Research paper accepted to the journal Reliability Engineering & System Safety

BiSSL PhD student Abheek Chatterjee just had his full-length research paper accepted in the Journal Reliability Engineering &System Safety! The paper, titled “Mimicking Nature for Resilient Resource and Infrastructure Network Design,” investigates the use of ecological robustness – a functional characteristic of ecological food webs, to guide the design of a supply chain case study to improve its ability to survive network disturbances.

Abstract: “Increasingly prevalent extreme weather events have caused resilience to become an essential sustainable development component for resource and infrastructure networks. Existing resilience metrics require detailed knowledge of the system and potential disruptions, which is not available in the early design stage. The lack of quantitative tools to guide the early stages of design for resilience, forces engineers to rely on heuristics (use physical redundancy, localized capacity, etc.). This research asserts that the required quantitative guidelines can be developed using the architecting principles of biological ecosystems, which maintain a unique balance between pathway redundancy and efficiency, enabling them to be both productive under normal circumstances and survive disruptions. Ecologists quantify this network characteristic using the ecological fitness function. This paper presents the required reformulation required to enable the use of this metric in the design and analysis of resource and infrastructure networks with multiple distinct, but interdependent, interactions. The proposed framework is validated by comparing the resilience characteristics of two notional supply chain designs: one designed for minimum shipping cost and the other designed using the proposed bio-inspired framework. The results support using the proposed bio-inspired framework to guide designers in creating resilient and sustainable resource and infrastructure networks.”

Chatterjee, A., & Layton, A. (2020). “Mimicking Nature for Resilient Resource and Infrastructure Network Design.” Reliability Engineering and System Safety. DOI: 10.1016/j.ress.2020.107142

Dr. Debalina Sengupta and “Disaster Resilience: Are we ready before the next one strikes?”

Texas A&M Energy Institute Lecture Series

July 2, 2020 12-1pm CT Zoom Meeting

Dr. Debalina Sengupta is the Associate Director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Gas & Fuels Research Center, as well as the Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Coordinator in the Texas A&M Energy Institute at Texas A&M University.

Abstract: We are witnessing history, and living through it. Never before in recent times has a pandemic spread around the world and paralyzed nations, economies, resources, and most importantly, people, all at the same time. It has exposed vulnerabilities to systems in ways that we are yet to fathom. As we wade through solving the immediate human health concerns and crisis, there is a deeper question that we need to address. The role of different entities and players in the society need to be taken into consideration for determining the resilience to disasters of great magnitude.

Over the past two decades, statistics suggest that the intensity of natural disasters have been increasing, and the damages caused by them have been impacting the lives of millions. Hurricanes and flooding events have increasingly influenced coastal communities and given rise to terms as climate refugees. Disaster management has primarily been a top-down approach from governance perspectives. The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 saw a comprehensive push towards disaster management strategies, and the need for emergency planning and implementation. However, the multiple failures during disasters and the resulting increase in losses to human lives, property, and progress of regions have yet again shown us that a convergent, interdisciplinary research approach is required to address the four stages of disaster management: Response, Recovery, Mitigation, and Preparedness. From analyzing vulnerabilities and risks to identifying root causes and critical elements in the full cycle of disaster management, interventions can be designed for timely recovery and minimizing loss of life. Deriving from concepts of sustainable development, this webinar will provide a framework for resilience studies, and seek to develop partnerships that can bring translational research components for innovative approaches towards disaster resilience.