Rising Up Against Extreme Weather

A little over a year after Superstorm Sandy battered the east Coast, new York State governor Cuomo announced the launch of the new York State resilience institute for Storms & emergencies (NYS RISE) at the governor’s Conference on emergency Preparedness.

The institute is housed jointly at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering and Stony Brook University on Long Island. The new center will apply the expertise available at New York’s top universities to aid the state, local communities, and first responders in their preparation and response to extreme weather as well to ensure long-term resilience.

The center will undertake research including cause-and-effect mechanisms for damage to infrastructure, evaluating existing assessments of vulnerabilities of communities and critical facilities, and extrapolating storm risks from climate change conditions. The research will be undertaken cooperatively and collaboratively with agencies of New York State as well as local government and communities.

Professor Fletcher (Bud) Griffis of NYU School of Engineering's Department of Civil and Urban Engineering will serve as co-director of NYS RISE, with Dr. Minghua Zhang of Stony Brook. They will be joined by faculty at Columbia University, Cornell University, Brookhaven National Lab, and the City University of New York.

“We are proud to be a partner of this public-private project that will serve as a hub of research and education on coastal preparedness and sustainability,” said Dr. Katepalli Sreenivasan, NYU Dean of Engineering. “At a time when New York has truly felt the devastating effects of extreme weather conditions, the New York State Resiliency Institute for Storms & Emergencies will help prepare our region for climate change in the long term and bring us closer to becoming a hurricane- and flood-resilient city.”

“This initiative is unprecedented in the history of disaster recovery in the nation,” said Kurt H. Becker, NYU School of Engineering's associate provost for research and technology initiatives. “NY RISE will support agencies and communities, as well as push the bounds of knowledge, both to ensure that New York will recover more intelligently andmore sustainably for the long- term future, as well as to share that knowledge with the numerous people around the world facing similar challenges.”

Additional NYU faculty who will be involved in NYS RISE include Professor Francisco de Leon, NYU School of Engineering Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Professor Masoud Ghandehari, NYU School of Engineering Department of Civil and Urban Engineering; Professor David Holland, NYU Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences; Professor Kaan Ozbay, NYU School of Engineering's Department of Civil and Urban Engineering; Professor Rae Zimmerman, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; Dr. Stephan Bless, NYU School of Engineering's Department of Civil and Urban Engineering; Professor Haralambos "Bob" Vasiliadis, NYU School of Engineering's Department of Civil and Urban Engineering; and Dr. Constantine Kontokosta, NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress.