John C. & Susan S.G. Wierman Lecture @ JHU Homewood, Hodson Hall 210
Dec 6 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Richard L. Smith:  Attribution of Extreme Climatic Events

Superstorm Sandy is merely the most recent high-impact weather event to raise concerns about extreme weather events becoming more frequent or more severe. Previous examples include the western European heatwave of 2003, the Russian heatwave and the Pakistan floods of 2010, and the Texas heatwave of 2011. However, it remains an open question to what extent such events may be ““attributed”” to human influences such as increasing greenhouse gases. One way to answer this question is to run climate models under two scenarios, one including all the anthropogenic forcing factors (in particular, greenhouse gases) while the other is run only including the natural forcings (e.g. solar fluctuations) or control runs with no forcings at all. Based on the climate model runs, probabilities of the extreme event of interest may be computed under both scenarios, followed by the risk ratio or the ““fraction of attributable risk””, which has become popular in the climatology community as a measure of the human influence on extreme events. This talk will discuss statistical approaches to these quantities, including the use of extreme value theory as a method of quantifying the risk of extreme events, and Bayesian hierarchical models for combining the results of different climate models. This is joint work with Xuan Li (UNC) and Michael Wehner (Lawrence Berkeley Lab). Event flyer.

“Complex Systems Science: Solving Complex Problems in a Complex World” Seminar @ Bloomberg School of Public Health Room W2008
Mar 19 @ 12:15 pm – 1:15 pm

Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam is the founder and president of the New England Complex Systems Institute. He received his SB and PhD in physics from MIT in 1978 and 1984 respectively. His work explores the origins and impacts of market crashes, ethnic violence, military conflict and pandemics, analyzes social networks, as well as the bases of creativity, panics, evolution and altruism. His work on the causes of the global food crisis was cited as among the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2011 by Wired magazine. Dr. Bar-Yam has advised governments, NGOs, and corporations on using principles and insights from complex systems science to solve seemingly intractable problems. He is the author of two books: his textbook Dynamics of Complex Systems, which he has taught to over 2,000 graduate students, professionals and executives, and Making Things Work, which describes the use of complex systems science for solving problems in healthcare, education, systems engineering, international development, and ethnic conflict.

2014 Systems Institute Symposium @ Mt. Washington Conference Center
Oct 2 @ 8:30 am – 2:30 pm

On Thursday, October 2, 2014, the Systems Institute will host a symposium to allow various systems researchers to present their research and have conversations about future collaboration.

The program includes short introduction by Scott Levin, Systems Institute Leadership Council Chair, research presentations by Systems Institute faculty and a poster session.


Scott Levin, Systems Institute Leadership Council Chair; Associate Professor, Emergency Medicine, JHU

LeeRoy Bronner, Associate Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Morgan State University

Sauleh Siddiqui, Systems Institute Leadership Council Member, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, JHU

Seth Guikema, Systems Institute Director for Cities; Associate Professor, Geography and Environmental Engineering, JHU

Judith Mitrani-Reiser, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering, JHU

Kavi Bawa-Bhalla, Assistant Professor, Health Systems, JHU

Joshua M. Epstein, Systems Institute Director for Systems Science; Professor, Emergency Medicine and Center for Advanced Modeling, JHU

Tak Igusa, Systems Institute Director for Health; Professor, Civil Engineering, JHU


Event details: by invitation only



“Modeling Strategic Behavior in Global Energy Markets- the Role of OPEC and the Impact of US Climate Policy” seminar @ 402 Ames Hall
Nov 5 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
"Modeling Strategic Behavior in Global Energy Markets- the Role of OPEC and the Impact of US Climate Policy" seminar @ 402 Ames Hall | Baltimore | Maryland | United States

Dr. Daniel Huppmann studied Mathematics at the Vienna University of Technology, where he earned an MSc degree in 2010. He joined the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) as a student research assistant in 2008, started in DIW’s graduate (PhD) program in October 2011 and successfully defended his dissertation at the TU Berlin in June 2014. He is currently a Research Associate in the department Energy-Transportation-Environment at DIW Berlin. In his research, Daniel works at the intersection of Operations Research, game theory, and energy economics, with a focus on multi-stage games in the global crude oil and natural gas markets, and strategic investment in electricity networks.


Modeling Strategic Behavior in Global Energy Markets- the Role of OPEC and the Impact of US Climate Policy (abstract)

The first part of the talk focuses on the global crude oil market, in particular the role of OPEC, and the difficulty of properly capturing strategic behavior in real-world applications using equilibrium modeling. This article proposes a two-stage oligopoly model: in a game of several Stackelberg leaders, market power increases endogenously as the spare capacity of the competitive fringe goes down. This effect is due to the specific cost function characteristics of extractive industries. The model captures the increase of OPEC market power before the financial crisis and its drastic reduction in the subsequent turmoil at the onset of the global recession.The two-stage model better replicates the price path over the years 2003-2011 compared to a standard simultaneous-move, one-stage Nash-Cournot model with a fringe. This article also discusses how most large-scale numerical equilibrium models, widely applied in the energy sector, over-simplify and potentially misinterpret market power exertion.

The second part of the talk presents a large-scale global dynamic energy system and resource market equilibrium model (“MultiMod”). It combines endogenous fuel substitution within demand sectors and in power generation, detailed infrastructure capacity constraints and investment, as well as strategic behavior and market power aspects by suppliers in a unified framework. This model is the first-of-its-kind in which market power is exerted across several fuels. It bridges the divide between energy system models, focusing on fuel substitution and technology options, and sector specific models that have a detailed representation of infrastructure constraints and are able to capture strategic behavior. The model allows assessing and quantifying the impact of national or global climate policy and emission reduction targets on the global energy mix over the next decades. In the talk, Daniel will present current results from the Energy Modeling Forum, Round 31 (“North American Natural Gas and Energy Markets in Transition”), focusing on the impact of US shale gas scenarios and domestic energy policy (such as Technology Portfolio Standards) on global energy consumption patterns and the resulting import dependency and trade flows.

“Systems Life Cycle Design Approach to Green Design and Energy Sustainability” seminar by Dr. Harrison Kim @ 234 Ames Hall
Nov 18 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Dr. Harrison Kim is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Enterprise Systems Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with appointment at the Beckman Institute and the Computational Science and Engineering. Dr. Kim’s research focuses on a variety of areas of complex systems design and large-scale computation and optimization. Dr. Kim’s current research topics are energy systems engineering; renewable, hybrid energy conversion and distribution; user-centered sustainable product design; product design analytics; multidisciplinary, multilevel optimization; green design. Application areas are automotive, consumer electronics, heavy-duty equipment, national security, commercial/military system of systems, and information technology. Dr. Kim has received numerous recognitions including the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award, Dean’s Award in Excellence in Research (Xerox Award), Best Paper Award in ASME Design for Manufacturing and Life Cycle Conference, and news media coverage in the USA Today and the Chicago Tribune. Harrison Kim earned his Ph.D. degree at the University of Michigan in 2001 in the area of Engineering System Design and Optimization in Mechanical Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Panos Papalambros. He joined the University of Illinois in 2005 after Business-IT consulting experience and postdoctoral training under Prof. Wei Chen at Northwestern University and has been leading the Enterprise Systems Optimization Lab.



Systems Life Cycle Design Approach to Green Design and Energy Sustainability (abstract)
Emerging interest in the renewable energy sources has garnered new contributions in energy systems engineering. Designing renewable energy generation systems, however, brings additional layer of challenges in that it is impossible to assess and predict exogenous conditions accurately. Hybrid power generation systems (HPGS), with respect to this challenge, can bring a new level of technical and economic performance of power supply by mitigating the effect of uncertainties. Kim’s team recently developed a new suite of systems design methodologies for single HPGS and hybrid energy farms that overcome non-smooth logical disjunction by use of multidisciplinary design optimization with complementarity constraints and various risk and reliability measures. The methods also utilize multi-stage programming model and design analytics capabilities for predicting system behavior in the near future time horizon. In this presentation, the speaker will present the findings from the recent studies sponsored by NSF and industrial partners (Caterpillar and Deere) in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and introduce newly emerging topics in renewable energy systems engineering.
“Integrated Design and Control of Sustainable Communities During Emergencies” Special Seminar @ Latrobe Hall, room 106
Dec 10 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

The Sensor Technology and Risk Mitigation (STIRM) Lab is pleased to host Dr. Gian Paolo Cimellaro, who will present the seminar “Integrated Design and Control of Sustainable Communities During Emergencies” this Wednesday. More…

Global Catastrophic Risks with Climate Change as a Case Study @ Malone Hall 328
Feb 11 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Dr. Bilal Ayyub - Professor of Civil and Environmental EngineeringProfessor Bilal M. Ayyub, PhD, PE is the Director of the Center for Technology and Systems Management, University of Maryland College Park (on sabbatical leave) and currently a visitor at the National Security Analysis Department, APL-JHU.



Global catastrophic risks are associated with natural or anthropogenic events that have the potential to inflict serious damage on human well-being on a global scale, including destroying or crippling modern civilization. Such events include nuclear war, outer space hazards, geohazards, etc. More…



Dr. Eunshin Byon to present two seminars on Mar 3 @ Ames Hall, Room 302
Mar 3 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Dr. Eunshin Byon

Dr. Eunshin Byon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.  She received her Ph.D. degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Texas A&M University, College Station, USA, and joined the University of Michigan in 2011.

Importance Sampling for Reliability Evaluation with Stochastic Computer Models (12-1:30pm)

Importance sampling has been used to improve the efficiency of simulations where the simulation output is uniquely determined, given a fixed input. We extend the theory of importance sampling to estimate a system’s reliability with stochastic simulations. Thanks to the advance of computing power, stochastic computer models are employed in many applications to represent a complex system behavior. More

 Data-driven Modeling and Analysis for Wind Power Systems (1:30-3pm)

To quantify and minimize the uncertainties in the design and operational stage, we model and analyze the dependency of wind turbine responses (e.g., power generation, loads and condition monitoring sensor measurement) on operating conditions and the interactions among turbines. Our research entails several areas… More

Rethinking the Mathematics of Decisions in Energy and Transportation Systems Seminar @ Mergenthaler Hall, Room 111
Mar 25 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

SI Leadership Council member Sauleh Siddiqui is the guest-lecturer of the Mar-25 E2SHI seminar on how mathematics can be used to solve today’s big challenges in energy, climate and urbanization. Dr. Siddiqui will discuss a modeling framework that provides insight for better intervention in energy and transportation systems. More details here.

The seminar is open to the public.



Seminar: Healthcare and the Environment: Emissions and Effects of Surgical Models and their Material Use @ 328 Malone Hall
Apr 20 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Dr. Cassandra Thiel

Dr. Cassandra Thiel is a Fulbright-Nehru Fellow studying the lifecycle impacts of cataractsurgery at Aravind Eye Hospitalin Pondicherry, India. Dr.Thiel obtained her BS in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2009 and completed her PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013.




Healthcare and the Environment: Emissions and Effects of Surgical Models and their Material Use

The growing field of sustainability research endeavors to confront a fundamental challenge of our society- how  do we streamline our current consumption while simultaneously ensuring we can achieve our future requirements?In no area is this more evident than US healthcare. Spending on healthcare has reached nearly 18% of the USGDP. More


Seminar: Smart Technology-Enabled Building Energy and Peak Load Reduction and Their Effects on Occupants and the Indoor Environment @ Malone Hall room 107
May 27 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am


Kristen Cetin is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin, in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, in the Building Energy and Environment Group. She is also a licensed professional engineer and a LEED professional. Her research focuses on the use smart grid-connected technologies to reduce building energy use and peak loads, and assessing their effects on building occupants and the indoor environment.




Building operations consume approximately 72% of electricity in the United States, and are responsible for over 70% of the peak demand on the electric grid, particularly in warm climates. The increasing deployment of technologies such as smart meters, home energy management systems (HEMS), and smart home-connected sensors and devices and their associated data provide an opportunity for data-driven operation and evaluation of the performance of buildings and their systems. This is particularly important as we face challenges in energy price fluctuations, distributed and renewable energy grid integration, and climate variability. More


Seminar: Integrated Science for Global Disasters and Resilience @ Room E9519
Aug 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Tomorrow, Thursday 8/13 from 12-1:30pm, you’re invited to attend Dr. Liaquat Hossain’s seminar on Integrated Science for Global Disasters and Resilience! Come to Room E9519 at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Lunch provided. See the flyer here

Dr. Hossain is a professor of Information Management at the University of Hong Kong.

Seminar: Infrastructure, Policy and Red Tape @ Hodson Hall 203
Sep 8 @ 12:00 pm – 12:50 pm

Today, Tuesday 9/8, Caitlin Doolin of the Baltimore City Department of Transportation is opening up the discussion of the city’s role in the partnership between drivers and bicyclists.

From the Car to the Bike: Infrastructure, Policy and Red Tape


Livable streets that prioritize walking, biking and transit are proven to improve quality of life, improve economic value of neighborhoods, address equity issues and improve health and safety of our cities. It can seem like while the rest of the world is taking off with protected bike lanes and premium transit investments, Baltimore is struggling to catch up, but the reality is this paradigm shift from the car is difficult everywhere. Believe it or not it was even difficult in Copenhagen 40 years ago! Come learn and engage in a discussion about how infrastructure, policy and politics are shaping how our urban streets serve bicyclists.

Modeling Cyclone Risk and Seismic Building Vulnerability in Central America and the Caribbean @ Hackerman Hall B-17
Oct 8 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Graduate Seminar: Modeling Cyclone Risk and Seismic Building Vulnerability in Central America and the Caribbean

This seminar will introduce two research projects applied to the Country Disaster Risk Profiles initiative of the World Bank: a hurricane hazard model and a probabilistic seismic vulnerability tool (PSVT). The windstorm hazard model is a novel approach which yields characterizations of windstorm activity (rate of occurrence, trajectory and spatial wind field) in the Central American region for use in natural risk assessment. The generative mechanism of storms is formulated as a superposition of stochastic processes whose joint opera;on yields synthetic cyclones activity in the region. The outcomes of the model match observed data acceptably well. A brief reference to the risk estimation procedure will be offered. Vulnerability functions estimate building damage caused by an acting hazard intensity. The PSVT is a software tool for creating vulnerability functions for seismic risk analysis. The approach estimates structural response of user-defined models subjected to ground acceleration signals integrating the equations of motion. Ground signals are realizations of random process models of site–specific ground motion hazard.


Speaker: Dr. Gonzalo Pita
Adjunct Assistant Scientist, Department of Civil Engineering, Johns Hopkins University; Sr. Natural Risk and Vulnerability Specialist, The World Bank

“Hospital Decision-Making During Extreme Weather Events” Seminar @ Gilman Hall 132
Oct 15 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, can disrupt how healthcare services are delivered by damaging the infrastructure they depend on. Natural disasters can force hospitals to evacuate. However, evacuation is not without risk. At this seminar, E²SHI Fellow Meghan McGinty will discuss how decisions to either evacuate hospitals or shelter-in-place (continue serving patients on site) were made during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 – and what we can learn from this experience to better prepare for future extreme weather events.

Event Flier


Presenter: Meghan McGinty is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on public health emergency preparedness and response, disaster resilience, and climate change. She is a 2013-14 E2SHI Fellowship recipient. Learn more about Meghan’s research

Seminar: Tsunami and Geodisasters @ Hackerman Hall B-17
Oct 29 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Tsunami & Geodisasters: A Decade of Lifeline Engineering

The rise of mega-disasters this century prompted development of engineering solutions for community and infrastructure resilience. ASCE 7-16 will include a new Chapter 6 Tsunami Loads and Effects, drawn from context of the 2011 Japan Tohoku Tsunami and resulting Fukushima Plant disaster. Chapter 6 is a bottom up state of the art design methodology focused on loss drivers, contrasting with other hazard provisions revised ad-hoc over several decades. The tsunami hazards awakening from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, claiming nearly 300,000 fatalities, brought attention to need for broad disaster preparedness of vulnerable populations. In the Post 9-11 Security environment, it pushed efforts to develop methods for all-hazards community and infrastructure resilience using multi-faceted research, performance based engineering and improved standards and building codes. Tsunami and other understudied hazards are advancing now with relatively low cost digitized maps, lidar and geospatial tools used for rapid exposure screening, loss modeling and engagement by the insurance and business supply chain industry. The experience from tsunami, and its seismic and flood components is a useful context for understanding disaster resilience using a lifeline infrastructure engineering framework, to help communities identify and prioritize diverse needs. Recent initiatives include the UN Disaster Resilience Scorecard developed by IBM and AECOM in 2014, and the ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division launched earlier this year. Both support the 2015 UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development ratified one month ago in New York for guiding actions over the next 15 years.

Speaker: Mathew Francis, Infrastructure Resilience Manager, AECOM Technology Corporation

Seminar: Labor Cost Accounting for Small Differences in Operating Room Time @ Hackerman Hall B-17
Feb 4 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Labor Cost Accounting for Small Differences in Operating Room Time Such as From Lean Methods

Over 25 years, Prof. Dexter & colleagues have studied the health system of anesthesia and
surgical delivery, from the lowest level of using sensor information for making changes
minute to minute through the upper level of health policy. Join his talk to learn
how there can be accurate cost prediction for the impact of structural and operating
room architectural changes that result in small changes in operating room times.
Speaker: Franklin Dexter, MD, PhD
Director, Division of Management Consulting,
Professor, Department of Anesthesia, University of Iowa
Seminar flyer here.
Center for Injury Research and Policy Seminar @ Bloomberg School of Public Health
Feb 29 @ 12:00 pm – 1:20 pm

Join the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy for their next Graduate Seminar, featuring Dr. Soames Job of the World Bank. Dr. Job is the Global Lead for Road Safety and he will be discussing the “Safe System Approach for Road Safety” as part of the Engineering Approach to Safety series. This event is being hosted by the Bloomberg School of Public Health and will be held this coming Monday, February 29.

All are welcome to attend!

See the event flyer here.

2016 Systems Institute Symposium @ Charles Commons Conference Center
Mar 9 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

2016 Systems Institute Symposium

“Diverse Perspectives in Systems Engineering”


Lawrence "Dale" Thomas, Professor and Eminent Scholar, College of Engineering. (Michael Mercier/UAH).

Keynote Speaker:

L. Dale Thomas, Ph. D., P.E.
Professor and Eminent Scholar in Systems Engineering
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering & Engineering Management
The University of Alabama in Huntsville

“The Intersection of Needs, Methods, and Trends in Systems Engineering for Aerospace and Defense”




More details here.

Center for Systems Science and Engineering