Pathways to Transfer Science and Engineering to Climate Actions

Friday, April 28, 2023
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Floor/Room #
KH 116 or Zoom:

Come listen to Grace Yan from Missouri University of Science and Technology talk about Pathways to Transfer Science and Engineering to Climate Actions.

Abstract: Climate change is taking place at an unprecedented pace, causing natural hazards to attack the earth more frequently and more intensely, resulting in increasing disasters. To respond to the increasing disasters, more coordinated and comprehensive climate actions are needed. Dr. Yan will talk about Pathways to Transfer Science and Engineering to Climate Actions, to enhance community resilience under the changing climate. Obviously, no single researcher can achieve this alone. Dr. Yan envisions that Worcester Polytechnic Institute has a high potential in leading this effort nationwide. So Dr. Yan will talk about what she thinks these pathways are and how she can contribute to this mission. The following four pathways are identified: 1) Pursue large grants to conduct interdisciplinary research to advance science and engineering needed to address the grand challenge of climate change; 2) Establish a Resilience Consortium to work with industrial partners to facilitate technology transfer, influencing the industry to design and build resilient civil structures and infrastructure; 3) Work closely with governments at all levels to speculate resilience policies; and 4) Bridge an education gap by developing an education program on Resilience Science and Engineering, to produce resilience leaders who are equipped with systemic and holistic thinking to better respond to the increasing disasters. These four pathways will help the department take on a new look to the academia in the nation, to the state of Massachusetts, and to the communities WPI serves.


Grace Yan from Missouri University of Science and Technology

Bio: Grace Yan is the Director of Center for HMCR, in which 35 faculty members from 12 departments are affiliated. She is also the Director of WHAM Laboratory. She has been leading the NAAHDRI (North American Alliance of Hazards and Disasters Research Institutes) organization as the Chair of Board of Directors. She is passionate about the mitigation of hazards induced by extreme weather (e.g., tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods) and the achievement of community resilience. She has been leading interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research teams in addressing community resilience under a changing climate from different perspectives, by modeling a regional, holistic, dynamic earth system. This will equip governments, industries and communities with data, knowledge, models, tools and resources to take climate actions effectively. She promotes to live in harmony with natural hazards, by being prepared physically (better building code), being prepared psychologically (higher risk awareness), and being prepared financially (innovative, sustainable mechanism to raise money for resilience projects). She promotes to train a group of residence leaders who process holistic and systemic thinking to expedite the transferring of science and engineering into climate actions. She promotes to upgrade “resilience” to “equitable resilience” by offering tangible solutions for vulnerable populations in the entire resilience process (prior to, during and after disasters), ensuring that all voices are heard. Thus far, she has published more than 130 refereed journal and conference papers; She has secured 36 research grants, with the total amount of more than $13M, from NSF, NOAA, DOT, NASA, ERDC of US Army Corps of Engineers, and other agencies.

Zoom link: 

Contact Person
Joan Langlois