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Risk & Resilient Systems

Faculty in Duke's Risk & Resilient Systems group focus on finding new and better ways to model, estimate and quantify the dynamics, uncertainty and risks prevalent in diverse engineered and natural systemswith the ultimate goals of reducing risk, informing decisions and developing more resilient systems.

Our research methods include dynamic systems analysis, numerical modeling, uncertainty quantification and parallel computing. Our work has applications in diverse areas, such as environmental and population health; energy and climate systems; insurance risk assessment and financial engineering; and hazard mitigation and resilient infrastructure.

Research Areas

  • Bayesian decision theory and environmental risk assessment
  • Modeling, identification, and control for natural hazard mitigation
  • Uncertainty quantification in computational mechanics 
  • Data analytics and numerical modeling
  • System dynamics, nonlinear dynamics and optimization
  • Engineering economics
  • Resilience engineering and sustainability

MAJOR CENTERS & INITIATIVES

Duke's externally funded research centers and training programs in risk and resilient systems include:

Related Study Opportunities

PhD and MS

Master of Engineering (MEng)

Undergraduate Research

Duke underdergraduates have opportunities to study and conduct independent research in risk and resilience engineering as part of our BSE degree programs:

Duke Engineering also offers summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) for students enrolled at other institutions.

Primary Faculty

Wilkins Aquino

Wilkins Aquino

Anderson-Rupp Professor Of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Computational mechanics, finite element methods, computational inverse problems and their applications in engineering and biomedicine, scientific computing, computational acoustics and acoustics-structure interaction, coupled chemo-mechanics (e.g. electrochemistry-mechanics).

Ana P. Barros

Ana P. Barros

Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Physics of water cycle processes in mountainous regions with a focus on cloud formation and precipitation; remote sensing of the environment using microwave and infrared sensors; long– range predictability and risk analysis of natural hazards; computational environmental fluid...

Mark Edward Borsuk

Mark Edward Borsuk

Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Mathematical models for integrating scientific information on natural, technical, and social systems; Bayesian network modeling with regular application to environmental and human health regulation and decision making; novel approaches to climate change assessment, combining...

Andrew Bragg

Andrew Bragg

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Fundamental and applied problems in fluid dynamics, especially turbulence, and its role in environmental systems.

David Carlson

David Carlson

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Machine learning, predictive modeling, health data science, statistical neuroscience

Henri P. Gavin

Henri P. Gavin

Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Structural dynamics, earthquake engineering, seismic hazard mitigation for building contents, nonlinear dynamics, system identification, optimal control with application to systems with controllable damping.

Johann Guilleminot

Johann Guilleminot

Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Computational mechanics, mechanics of heterogeneous materials, molecular dynamics simulations and atomistic-to-continuum coupling, stochastic solvers, statistical inverse problem and model validation, stochastic analysis, uncertainty quantification in science and engineering.

Christine Hendren

Christine Hendren

Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Henry Petroski

Henry Petroski

Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering

Research Interests: Structural engineering; design; interrelationship between success and failure in design; nature of invention; history of engineering and technology.

Guglielmo Scovazzi

Guglielmo Scovazzi

Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Finite element methods, computational fluid and solid mechanics, multiphase porous media flows, computational methods for fluid and solid materials under extreme load conditions, turbulent flow computations, instability phenomena.

Mark Wiesner

Mark Wiesner

James B. Duke Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Membrane processes, nanostructured materials, transport and fate of nanomaterials in the environment, colloidal and interfacial processes, and environmental systems analysis

Secondary Faculty

Marc A. Jeuland

Marc A. Jeuland

Associate Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy

Brian Mann

Brian Mann

Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Nonlinear dynamics and vibration utilizing analytical, numerical, and experimental techniques. Fundamental investigations of phenomenon and application areas where dynamical systems theory plays an important role.

Lawrence N. Virgin

Lawrence N. Virgin

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Research Interests: Experimental verification of low-order nonlinear dynamical behavior (including chaos) using mechanical models. The interaction between dynamics and buckling including secondary bifurcation. Time series analysis in the context of condition monitoring and damage detection. Dynamic...

Adjunct Faculty

Lyesse Laloui

Lyesse Laloui

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Natural and man-made systems with coupled phenomena. Environmental Geomechanics, Geotechnical and Geo-environmental Engineering, Mechanics of Multiphase Porous Materials. Area of activities at Duke University: Thermo-mechanical behavior of soils, soil desiccation and shrinkage.

Daniel Vallero

Daniel Vallero

Adjunct Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Research Interests: Measurement and modeling research in environmental systems, including high throughput risk screening, tracer studies, development of pollution collection devices, and biosystem engineering. Life cycle analysis and sustainable design.