The George Washington University
Engineering Management & Systems Engineering Department (EMSE)
Environmental & Energy Management Program (E&EM)

Spring 2002 (Volume 3, Number 1)


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Seven Doctoral Students Defend Their Research and Earn Their DSc. Degree

In the Spring 2002 semester, five doctoral candidates of the E&EM Program successfully defended their dissertation research and earned their doctoral degrees.

Na'ill M. Al-Momani defended his research on "Improving Crisis Management Capability in Response to Earthquake Catastrophe by Using Information Technology: Sensitivity Analysis for Earthquake Scenarios." His research focused on sensitivity analysis methods for different earthquake scenarios in the San Francisco Bay Area, utilizing the software HAZUSã. Naill wanted to provide a guideline for decision-makers in the emergency management field that would present them with a more comprehensive view of the situation and aid in planning and mitigation for such disasters. He used four parameters in the sensitivity analysis: site effects, attenuation relationships, ground failure effects, and building inventories. He used hypothetical earthquake scenarios to test factors such as fatalities, injuries, need for shelter, and total economic losses that would result from damages to residential units. As a result of his research, Naill found that the parameter of ground failure effects was the most sensitive one in earthquake loss estimation. This was followed by the attenuation and site effect parameters. He observed that the parameters relating to building construction were the least sensitive.

Sergio Botero defended his research on "Energy Efficiency Business Options For Industrial End Users in Latin American Competitive Energy Markets: The Case of Colombia." Sergio observed that energy markets in Latin America had been shifting from monopolies to participation of the private sector and that there was little knowledge about end user's preferences. Based on this observation, he used his home country Columbia as a case study and identified and categorized energy efficiency business options for large energy end users that freely participate in the competitive energy market. He concluded that energy efficiency providers should consider both the economic activity of each customer and the business options offered and found that the most important decision-making criterion was the cost-benefit ratio.

Uzo Eric Chukwu defended his research on "A Multi-Objective Schematic Model to Assess Impacts of Multilateral Institutional Environment Projects in Developing Countries." He focused on developing a methodology that can be used to evaluate projects being sponsored by Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank (WB) in developing countries and used projects in West Africa for verifying his model. The objective of Eric's research was to aid in enhancing project design and implementation in order to provide for the conservation of the environment and sustainable development. He selected measurable objectives, arranged them in hierarchies and used them for project designs and comparative analyses of project outputs. Eric used the end results to present useful insights on project implications.

 

Sherif El-Ramly defended his research on "A Methodology to Prioritize 'Environmental Hot Spot Sectors' in Developing Countries Relevant to Trade Liberalization." Sherif realized that the current selection of hot spot sectors for the evaluation of potential negative environmental impacts of trading patterns was a highly subjective process which had high costs, took a long time and caused disagreements and criticism. Therefore, he carried out his research with the objective of developing a consistent, systematic and scientifically viable methodology to identify and prioritize economic sectors that were more likely to have numerous negative environmental impacts resulting from changing trade patterns. The key outputs of his research are expected to reduce time and expenditures and aid in reaching reliable sector prioritization, regardless of the people involved and the country the study is performed in.

Teresa Pohlman defended her research on "A Multiobjective Model for Management of the Complex Calculus Involved in the Environmental Cleanup Negotiating process." She observed the evolution of the DOD environmental program, and saw that there was a need for DOD to be able to negotiate with regulatory agencies in a more effective manner, while dealing equitably with public participation. In her study, Teresa designed a model that uses various objectives and provides an optimal selection of negotiating technique(s) under specific environmental cleanup conditions. As a result, she found that regulatory objectives had the most influence on the decision-making process, and that tiered partnering was the most applicable negotiating method.


George William (Jerry) Sherk defended his research on "Public Policies and Private Decisions Affecting the Redevelopment of Brownfields: An Analysis of Critical Factors, Relative Weights and Areal Differentials." His research addressed two important concerns: (1) the relationship between the redevelopment of brownfields and the development of greenfields; and (2) the determination of critical factors and the relative weights of those factors that most influence both public and private decisions to redevelop brownfields. After analyzing these two key factors, Jerry first determined that significantly more land would be required for a redevelopment project in a greenfield area. Subsequently, he revealed that there were five critical factors that largely influenced brownfield redevelopment decisions. These were found to range from market mismatch to intergovernmental competition and perceived urban crime.

Irmak Renda Tanali defended her research on "Life Cycle Cost Analysis of Water Supply Systems as Critical Lifelines." She observed that the civil infrastructures in the US and around the world were susceptible to breakdowns, due to factors like aging, misuse and neglect. Based on this observation, Irmak proposed a systematic framework and a methodology for life cycle cost analysis that could be used by water agencies for emergency planning and critical infrastructure protection decisions. She focused on the effects of seismic hazards and considered only water transmission and distribution pipelines. Irmak suggested that a systems approach integrating critical aspects of emergency management, engineering and engineering economy would improve policies and prevent the loss of productivity, as well as the loss of public and private capital. Irmak developed a computerized analytical model that simulates the effects of disasters on the life cycle cost of a system based on different approaches to mitigation and response. She demonstrated the effectiveness of the model by examining a sample system and analyzing results from two separate methods of simulation. The results of her research emphasize the importance of investment in increased manpower to fix the breaks and reduce costs due to loss of service.



Jonathan P. Deason, Ph.D., Lead Professor