Dr. Therese McAllister is a Research Structural Engineer in the Community Resilience Group and Community Resilience Group Leader and Program Manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. McAllister conducts research on community resilience, with a focus on the integrated performance of physical infrastructure systems and social and economic systems. She has expertise in structural reliability, risk assessment, and failure analysis of buildings and infrastructure systems. Her research supports the resilience of the built environment, from design and mitigation to recovery of function, through performance based design and the development of guidelines to inform codes and standards. Dr. McAllister is an ASCE Structural Engineering Institute Fellow and a registered professional engineer in Maryland.
Mr. Christopher Clavin is a Research Environmental Engineer in the Community Resilience Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His research supports the development and deployment of methods and processes that aid community-scale resilience planning and decision making. In this role, Chris leads the Community Resilience Group’s research to advance and deploy NIST’s Community Resilience Planning Guide. This research project aims to incorporate and deploy scientific advances in resilience research for use by communities, private and non-profit sector entities, through the use and creation of planning and decision support tools. More broadly, his research interests lie at the intersection of resilience planning and policy, decision science and support, science and technology policy.
Dr. Ken Harrison is an Operations Research Analyst in the Community Resilience Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Harrison's research at NIST involves the development of models and decision-support tools for community resilience planning. He leads the “First-Generation Community Resilience Systems Model” project. The project involves development of an optimization-based decision support tool for community resilience planning. His research interests involve the use of mathematical modeling to support decision-making, with an emphasis on methods for decision-making under uncertainty and the development of mathematical programming-backed decision support tools. In addition to his research with the Community Resilience Group, Dr. Harrison is a researcher with NIST’s Hurricane Maria Program.
Dr. Maria Dillard is a Research Social Scientist for the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Community Resilience Group and serves as Acting Director of NIST’s Disaster and Failure Studies Program. Her research is focused on community response to hazards and chronic stressors, the development of methods for measurement and modeling community resilience, recovery, well-being, and vulnerability, and the social dimensions of disaster. Dr. Dillard serves as Associate Team Lead for the NIST Hurricane Maria Program and Associate Lead Technical Investigator of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) investigating the impacts of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico. She is also an Associate Project Lead for the Community Resilience Program’s research on the measurement of community resilience.
Dr. Jennifer Helgeson is a Research Economist in the Applied Economics Office of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She currently leads the office's work on the "Economics of Community Resilience Planning." Her research interests are focused around survey assessments and economic analyses that consider behavioral aspects and approaches to dealing with environmental issues. Dr. Helgeson’s research revolves around resilience to hazards (shocks and stressors) in the built environment, with consideration for cost-effectiveness of community- scale mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Dr. Juan Fung is a Research Economist in the Applied Economics Office of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Fung’s research interests lie in the topics of in community resilience, with an emphasis on research into costs of improving building performance for seismic events and quantifying community-scale benefits from improving resilience.
Dr. David Butry is an Economist and the chief of the Applied Economics Office of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Butry’s research on topics related to community resilience involve developing standard methodologies for community resilience economic analysis and decisions and leading research on topics of wildland fire, multi-hazard analysis, and community-scale disaster resilience. His research background and interests are in the areas of applied microeconomics and econometrics, with specialization in the fields of natural resource economics, environmental economics, and spatial statistics.
Mr. Jarrod Loerzel is a Research Social Scientist in the Community Resilience Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He also works closely with the Recovery of Critical Social Functions project that is part of the Hurricane Maria Program as well as the NIST-sponsored Center of Excellence. His current research efforts are focused on the measurement and assessment of resilience at the community scale. This research involves examining the metrics used by a variety of community resilience assessment frameworks and investigating them for methodological and theoretical consistency. Another avenue of Mr. Loerzel's research includes the development of models to understand the relationships between physical infrastructure and social dynamics. This work employs survey research, population dislocation, and demographic study.
Dr. Kelly Anderson is a Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) research scientist in the Community Resilience Group and the NIST Hurricane Maria Program within the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Anderson’s research interests include poverty, urbanization, and the effects of climate change on environmentally vulnerable and economically marginalized communities of the developing world. She has worked on a range of topics related to the social impacts of extreme weather, including changes to education and healthcare access, viability of rural and urban livelihoods, and migration. Currently, Dr. Anderson works on a National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) project in the Hurricane Maria Program that is focused on the recovery of services provided by schools and hospitals and the role of these social institutions in the recovery of communities.
Dr. Zeinab Farahmandfar is a Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) research scientist in the Community Resilience group and NIST Hurricane Maria Research Investigation team in the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Farahmandfar’s research interests encompass the areas of multi-hazard resilience of underground infrastructure and optimal planning and operation of integrated infrastructure systems. Her research supports the “First-Generation Community Resilience Systems Model” project, specifically focused on water supply systems and the development and validation of strategies for making underground infrastructures more resilient.
Dr. Emily Walpole is a research social scientist in the Community Resilience Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Walpole’s research interests focus primarily on individual's risk perceptions and protection motivation to natural hazards such as flooding and wildfires, as well as planning and decision-making related to climate adaptation, sustainability, and natural resource management. She is also involved with the Hurricane Maria Program, where her research is part of the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) investigation focused on the role of emergency communications and other factors in response for those under imminent threat from Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico.
Dr. Tasnim Ibn Faiz is a Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) Postdoctoral Associate in the Community Resilience Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). His research interests encompass the areas of operations research, community resilience, and socio-economic and environmental sustainability. As a member of the “First-Generation Community Resilience Systems Model” project team, Dr. Faiz works on the development of decision support tools for community resilience planning using mathematical programming. The research project aims to provide community stakeholders with effective tools for mitigation and recovery planning.
Dr. Michael Gerst is a Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) Faculty Fellow in the Community Resilience Group and a Research Assistant Professor in the Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Gerst’s work with the Community Resilience Group is focused on developing science-based tools and metrics to support and measure resilience at the community-scale. Dr. Gerst’s research with NIST and research interests are on the topics of socio-environmental synthesis and designing or testing decision-support tools. This body of research aims to address broader environmental problems that cannot be answered solely with natural or social science insights, such as cost-benefit analysis of climate mitigation and adaptation options or understanding human-technology interactions.
Dr. Dylan Sanderson is a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Fellow in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Community Resilience Group. Dylan’s research interests include the development and use of decision support tools for equitable community resilience planning. Dylan has worked on the development of IN-CORE and is also interested in modeling how policy decisions can increase community resilience. Prior to starting at NIST, Dylan obtained both his doctoral and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Oregon State University (OSU). His research experience at OSU includes working with the Seaside, Oregon multi-hazard testbed, development of a coupled urban change and hazard consequence model to evaluate community resilience plans, and development of a model to evaluate Oregon’s road and bridge transportation network under earthquake and tsunami hazards. Dylan previously worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Research and Development Center (ERDC) in the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory. Here, he was a principal investigator for two probabilistic lifecycle analysis models of coastal storm risk reduction, Beach-fx and G2CRM.
Dr. Jordan Borak is a Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and an Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Borak’s work with NIST colleagues focuses primarily on the use of satellite remote sensing data to study infrastructure and community resilience within the context of Hurricane Maria’s impacts on Puerto Rico. He also serves as one of the Principal Investigators on NASA’s ICESat-2 Science Team, and is a Co-Investigator on a NASA-funded project supporting the US Global Change Research Project’s National Climate Assessment. Dr. Borak possesses extensive experience in remote sensing, data processing, and modeling. His primary areas of expertise include interannual and seasonal variability of vegetation and the water cycle, analysis of long-term time series earth science data at regional and continental scales, land cover characterization from satellite observations, and quality assessment of remotely sensed data.
Gwynaeth Broome is the Division Office Manager for the Materials and Structural Systems Division and the Administrative Office Assistant for the Community Resilience Group. Gwynaeth provides daily administrative support to both groups. Prior to working for both Groups, she worked for the Inorganic Materials Group for four years. Before joining NIST, she managed commercial real estate properties for approximately 12 years.
Dr. William Hughes is a National Research Council (NRC) Research Associateship Program (RAP) postdoctoral researcher in the Community Resilience group at the Engineering Lab of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He received his B.S. (2019) and Ph.D. (2023) from the University of Connecticut Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus on structures and applied mechanics. His research focuses on the resilience of infrastructure systems, including power systems, transportation networks, and residential buildings, to natural hazards, particularly hurricanes, wind, and flooding. By integrating physics-based and data-driven modeling, his work aims to improve predictions of hazard impacts on the built environment and people, helping to inform more effective mitigation and adaptation strategies.
Horace Mitchell is a Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST). He’s a current undergraduate at the University of the District of Columbia (UDC), pursuing a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Prior to joining NIST in Fall 2020, Horace interned at The San Francisco International Airport as a Project Management Engineer, and at Duke Energy Corporation as a Customer Delivery Engineer, on projects to increase resilience in transportation and building infrastructures, and electric power systems, respectively. Horace’s research in the Engineering Laboratory at NIST consists of analyzing resilience and sustainability documents, data mining, testing of the NIST Alternatives for Resilient Communities (NIST ARC) model, and dissemination of research findings.
Dr. Donghwan Gu is a Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) research scientist in the Community Resilience Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Gu’s research lies in measuring the sustainability of urban areas by focusing on the transition of the urban built environment and socioeconomic inequality. His research at NIST primarily aims to support communities in measuring and enhancing their ability to function after catastrophic disaster events. He conducts research in the “Development of a First-Generation Community Resilience Assessment Methodology” project, identifying and validating resilience indicators.
Dr. Azin Al Kajbaf is a Professional Research Experience Program (PREP) Postdoctoral Fellow in the Applied Economics Office and Community Resilience group of the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She has a joint appointment with the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University. Her research interests include applying machine learning in hazard assessment, uncertainty analysis, climate and coastal hazard assessment, and risk assessment and decision making. Dr. Al Kajbaf earned her master’s degree in structural engineering and is experienced in finite element modeling of structures and evaluating their performance in hazards such as earthquakes and fire. She received a Ph.D. in Disaster Resilience from the University of Maryland. Her dissertation titled “Leveraging Machine Learning and Uncertainty Assessment for More Robust Coastal and Climate Hazard Estimation” focused on sources of uncertainty in probabilistic hazard assessments of coastal precipitation hazards under current and future climatic conditions. Particularly, sources of uncertainty arising from the application of machine learning methods and statistical modeling choices were explored. The insights obtained by this dissertation can inform decision-making by providing a more robust estimation and understanding of hazards and the associated uncertainty. At NIST, she is collaborating on projects to support community resilience planning through the development of methods and tools that evaluate the economic impacts of disruptive events while accounting for stakeholder perceptions and associated decisions related to future event uncertainty and co-benefit (co-cost) valuation. Dr. Al Kajbaf also explores criteria and methods to improve the resilient performance of structural systems in the built environment while maintaining cost-effectiveness and supporting community-defined objectives in addition to resilience.