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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research - Environmental Engineering Mgmt. & Policy

VCEMSFaculty and students are studying agricultural and climate decision-making in South Asia.

Current and Recent Projects

Sri Lanka Project:

The Sri Lanka project is studying how rice farming communities in Sri Lanka respond to climate change. By drawing on expertise in both the physical and social sciences, the group is uniquely suited to address the challenging and complex questions found in the rice paddies of Sri Lanka. The results from this project will hopefully provide guidance when coping with a future of climatic change and food scarcity. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Bangladesh Project:

This is a U.S. Office of Naval Research fundeda multi-disciplinary (sociology, economics, political science, psychology, hydrology, geology, and engineering) project investigating how social and environmental changes affect resilience--with an emphasis on migration. The project is focused on the southwestern coastal region of Bangladesh, an area that has been affected by flooding, salinization, and cyclones.

Nashville 2010 Flood Project:

A team of Vanderbilt researchers is developing a methodology, building upon existing damage assessment models such as FEMA's HAZUS models, to provide a more comprehensive estimate of the impacts associated with damage due to extreme flooding events. The improved methods seek to enable a more realistic characterization of the impacts of extreme weather and assist in development and evaluation of potential adaptation strategies. This project is co-funded by government and industry.

Risk Catcher Project:

The project team designed and implemented an automated decision-support tool capable of performing enterprise risk management evaluation. The tool is structured in a user-friendly, menu-driven format, with modules that:

  1. identify risks
  2. develop scenarios
  3. estimate scenario likelihood and consequence
  4. select risk priorities
  5. develop and evaluate candidate risk mitigation strategies

Life-Cycle Assessment:

A hybrid life cycle assessment was developed to provide a benchmark environmental footprint for a major transportation carrier. The first phase of this project included a hotspot analysis of significant emissions activities and the second phase took a "deeper dive" into selected hotspots in order to provide a more detailed baseline. The client used the outputs from the life cycle assessment to evaluate the effectiveness of sustainability strategies and build a framework that facilitates decision-making in the context of sustainability.