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NIST Community Resilience Group Strengthened by New Team Members

The Community Resilience Group, part of the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has announced the addition of three new members to its team. The group manages, promotes and advances the agency’s efforts to strengthen the ability of cities, towns and other inhabited areas to prepare for anticipated hazards, adapt to changing conditions, and withstand and recover rapidly from disruption.

Joining the Community Resilience Group are:

Judy Mitrani-Reiser, Director of the Disaster and Failure Studies Program:

Mitrani-Reiser, a recognized expert on the structural, infrastructural and social impacts of disasters ranging from earthquakes to hurricanes, comes to NIST after serving on the Civil Engineering and Emergency Medicine faculty at Johns Hopkins University. Among her areas of expertise are performance-based design, disaster management, risk assessment, resilience, emergency preparedness and evacuation modeling. Mitrani-Reiser will lead the multidisciplinary staff responsible for conducting fact-finding investigations of structural failures and fires that resulted in substantial loss of life or that posed significant potential for substantial loss of life; promoting the implementation of recommendations from those studies to improve codes, standards and practices; and carrying out the statutory responsibilities assigned by the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Act.

Maria Dillard, research social scientist: 

Dillard, an expert in using advanced statistical methods to assess community well-being, resilience and vulnerability to hazards and chronic stressors, previously led the social science efforts for NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. At NIST, she will develop community-scale models of social systems, assess methods for evaluating social data, work with indicators and metrics of community resilience for social and infrastructure systems, and support the integration of science focused on hazards, buildings and infrastructure, and society.

Ken Harrison, operations research analyst:

Harrison, whose research expertise is mathematical modeling and decision-making under uncertainty, joins NIST from NASA where, as a collaborator employed by the University of Maryland Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, he led the development of the Optimization and Uncertainty Estimation subsystem of the NASA Land Information System software, and conducted research investigating the value of NASA Earth Science satellite data for improving hydrologic prediction (e.g., flood, drought).  At NIST, he will develop infrastructure systems models, and design and implement decision support tools to aid in community resilience decision-making.

Released November 2, 2016, Updated May 4, 2021