INFORMS Open Forum

Two post-doctoral researcher positions in the area of hazards and resilience at UMD

  • 1.  Two post-doctoral researcher positions in the area of hazards and resilience at UMD

    Posted 11-18-2019 09:55
    Dear Friends and Colleagues,

    Drs. Michelle Bensi, Deb Niemeier, and I are seeking two postdoctoral researchers at the University of Maryland in the areas (1) infrastructure resilience and disaster aid and (2) probabilistic hazard assessment.

    Position 1: Applicants are sought for a postdoctoral scholar position in Resilient Infrastructure, assisting in understanding the dynamics among disaster policy, infrastructure vulnerability, and community outcomes. The initial project will focus on the differential impacts of the Stafford Act – the legislation that authorizes post-disaster relief funding – on infrastructure performance, communities, and States. The longer-term goal of the project is to provide insights and clarity into how changes to the Stafford Act could positively transform hazard-prone regions. The anticipated scope of the work includes: data discovery on disaster aid disbursements, community hazard mitigation plans, and damage assessments; holistic evaluation of the benefits and costs, including opportunity costs, of hazard planning and mitigation on infrastructure; an analysis of how officials at multiple levels of government make decisions surrounding hazards under uncertainty; multi-scale modeling of the impacts of disaster aid on infrastructure performance; and predictive modeling for quantifying the impacts of disasters on communities. (Advisors: Drs. Niemeier and Reilly; Ad:

    Position 2: A postdoctoral researcher is sought to assist in research activities focusing on understanding the impacts of the quantitative frameworks used to probabilistically assess natural hazards on (re)insurance markets and policies. Probabilistic assessments of natural hazards serve as the starting point for risk assessments and subsequent risk-informed decisions. The quantitative assessment frameworks used for various natural hazard groups (e.g., coastal, fire, seismic, precipitation, and inland flooding hazards) have been developed and researched in relative isolation, leading to significant differences in the way in which the respective hazard assessments are performed. Initially, this project will focus on (1) examining the fundamental conceptual and practical differences in frameworks used to assess a range of natural hazards, and (2) exploring and quantifying how these differences are the result of or have led to differences in regulatory risk tolerances and (re)insurance markets. This project will also identify opportunities to learn and transfer knowledge across natural hazards-centric engineering, policy, and actuarial disciplines with the goal of improving and bringing consistency across hazards. (Advisors: Drs. Bensi and Niemeier; Ad:

    The minimum qualifications are provided in the job ads. We are especially interested in candidates who bring positive energy and enjoy working in highly interdisciplinary environments. Further, applications from candidates from underrepresented groups (including but not limited to racial/ethnic minorities, first-generation college students, those who have experienced significant financial hardships, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ folks, and military veterans) are particularly welcome.

    Please share this email with anyone who is looking for a postdoctoral research position in these areas. We are happy to answer any questions candidates may have.

    All my best,

    Allison Reilly
    Assistant Professor
    University of Maryland
    College Park, MD