Communities Research Institute, a coastal Louisiana based non-profit that conducts research on the Gulf Coast and works to preserve the health, resilience, and lifeways of coastal communities threatened by sea-level rise and climate change.

Stuart Nolan (Co-PI)

Stuart Nolan (Co-PI)

Geospatial Analyst
Stephenson Disaster Management Institute
Louisiana State University 

Stuart’s professional career began in Cultural Resources Management (CRM) as an archaeologist. Stuart has extensive experience conducting cultural resources surveys, including maritime and remote sensing projects, and has participated in numerous data recoveries on both historic and prehistoric archaeological sites in terrestrial and marine environments. He has performed architectural damage assessment of structures adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Harvey (2017), as well as evaluating National Register Historic District (NRHD) zones for redistricting.  During the summer of 2010, Stuart briefly worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst for the disaster response to the BP Oil Spill.Stuart has nearly 20 years of professional experience in CRM, and more recently Disaster Management and Public Health.  As an Emergency Management (EM) Analyst and Research Associate for LSU’s Stephenson Disaster Management Institute (SDMI), he serves in a variety of roles on many research projects, from grant writing and management to field research and outreach. Stuart’s primary research interests include preserving the at-risk cultural history of coastal Louisiana from numerous man-made and environmental disasters which threaten the cultural and ecological balance in the Gulf Coast Region. Stuart has spearheaded collaborations with numerous other research partners, both within the LSU system and from other universities to preserve and document lost history and aid in recovery strategies for marginalized cultures. 

Haizhong Wang (Co-PI)

Haizhong Wang (Co-PI)

Associate Professor
Department of Civil & Construction Engineering
Oregon State University 

Haizhong Wang is currently an Associate Professor of transportation engineering with the School of Civil and Construction Engineering, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA. His research interests include: (1) Interdisciplinary Agent-Based Models:  Community and regional-scale computational models to integrate infrastructure and social-technical systems under climate change and extreme events to assess decision-making under uncertainties for improved community and infrastructure network resilience; (2) Critical Infrastructure Networks: Using complex network and percolation theory to analyze critical Interdependent lifeline Infrastructure network at the intersection of risk, resilience, and sustainability; (3) Big Data Analytics and Data Assimilation for Post-disaster Human Mobility: Individual and/or collective human mobility under normal or extreme events, big-data (i.e., trajectories data) driven pre/post-disaster network mobility and disruptions; (4) Connected Automated Vehicle (CAV): mobility and safety analysis in a mixed traffic flow environment under varying levels of market penetrations, heterogeneous traffic flow modeling and simulation. 

Andres Gonzalez (Co-PI)

Andres Gonzalez (Co-PI)

Assistant Professor
School of Industrial and System Engineering
The University of Oklahoma

Andrés D. González is an Assistant Professor in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. He holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Rice University, and in Engineering from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). He also holds a Six-Sigma Black Belt from Arizona State University, an M.Eng. in Industrial Engineering and a B.Sc. in Physics from Universidad de los Andes. His research focuses on developing and applying analytical tools from systems dynamics, statistical physics, operations research, and civil engineering to study the dynamics associated with social and physical systems. He has worked on modeling the behavior of financial markets, designing routes and frequencies of massive transportation systems, and more recently on optimizing the resilience of critical interdependent infrastructure networks.

Michelle Meyer (Senior Personnel) 

Michelle Meyer (Senior Personnel) 

Associate Professor
Department of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning
Texas A&M University 

Dr. Michelle Meyer is the Director of the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center and an Associate Professor in the Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning Department at Texas A&M University. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University (CSU). Michelle’s research interests include disaster recovery and mitigation, environmental and community sustainability, and the interplay between environmental conditions and social vulnerability. She uses the lens of social capital and collective efficacy to theoretically understand how relationships between individuals and between governmental and nongovernmental organizations generate or hinder disaster risk and recovery. Michelle has worked on various research projects including disaster risk perception, social capital in disaster resilience, organizational energy conservation, volunteer training program evaluation, evaluation of disaster response plans for individuals with disabilities, social media use among vulnerable populations, how to increase protective action knowledge in Haiti, citizen science protocols for measuring storm-water condition equity, and environmental attitudes and behaviors. Michelle aims to generate research that contributes to communities’ capacity to be resilient in the face of environmental threats, and do so in an equitable manner. Thus, she regularly collaborates with nonprofit organizations on applied research.

Other Personnel

Hiramani Raj Chimauriya

Hiramani Raj Chimauriya

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Texas A&M University

Hiramani Raj Chimauriya is an international student from Nepal. He received his BS in Civil Engineering from Kathmandu University (Dhulikhel, Nepal) in 2015 and his MS from University of Texas at Arlington in 2019. After his MS, Hiramani worked at the Dallas branch of Kleinfelder. Hiramani joined Texas A&M University as a PhD student in Geotechnical Engineering in the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department from Fall 2020 working under the supervision of Dr. Anand Puppala. His research interests include infrastructure monitoring, spatial data analysis and remote sensing.

J. Carlee Purdum

J. Carlee Purdum

Hazard Reduction & Recovery Center
Texas A&M University

J. Carlee Purdum is a Research Assistant Professor for the Hazard Reduction and Recovery Center at Texas A&M University. Her work centers on how hazards and disasters impact incarcerated populations and correctional facilities. She is also working on projects with the HRRC examining civilian rescue organizations as well as long term recovery after both natural and technological disasters, including most recently, Hurricane Harvey. Other projects have examined public health on the gulf coast after the BP oil spill of 2010, social media in disasters, disaster risk perception, and hurricane evacuation behavior. Her research interests include emergency response (fire & medical personnel), rural disasters/emergency response, long term disaster recovery, social vulnerability, vulnerable populations, incarcerated workers, all-hazard inmate firefighters, and incarceration and prisons in disasters. She is working with Drs. Siyu Yu and Michelle Meyer.

April Taylor

April Taylor

Sustainability Scientist for the Chichasaw Nation
South Central Climate Adaption Science Center (CASC)

April is the Sustainability Scientist for the Chickasaw Nation and Triban Liaison based out of Oklahoma. She holds a B.S. in Marine Science from Texas A&M University and a Masters in Earth and Environmental Resource Management from the University of South Carolina. At the South Central CASC, April works with the goal of building research relationships with the 68 tribes in the South Central region. She is actively involved with the training and development of resources for tribal health and vulnerability assessments. As a Chickasaw citizen with a family tradition of Native American grafted pecan trees, she is inspired by helping the tribes manage and plan for the many environmental impacts of climate variability and change and other resilience issues.

External Evaluators

The Rucks Group, LLC is a research and evaluation firm that measures the impact of initiatives to aid in the decision-making process. Located in Southwest Ohio, the firm’s mission is to provide applied social science and evaluation expertise to maximize the return of resources invested in initiatives for grants recipients and funding sources. The individuals from The Rucks Group, LLC  who work on this evaluation include:

  • Alyssa McKinney, Research Associate
  • Julia Siwierka, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation Services
  • Lana Rucks, Ph.D., Principal Consultant

External Advisory Panel