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ISE Welcomes Royce A. Francis

Risk-Informed Decision Making in Research and Education for Engineered Infrastructure Systems

Seminar by Royce A. Francis, Assistant Professor

Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, The George Washington University

Friday, January 29, 2016, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

210E Baker Systems, 1971 Neil Avenue

The principal objective of this talk is to discuss the potential role of statistical models in investigating risk-informed infrastructure decision making, and describe how risk and decision making concepts can be integrated into undergraduate engineering education. In the research portion of this talk, we will discuss the challenges of addressing climate change impacts on infrastructure systems. We describe the development of a non-homogeneous Poisson process (NHPP) used to model the rate of occurrence of drought from the perspective of a thermoelectric power plant. We extend the NHPP by demonstrating the use of a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) to project drought risk into the future under climate change. In the education portion of the talk, we will discuss how the challenges this type of research hopes to address–infrastructure interdependence, interdisciplinary education, decision making under uncertainty–can be introduced to undergraduates through engineering courses augmented with a significant writing requirement. The writing skills students will be expected to possess in practice may potentially help to promote the integration of risk, engineering design, statistical analysis, decision analysis, and climate science concepts required to effectively design, operate and manage next-generation infrastructure systems.

Dr. Royce Francis is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering. His work is at the intersection of the application of statistical methods to infrastructure and environmental risk problems, decision analytic research, and policy-focused research. Dr. Francis has conducted sponsored research in the areas of drinking water system asset management, decision structuring for low impact development investments, and resilience analysis of infrastructure systems. Dr. Francis’s research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the DC Water Resources Research Institute [a United States Geological Survey sponsored Institute], and DC Water. Dr. Francis has also received George Washington University research awards, including the University Facilitating Fund and Institute for Decision Sciences Faculty Fellowship. The results of the Dr. Francis’s research program to date have shown a commitment to studying risk and decision analysis problems related to the design, development, policy, and management of infrastructure systems. Dr. Francis, earned his dual Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University while a NSF Graduate Research Fellow.